I take advantage of teachable moments whenever I can find them. I think that they can come in many avenues, including life experience, circumstances, and even movies! Over the weekend, my daughter and I enjoyed a mommy/daughter movie night with the new Disney Planes film. My daughter is in this inquisitive phase where she talks and asks questions throughout the entirety of movies, but it’s just because she is truly pondering the movie and what is happening to the characters. She was no different during this movie, and I took the opportunity to discuss with her the underlying teachable moment of Disney Planes: Courage.
I was surprised at how many times the main plane character, Dusty, displayed courage in the movie. My daughter and I found eight instances that we caught where Dusty showed courage in different situations and under various circumstances. Throughout the film, we played an ‘I Spy’ type of game where we would point out examples of courage in the film. I then took each example and talked about it in depth with my daughter pertaining to what each instance meant to her. Here are our Teachable Moment Talking Points (as well as a pic of us on our movie night!)
- Dusty had the courage to approach another plane who was known for being ‘unapproachable– Even as an adult, this concept of courage can be difficult to grasp. As the old saying goes, “You don’t know if you don’t ask”. I encouraged my daughter to always have the courage to talk to her teachers and adult leaders that are in her life and not to be afraid to ask questions.
- Dusty had the courage to admit that he is a plane who is afraid of heights– This one is pretty obvious. Always have the courage to tell the truth.
- Dusty learned many new concepts and skills in order to win the race– Staying within our comfort zones is easy. Learning something new requires courage!
- Dusty helped another plane who was in distress, even though this act put Dusty in last place in the race– Personally, this is strong moral that I want to teach all my children. Laying aside our own desires to help others in need is one of the most courageous things any human can do.
- Dusty had the courage to stand up to a friend– Appropriately handling conflict is difficult at any age, but it is especially so for preschoolers. There is always a struggle between losing the friendship and clearing the air between two friends when someone feels wronged. However, it is a life skill that needs to be instilled in children. And it definitely takes courage!
- After an accident, Dusty had to accept help from his friends in order to repair his plane and finish the race- Sometimes, accepting help is just plain hard. I have a hard headed daughter with a strong independent streak. She doesn’t like acknowledging that she needs help oftentimes. This particular point in the movie provided us a great moment to discuss how awesome it was that Dusty accepted help when he needed it most.
- Dusty stood up to a ‘bully’ plane– ‘Nuff said!
- Dusty entered a race even though he was not the ‘usual’ type of plane who flew races– I want my daughter to have the courage to be strive to any goals that she may have, regardless of any preconceived notions concerning that goal. Dusty had the courage to break out of the box and out of the mold to try something new (a cropduster flying in a race!). This is the primary underlying theme of the movie, and it comes through loud and clear. My daughter and I talked about having the courage to ‘Be Yourself’ in a world of molds and boxes.
Be sure to begin the conversation with your child by defining courage. For my preschooler, I know that she understands what being brave means. I explained to her that courage is simply bravery in action. She wrote the word courage for me in the following picture while we talked about having courage and being brave.
It’s awesome to be able to find a children’ movie with this many Teachable Moments interlaced throughout the film. Available to Own it on Blu-ray Combo Pack & Digital HD on November 19 by purchasing it at Walmart, I think this movie would make an excellent present or stocking stuffer for any child in your life. The DVD also comes with awesome special features. Find Disney Planes activities to continue the movie fun on the Disney Planes Pinterest Page!