Trouble in Paradise

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Area: History and Social Studies, Language Arts and Literature, Other Areas
Grade Level: Middle School, Primary/Elementary School
Topics: Epistemology, ethics, fear
Estimated Time Necessary: 45 minutes

Lesson Plan

Students analyze a video clip to reflect on fear and the unknown

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

Plot Summary: In this short film, a crab is living on a tropical island. When a coconut falls from a palm tree, the crab is alarmed and treats the coconut like a dangerous enemy. The crab cautiously approaches the coconut to investigate and ultimately rolls the coconut into the ocean where it floats away. Just as the crab is feeling triumphant and relieved, another coconut falls from the tree.

After watching the video clip, use the discussion questions to engage students in a class discussion.



Discussion Questions

  • Why are we often afraid of things or people we do not recognize?
  • Should we investigate before deciding someone or something is dangerous?
  • What might be challenging about investigating the unknown?
  • Why does the crab feel the island is his and not the coconut’s?
  • Is facing fears better than avoiding them?
  • Is the coconut alive?
  • The movie says it is “based on a true story.” Do you think that’s true? Why or why not?