Ethos Education

Coco: Who will remember me?

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Assembly Objective:

  • Who will remember me? This assembly explores ideas about death and the afterlife and offers a biblical perspective for consideration.

Film:

  • Coco (Walt Disney Studios, 2017) certificate PG, click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible:

Supporting Values Education:

  • Mutual Respect and Tolerance: Coco depicts how the issues of death and bereavement are dealt with in Mexican culture. Pupils should be taught to have respect for and be tolerant of cultural traditions that differ from their own.

OPENING ACTIVITY

Kim’s Game: (Quiz)

  • You will need to use slides 3-4 of the Coco who will remember me? PowerPoint. After a viewing of one minute, pupils have to remember as many things as possible on the screen. Play two rounds.

FILM CLIP 1

  • From Coco (Walt Disney Studios, 2017) certificate PG
    • Start time: 00:21:34 (Miguel falls into an empty grave.)
    • End time: 00:26:39 (The jaw of the border guard drops onto his desk.)
    • Clip length: 5 minutes and 5 seconds.
  • If you cannot play this clip from the DVD, instead say, ‘It is the Dia de Muertos or The Day of the Dead, a Mexican festival in which families visit the graves of their dead relatives. To his great surprise, Miguel is able to see skeleton ghosts walking around the graveyard. At first he is very scared but then he meets his own relatives, whom he recognises from photographs in his house. His dead relatives take him and his dog across a bridge to the Land of the Dead. They wait in a queue to be allowed to re-enter. They see other skeleton ghosts leaving to visit their living relatives. Skeleton ghosts are only allowed to leave the afterlife if their living relatives remember them. Miguel sees one skeleton ghost, Hector, trying to persuade the guard to let him through the border but she refuses. He makes a run for it, but is unable to get across the bridge because, amongst the living, the memory of him is fading. The guard on the other side of the border is so surprised to see a living person that his jaw drops onto his desk. Miguel and his dead relatives enter the Land of the Dead’.

FILM CLIP 2

  • From Coco (Walt Disney Studios, 2017) certificate PG
    • Start time: 00:40:17 (Miguel and Hector walk down a set of steps.)
    • End time: 00:45:10 (Hector turns his glass upside down.)
    • Clip length: 4 minutes 53 seconds.
  • If you cannot play this clip from the DVD, instead say, ‘Miguel and Hector are now friends. Hector brings Miguel to meet Chicharron, a friend of Hector’s who was once a musician. Chicharron is fading away and he is unable to move from his hammock. Hector asks to borrow Chicharron’s guitar. Chicharron agrees to lend it to him but on the condition that Hector plays a song. He plays Chicharron’s favourite song before Chicharron disappears for good. Hector explains to Miguel that this is the ‘Final Death’, as there is nobody left in the Land of the Living who remembers Chicharron.’

TALK

Scripted Talk

Download the Coco who will remember me? PowerPoint for use with this talk.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Welcome, everyone. Our assembly this morning is based on the Academy Award-winning best animated feature film, Coco. Coco is set in Mexico and the story takes place on the Dia de Muertos. In English, this festival is called The Day of the Dead.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2 ]
    • On the Dia de Muertos, families visit graveyards to remember their dead relatives, bringing them gifts of food and drink. Memory is a major theme within the film Coco, so let’s test our memories by playing two rounds of Kim’s Game.
  • [PowerPoint slides 3 and 4]
    • Allow pupils one minute to look at the images and then try to recall as many items as possible. After you have played two rounds of the game, congratulate pupils on their effort.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • In the film Coco, the principal character is a boy called Miguel. After a row with his family at the start of the film, he ends up falling into an open grave on the Dia de Muertos and has a very strange experience.
    • Play film clip 1 from Coco (Walt Disney Studios, 2017) certificate PG
      • Start time: 00:21:34 (Miguel falls into an empty grave.)
      • End time: 00:26:39 (The jaw of the border guard drops onto his desk.)
      • Clip length: 5 minutes and 5 seconds.
    • If you cannot play this clip from the DVD, instead say, ‘It is the Dia de Muertos or The Day of the Dead, a Mexican festival in which families visit the graves of their dead relatives. To his great surprise, Miguel is able to see skeleton ghosts walking around the graveyard. At first he is very scared but then he meets his own relatives, whom he recognises from photographs in his house. His dead relatives take him and his dog across a bridge to the Land of the Dead. They wait in a queue to be allowed to re-enter. They see other skeleton ghosts leaving to visit their living relatives. Skeleton hosts are only allowed to leave the afterlife if their living relatives remember them. Miguel sees one skeleton ghost, Hector, trying to persuade the guard to let him through the border but she refuses. He makes a run for it but is unable to get across the bridge because, amongst the living, the memory of him is fading. The guard on the other side of the border is so surprised to see a living person that his jaw drops onto his desk. Miguel and his dead relatives enter the Land of the Dead.’
  • [PowerPoint slides 6 and 7]
    • Use the still images from the film to discuss the pupils’ own ideas about the afterlife. What, if anything, happens after death? Is the depiction of the afterlife in Coco different from/similar to their own ideas?
  • [PowerPoint slide 8)
    • In the clip that we have just seen, we met the character of Hector. Later on in the film, we find out that Hector is a very important character within the story but in the clip we have just seen, he introduces another major theme of the film – fear. In the Land of the Dead, everyone is afraid of being forgotten. If no one in the Land of the Living remembers them, the dead cannot visit their living relatives on the Dia de Muertos. That is why Hector was unable to cross the bridge. But there is another reason why people in the Land of the Dead are so frightened of being forgotten. We will discover what this is when we play our second clip from the film.
  • [PowerPoint slide 9)
    • This clip comes later in the film when Miguel and Hector visit Hector’s friend, Chicharron. They want to borrow his guitar so that Miguel can compete in a talent show. Before playing this clip, I would like to warn you that it is extremely sad. You may get a lump in your throat or tears might come to your eyes. But that is okay. It is perfectly alright to feel sad when you watch a sad scene in a film or when something sad happens in real life. In fact, it would be strange if you didn’t feel sad.
    • Play film clip 2 from Coco (Walt Disney Studios, 2018) certificate PG
      • Start time: 00:40:17 (Miguel and Hector walk down a set of steps.)
      • End time: 00:45:10 (Hector turns his glass upside down.)
      • Clip length: 4 minutes 53 seconds.
    • If you cannot play this clip from the DVD, instead say, ‘Miguel and Hector are now friends. Hector brings Miguel to meet Chicharron, a friend of Hector’s who was once a musician. Chicharron is fading away and he is unable to move from his hammock. Hector asks to borrow Chicharron’s guitar. Chicharron agrees to lend it to him but on the condition that Hector plays a song. He plays Chicharron’s favourite song before Chicharron disappears for good. Hector explains to Miguel that this is the ‘Final Death’, as there is nobody left in the Land of the Living who remembers Chicharron.’
    • Allow a period of silence in which the pupils can reflect upon the clip. After a while, discuss how it made them feel. Did the clip make them think about anyone or something that may have happened in their life? Do they share with the people in the film a fear of being forgotten?
  • [PowerPoint slide 10]
    • The Bible has a lot of passages that bring great comfort to people when they are worried about dying or being forgotten. This morning, I would like to share two of these passages with you, especially if you’ve been upset by any thoughts or feelings that the clips from Coco might have stirred up in you.
  • [PowerPoint slide 11]
    • The first passage comes from the book of Isaiah. In it, God compares Himself with the mother of a young child. (Share the quotation with the pupils and allow them some time to respond to it. Do they believe that their mother would ever forget them? (Please note that this could be a sensitive subject for children who are in care or are without a mum for other reasons).
  • [PowerPoint slide 12]
    • The second passage from the Bible is a bit longer and is from a letter written by a man called Paul to the first Christians in Rome. Many of these first Christians were being killed for their beliefs. Paul reminded them that nothing could separate them from God’s love. (Share the second passage with the pupils and allow them some time to respond to it. Do they find these passages comforting? Or do they find something else more comforting when they think about dying and the afterlife?)

Headings and bullets

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Welcome.
    • Introduce film.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Dia de Muertos: The Day of the Dead.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Kim’s Game round 1.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Kim’s Game round 2.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Miguel.
    • Play clip 1.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • The Land of the Dead 1.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • The Land of the Dead 2.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • Hector.
  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • Chicharron.
    • Play clip 2.
  • [PowerPoint slide 10]
    • The Bible.
  • [PowerPoint slide 11]
    • Isaiah 49:15.
  • [PowerPoint slide 12]
    • Romans 8:38-39.

Photo copyright for Coco who will remember me? PowerPoint: Slide 1 Walt Disney Studios / Slide 2 Walt Disney Studios / Slides 3, 4, 10 and 11 all images taken from Pixabay.com / Slide 5 Walt Disney Studios / Slide 6 Walt Disney Studios / Slide 7 Walt Disney Studios / Slide 8 Walt Disney Studios / Slide 9 Walt Disney Studios / Slide 12 iStockphoto.com


RESPOND

Reflection

  • What, if anything, do you believe happens after a person dies?
  • If you believe in an afterlife, how does it compare with the Land of the Dead in Coco?
  • What do you find comforting when you are worried or frightened?
  • What is your biggest fear?
  • Why do you think many people fear being forgotten?
  • Does your family keep alive the memory of anyone who has died?
  • What would you like to be remembered for?
  • What, if anything, did you find comforting about the passages from the Bible?

Prayer

  • Dear God, you know everything about us. You know our every thought, our every fear and our every hope for the future. When we are feeling upset or scared please help us to find comfort. Help us also to bring comfort to our family and friends when they need it. We thank you for the words in the Bible that remind us that nothing can separate us from your love. We thank you for the reminder that you will never ever forget us. In all that we do and say, may we never forget you. Amen.

 YOU WILL NEED:

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