PRESCRIBED MATERIAL FOR COMPARATIVE STUDY
Why Teach 'Juno' by Jason Reitman?
Juno is a 2007 American coming of age comedy-drama directed by Jason Reitman. Ellen Page stars as Juno, an independent-minded teenager confronting an unplanned pregnancy and the subsequent events that put pressures of adult life onto her.
Why teach 'Juno'?
• The film is light-hearted and fun. It is entertaining and enjoyable to watch and students are likely to enjoy studying it.
• It deals with the world of teenagers and the problems they face, making it hugely relatable for Leaving Cert students.
• As an upbeat text, with positive relationships and characters enjoying personal freedom, this film could work very well if contrasted with darker texts.
General Vision and Viewpoint
The overall outlook in ‘Juno’ is hopeful and positive. Juno is met with various obstacles and difficulties, and overcomes each of them. Characters in the film are caring and supportive and the love story between Juno and Bleeker is sweet and heart-warming. There are moments of doubt and difficulty, such as when Mark decides to leave his wife, but overall, the general vision and viewpoint is positive, forward looking and hopeful.
As a movie, ‘Juno’ is a very visual, immersive text, and is easy to follow, understand and connect with. The performed dimension adds to an audience’s engagement with the characters and their story. ‘Juno’ is both a coming of age story and a love story, with elements of each adding to the film.
I always choose Relationships as the Theme/Issue for consideration at Higher Level. Relationships in ‘Juno’ are positive and supportive. Leah is a constant support and friend to Juno, from the beginning to the end of the story. Mac and Bren, Juno’s dad and stepmom, are steadfast in their support of her. Bleeker, Juno’s best friend and the father of her baby, is in love with her, and the development of their relationship is a very positive aspect of this theme.
Hero, Heroine, Villain
Juno is an independent, quirky, warm character. She is both likeable and relatable, due to her humour, sincerity and determination. As a positive character, she could be contrasted well with characters in other texts.
Themes such as growing up, or responsibility, could work well for this film, as the issue of maturity and accepting one’s place in the adult world are central to the story.
‘Juno’ is fun and contemporary, and the excellent cast and soundtrack make it highly watchable. Also, the issues of teenage pregnancy, adoption, and maturing into adulthood make it a text with plenty of potential for developing classroom discussion. ‘Juno’ is definitely a film to consider for 2019!
Teacher Workshops - Cracking the Comparative
Many teachers, whether newly qualified, or experienced, find that the Comparative Study is a very demanding, challenging area of the course. With this in mind, I have devised my workshops to offer practical advice for teaching this topic.
My Scene by Scene Teacher Workshops help teachers to teach the Comparative Study in a focused, structured way, that leads to exam preparation, rather then being governed by it.
My focus is on practical suggestions for classroom teaching to help prepare students for the exam and encourage students to cope with the challenge of this difficult question.
This presentation is ideal for new teachers and established teachers looking for new ideas to apply to their teaching.