Pocahontas (1995)
Concept featured in clip: Conservation
Location of clip: DVD: 0:39:14 - 0:42:41

Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: Pocahontas is singing to Captain Smith about how to appreciate the Earth and all that lives on it. She tells him to take a look and try to understand how everything in the world is connected. The song is Colors of the Wind.
Connection of flickclip to the concept: This clip could be a great way to begin a unit about conservation or human interaction with the environment. Pocahontas gives examples of many wonderful things found on the Earth, including much of nature that we take for granted. One of these examples is when she asks, “How high does the sycamore grow, if you cut it down you will never know?” Students will begin to think about what impact humans have had on the environment and how they affect the natural world.
Suggestions to teachers:
1. Suggested questions for students when viewing the clip:

a. What does Pocahontas point out to John Smith about the importance of the natural world?

b. What are some ways that Pocahontas and her tribe interacted with the environment? What effects did this interaction have on the environment?

c. How does John Smith treat the environment? What impact would he have on this setting?

d. What are some ways that you individually affect the natural world? What are some ways our society affects the world as a whole?

2. This could be a great way to start the year in a biology or Earth science class. Students would look at the Earth in a way they may not have noticed before. Pocahontas teaches Captain Smith to appreciate the world he lives in and to take care of the natural Earth. She demonstrates that just because he is a seemingly important person, he may not know what is best for all peoples of the world. He should reconsider cutting down all the trees for building his town when it disrupts the native inhabitants and the environment. Students could begin to see that environmental factors have many points of view stemming from differing worldviews and beliefs.

3. For a possible assignment, you could show the clip and have students pick a particular example from the song, such as the line about the sycamores, and have them do further research about various environmental issues, such as biodiversity, pollution, acid rain, global warming, and overpopulation. They could look up details about the issue and prepare a news magazine, skit, or A-B-C book highlighting key facets of that issue.

4. You could also use this as an assessment. You could show the clip after studying environmental issues and have students write about the impact of humans on the environment.