As I was watching it, however, the teacher in me kept thinking about how the film could be used in the classroom. Of course, it's not going to be out on DVD for a while, but that will give teachers more time to make great lesson plans.
The movie does have a PG-13 rating, so the first thing to consider is if the children in your class are ready for the love story and the violence. There is a lot of violence. Parental permission forms might be considered.
The following are a few of the ideas that could be turned into lessons:
1. Study the environmental issues on Pandora. Compare and contrast them to those on Earth.
2. Study the attack on the World Trade Center's twin towers in 2001. Is there any comparison to the attack on the Hometree.
3. Compare and contrast the military's "shock and awe" campaign in Iraq to that in "Avatar."
4. Compare "Avatar" and "Planet of the Apes." Are the military and the scientists always on opposite sides of an issue. Do they oppose each other in our society?
5. Compare and contrast the plight of the Na'vi to that of the American Indian.
6. Compare the religion of the Na'vi to that of the American Indian and other native populations.
7. Study the science behind linking mentally with another creature. Is there any kind of research currently being done in this field and what have they found?
8. Study how the actual computer-generated images are made for a movie like "Avatar."
9. Study the symbiotic relationships between life-forms and their environments.
10. The movie has extremely strong women characters. What qualities do these women have?
11. We often try to teach children to "do the right thing." How is that message conveyed in this movie?
12. This is an excellent movie for studying main themes and symbolism.
I'm sure there are many more quality lesson plans that could come from a study of this movie. These are just a few that came to mind over the past 24 hours.
If nothing else, just sit back and enjoy the beauty of the film.