The whole world has been spending a lot of time in front of TV during quarantine, so why not make this time useful and an opportunity to learn and connect?
Pocahontas is the Disney movie that tells the story of a real life heroin, perhaps the first in American history. It is definitely a forgotten gem on the whole Disney merchandise and spotlight over the years. You can read here the reasons why you should watch Pocahontas with your children here.
Below, there are some questions to discuss with your children about Pocahontas after watching the movie. Please be mindful of their age but don’t avoid talking about slavery or how europeans considered themselves superiors to all other beings on the planet. Simply adjust the questions to the vocabulary your child can understand.
- Did you see how many trees and how clean the rivers were before colonization?
- Do you know Pocahontas and John Smith were real people?
- Can you believe that they would get to a new land and claim it their own?
- What do you think about them destroying someone elses land to find gold and take it home?
- Who do you think is the baddie?
- How cool was that Pocahontas saved John Smith?
- Do you think she should have gone to England with John Smith? Why?
- Do you know which countries were colonized and by who?
- This movie is 25 years old and it is so well done, don’t you think? Look at the graphics and the song. We should sing to some people who love to destroy nature. What do you think?
- What do you think about the talking tree?
- Did you see that they recover her mother’s neckless? How cool are these friends?
- Was this movie about a long time ago? Do you know when?
- Do you think the Powhatan people spoke English? Why do you think they speak English in the movie?
- What do you think could happen if the colonists and the indians didn’t speak the same language? Can you give some example of serious misunderstanding between the twoo people?
- How did Pocahontas stopped the war? Is that a good way of stopping a fight?
- Why do you think the English left the land back to England?
- Do we see many people like Pocahontas and her tribe today in our lives? Do you know why?
- What do you think of her friends?
- What do you think savage means? Do you think the indians were savages or the English?
- What path would you have chosen in the river?
These are just guides for you to introduce the concept of understanding other cultures instead of judging them as inferior to your own. Feel free to add and let the conversation flow with your children. You can slowly ask these questons and introduce the themes through weeks. It doesn’t need to be a gigantic task.
Kids are pretty clever and they actually are a lot more inclusive than adults. Children don’t have any judgment based on cultural diferences, it is us, the adults and our references (books, movies etc) that insert the concept on their heads. Keep talking, keep it flowing and they will flourish!