Is it really worth fighting at school?

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The focus of this teaching unit is the two-part film series "Mordskerle - Two boys fight their way back to life". The documentary accompanies Stefan and Philipp, who both lost several limbs in accidents, on their search for a new normal. The confrontation with the hard blows of fate of the adolescents stimulates the students to think about what is really important in life. The teaching unit thus opens up a new approach to self-reflection and new perspectives for one's own search for happiness and meaning in life. The film also raises awareness of how to deal with crises.

The methods mainly come from scenic interpretation. They help students express feelings and thoughts that cannot be easily verbalized. They force the pupils to change their perspective and thus facilitate access to the rather abstract subject of happiness in life and the search for meaning.

Issues addressed:

  • Happiness and meaning in life
  • Dealing with crises and strokes of fate


The movies:

  • Bumboys - Two boys fight their way back to life
    Two-part film series at Planet Schule (2 x 30 min.)
    Series: Murderous guys

Entry with Zettellawine

It all starts with the students' opinions. You should spontaneously answer the question "What do you need to be happy?" The answers are initially taken up without comment in the form of an avalanche of paper. You can find more detailed information on this in the didactic tips on AB1 "Zettellawine". The beginning influences the expectations and the perspective from which the students view the film. Only then does the class see Part I of the film. The fate of the two boys is hard, so after watching the film there should be room for spontaneous comments and an open discussion in which everything that is important to the students is discussed.

This link opens a new browser window (here the offer remains in the same browser window): Avalanche of sheets

The various stations that the boys, their families and friends go through in the course of the time after the accident are worked through in role-playing games. Both mothers say at the beginning of the film that they are very happy that their sons are still alive. For the boys, however, it must have been a shock when they found they were missing limbs. In a role play, the students put themselves in the situation of Stefan and his mother. There are two roles per person: the person himself and a thought speaker. In a conversation, mother and son will certainly initially treat each other carefully and not say everything that goes through their heads and what they feel. The role of expressing these unspoken feelings is played by the thought speakers.

This link opens a new browser window (here the offer remains in the same browser window): Stroke of fate

Both Stefan and Philipp were just starting their training when the accident occurred. Both had clear goals for their lives. Now everything is different: The first step with prostheses, the first trip to the toilet alone - these are the goals you are working towards. In two mock telephone conversations, the students let themselves into this changed perspective on life. It makes sense to show the students the appropriate film excerpt again before this role play so that they can more easily put themselves in the position of Stefan and Philipp. All information can be found on worksheet 3.

This link opens a new browser window (here the offer remains in the same browser window): First bright spots

Philipp is not only hit by the loss of his limbs. His girlfriend died in the accident. She was 15 years old. When he was allowed to go home from the hospital for the first time in months, he was happy to see his friends and familiar surroundings again. But he is also confronted hard at the scene of the accident with the loss suffered. A voice sculpture makes these very different feelings clear. Here the students express the conflicting thoughts that Philip might well have. A student embodies Philipp, the speakers stand behind him. The exact process is explained in AB4 "Emotional Chaos". Each student speaks a phrase. The students stand behind Philipp one after the other and say their sentence. The teacher takes over the direction and instructs the students where they should stand in the room behind Philipp and when they should speak their sentence - sometimes softly, then louder. Everyone speaks his own sentence, after all a chorus is formed from different sentences that penetrate Philip. It is impressive to hear and feel the pressure he is under. Afterwards the Philipp actor reports how he felt about the situation. In advance, two matching sequences from the first part of the film should be shown again.

This link opens a new browser window (here the offer remains in the same browser window): Emotional chaos

After seeing the second part of the film series together, there is a thematically guided reflection phase. This takes up a sequence from the film directly, but at the same time ties in with the experiences of the students. In the film, Philipp is shown taking refuge in the virtual worlds of PC games, where he is unharmed and can do whatever he wants. The students enter into an email dialogue with Philip's father. He initially expressed a lack of understanding about the games because Philipp had already missed his physiotherapy several times. Students write an answer with Philip's explanation of why the games are so important to Philip. Then you slip into the role of the father. The students can decide whether or not they are convinced by the arguments. You can also choose a variant in which the worksheets move on and another student takes over the task.

This link opens a new browser window (here the offer remains in the same browser window): Virtual happiness

In a final reflection, the students deal with both films as a whole. You work out factors that have a positive, but also negative, influence on the lives of the two young people. To do this, edit the arrow diagram on worksheet 6.
In the subsequent class discussion, you transfer this analysis to your personal situation: Which factors are decisive for my own life?

This link opens a new browser window (here the offer remains in the same browser window): Mood factors

This is followed by a reference back to the avalanche from the beginning of the lesson. The pupils now have the opportunity to express their answers to the question "What do I need to be happy?" to modify and exchange notes and replace them with new ones. Depending on the situation in the class, they can explain the change in the class discussion. But they don't have to.

More on the subject at Planet Schule

If the students are sensitized to the questions of meaning and happiness through the case studies of the two boys, one can deal with what philosophers have to say about happiness and meaning. Planet Schule searches with Richard David Precht and Aristotle for philosophical answers to the question of happiness.

What do philosophers say about happiness?