Animaniacs- A Gift of Gold: Meaningful Pop Culture Lessons

by KellyAnn Bonnell, MA

It’s the week before Christmas and lets face it. You’re not doing much but counting the days until the Winter Break begins. You and the kids are both burned out. They are excited and easily distracted regardless of the grade. So this year I thought we’d give you some instructional support.

Our artifact is the a six minute clip from the Animaniacs called ” A Gift of Gold”.

Themes: Denifinitions of Beauty, Definitions of Wealth, What is important, It’s the little things, recycling.

Historical Context: From Popeye to the Roadrunner to Waco, Yacko, and Dot, animated shorts (cartoons) have been used as a vehicle for social commentary for generations. Cartoons continue to be a safe way to address social ills in a modern era.

Contemporary Context: Mass consumerism, planned obsolescence, and the many aspects of the throw away society are commented on in this short. This also explores wealth vs. poverty and the value of relationships in those two settings.

Science Activity: Reduce, reuse and recycle – Gold metallic wrapping paper is not recyclable and burning it can cause chemicals to be released into the air.

Social Studies/English Activity: Compare and contract the image of family at the beginning of the short and at the end.

Art Activity: Create a moving animation with a flip book

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