The Six Dollar Fifty Man

The Six Dollar Fifty Man from NZ Shorts on Vimeo.

This is a moving and inspiring story about bravery, friendship and maybe even daydreaming, so students will find a lot to relate to and, hopefully, discuss.

Here are some “quick & dirty” ideas (pick!) about contextualizing the short film in the classroom…

Opening a field of awareness: a) Brainstorm and cluster “my first REAL friend”. – b) Present a doll or puppet similar to the one in the film, and have class tell the story of this “an eight year-old’s favourite toy”. – c) Have students TPS and decide on the question “Who would you be willing to jump from a rooftop for, and why? – d) Present 10-12 stills from the film, have groups/class order them and tell/anticipate the story…

Watch the film. You may pause every now and then and let students guess what may happen next. I wouldn’t spoil the overall experience and rhythm/coherence of the film, though.

Analysis: a) Establish the order of events in a flow chart. – b) Tell the story from the boy’s/girl’s/principal’s/bullies’ perspectives (in no more than 12 sentences each). – c) Is the boy a romantic, a loony or a hero? Find reasons for each, and explain what the boy is for you. – d) Explain the title “Six Dollar Fifty Man” and if/how it influences your understanding of the story and its characters. – e) Try to communicate the main message(s) of the film in one sentence (each).

Extension: a) Alternative ending: Jumping from the Hall roof, the boy is seriously wounded. Tell the rest of the story following this cue. – b) Turn the film into a photo story (freeze frame 15-20 essential scenes in groups of four). – c) A relationship built on sand or solid rock: Do you think this could be the beginning of a long-term friendship? Explain your reasons in detail!