17 January 2008

The Mantis Parable

I randomly found this short animated film on YouTube while looking for inspiration for the online class I'm writing for ACU. The Mantis Parable is Josh Staub's first film. (You can visit his website and order it here.) I enjoyed it and thought that you might too!

I'm trying to introduce my students to the theological perspectives of the four gospels. That is, the four gospels differ from one another (sometimes in small ways, sometimes significant) because of the theological message that the writer is trying to communicate to the reader. To get them thinking about different perspectives, I thought I'd have them each watch this film and write an interpretation of its meaning. Much like the four evangelists, my students are reflecting and describing the same story, but chances are they will perceive different nuances in that story depending on their own perspectives, contexts, and life experiences. I imagine that in a group of 3 or 4 students, their interpretations will differ significantly even though it's just a short, animated film. Is it any surprise, then, that the gospels differ sometimes slightly, sometimes significantly as they are interpreting a story of much greater length, importance, and ambiguity?

I'm still experimenting with teaching - maybe I'll learn that this isn't the best concrete experience for my subject matter. Still, it's an assignment that I'm excited about. Any feedback?


Mike and Amy said...

Awesome!! This will be a very powerful way to illustrate your point. Way to think outside the box! And I must say, I don't think I have ever seen anything cuter than that little caterpillar munching on that leaf. Adorable. I wish I was a caterpillar.

Amber Joy said...

This is a wonderful film, and you're a wonderful teacher! I love that idea!

Jared Cramer said...

wow, what an amazing film. thank you so much for sharing it kelli.