Welcome to the Bowling For Columbine TEACHER’S GUIDE.
The lessons and activities in this GUIDE are designed to help students develop critical thinking skills, historical analysis, and open their minds on many universal issues. —Bowling for Columbine: Teachers’ Guide (Bowling for Columbine)
1) Moore is a very talented filmmaker.
2) I am personally in favor of all kinds of gun-control legislation.
3) Using a teacher’s guide authored by (or at least marketed by) Michael Moore in order to study the film made by Michael Moore in which Michael Moore advocates the social positions held by Michael Moore will teach the students not to think for themselves, but to think like Michael Moore.
4) To teach critical thinking, open students’ minds to the wider debate — walk them through some of Spinsanity‘s objections to Moore, or better yet, analyze some of Moore’s own comments. Show the videotape of the Hollywood crowd booing Moore during the Oscar presentation, and then show him afterwards claiming that the booing was actually some of his friends kidding him. Analyze with them the tautology of Moore’s recent defense, “Every fact in the film is true. Absolutely every fact in the film is true.”
5) Oh, wait — no need to ask your students to confront that material head on, because Michael Moore has already told everyone “How to Deal with the Lying Liars when they Lie about ‘Bowling for Columbine‘.”
6) Decide whether you want to use the controversy surrounding the movie “Bowling for Columbine” in order to teach critical thinking, or you want to teach the movie “Bowling for Columbine” to appreciate and/or deconstruct Moore’s mastery of the art of persuasive filmmaking, and to discuss the origin and purpose of the documentary film, and the artifice of the “Reality TV” genre.
Or remind them that as long as Coulter, O’Reilley, Moore, and a host of others on both the right and left keep making money off of a host of books that rely upon anecdotal evidence, ad hominem attacks and all sorts of other things that you try to prevent them from putting in their assignments, our students are going to need to be informed about rhetoric so that they can make their own critical judgements about what they watch or read.