To help middle school students identify the different emotions they feel when at home alone, to identify the situations causing those emotions, and to discuss various ways of handling these situations.
Preview and locate excerpts from the movie “Home Alone”:
- When Kevin first discovers his family is gone.
- When he is in the basement and the furnace begins to roar.
- When he is watching a frightening movie and eating junk food.
- When he goes to the store alone.
- When he looks through his brother’s stuff and breaks the shelf in his brother’s room.
Look over the list of discussion questions and choose those most appropriate for your group-or write your own.
Locate the following materials: VCR, movie “Home Alone,” and “Pictionary” cards and timer. Prepare role play cards.
Play charades or “charce.” “Charce” is charades played using “Pictionary” cards. Players on each team take turns acting out as many cards as possible before the timer runs out. All players act out the same category (i.e., yellow, brown, all play, etc.) for the entire round. The first player on team 1 acts out the yellow category on the first card. When the team guesses it, player 2 on the same team takes a card and acts out the yellow category. Team 1’s turn continues until the timer runs out, then team 2 takes a turn, also doing the yellow category. Teams earn points their correct guesses. After each team has a turn, begin round 2 using the next category on the card. All other charade rules apply.
Show selected excerpts from “Home Alone.” Have students watch for the different emotions Kevin feels in the different situations and what he does about his feelings. Most students have probably seen the entire movie. If not, you may want to show the entire movie at another time, or at the end of the session if time allows.
- What different emotions was Kevin feeling when he was home alone?
- Did he do anything about how he was feeling? If so, what did he do?
- Have you ever been home alone? When is being home alone a really big thing?
- How would you describe your feelings when you are home alone?
- What is the best part about being home alone?
- What is the worst part about being home alone?
- Have you ever had to solve some sort of problem when you were home alone? What was it? How did you solve it? How did you feel when it was solved?
- What do you do when you are bored?
- What do you do when you are scared?
- What situation have you handled that you feel proud of?
- What situation would you handle differently if you had it to do over?
- What worries you about staying home alone?
- What can you do about that worry?
- What advice would you give to a third grader who had to stay home alone after school each day?
(Optional) Role Plays
- You are home alone. It is dark and you hear a strange sound outside. What do you do?
- You are at home with your second grade brother. He slips on a skateboard and seems to be hurt pretty badly. What do you do?
- You are home alone and the phone rings. It is a voice you have not heard asking to talk to your dad. What do you say?
- You are home alone and the furnace repair worker comes to the door. Your mom did not tell you to expect anyone. What do you say?
- You are home alone, you have finished your homework, done your chores and you are sick of Nintendo. What do you do?
- You are home alone, your friend calls up and wants to come over. What do you do?
- It is normal to feel afraid, anxious, worried, happy, or insecure when you are home alone.
- Talking over worrisome situations with your parents and thinking through possible solutions will help you be more prepared to face them.
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