For the Birds

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Area: Film
Grade Level: Middle School, Preschool, Primary/Elementary School
Topics: bullying, ethics, Fairness, Friendship, Laws, moral philosophy, morality, Morals, politics, Right/Wrong, rules, Social and political philosophy
Estimated Time Necessary: 45 - 90 Minutes

Lesson Plan

Examine Conceptions of Fairness
To reflect on conceptions of fairness
Examine Power Dynamics
To reflect on power dynamics within groups
Group decision-making
To examine the ways that groups make rules about how to behave or respond to situations

Plot Summary: In this short Pixar film, several small birds land on a telephone wire and commence chattering and annoying one another. When a large bird lands nearby and seeks out their company, the smaller birds stop their bickering and turn as one against the large bird. Their attempts to make him leave their wire result in an unfortunate outcome for them and the large bird gets the last laugh.

This lesson plan can be used either in a classroom or online.



Discussion Questions

  • Why are the smaller birds so unkind to the larger bird?
  • The larger bird is quite insistent on being with the smaller birds. Does that excuse the way the smaller birds treat him?
  • How does a group of individuals decide to act the same way toward someone?
  • Is it wrong for the big bird to laugh at the smaller birds at the end?
  • Is it ever permissible to exclude others from a group?
  • Does being in a group make people feel more powerful than they would if they were on their own?

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