Like Stars on Earth (2007/8.5)

An eight-year-old boy is thought to be a lazy trouble-maker, until the new art teacher has the patience and compassion to discover the real problem behind his struggles in school.


Like Stars on Earth is especially useful in social studies classes because it gives students an opportunity to meet a contemporary, middle-class Indian family. Students will have the opportunity to draw parallels with their own families, seeing similarities between the obstacles and challenges faced by the Awasthi family and their own. Too often social studies classes focus only on differences between cultures; Like Stars on Earth gives students the chance to understand that there are universals as well.

Perhaps the most significant aspect of the film is its ability to help the viewer understand and sympathize with the difficulties of the young protagonist and the heartache and frustration of his parents. Younger students may need help understanding that the father is not just mean; he loves his younger son but cannot understand why he does not behave and think like his older brother.

Students in your class who struggle with learning differences will recognize many experiences and emotions they have had. Students who handle academics with ease will learn more about the struggles, and strengths, of their less academically inclined classmates.



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