Resources for AP Composition Unit on Relationships
July 7, 2014 4:33 PM   Subscribe

What have you read or watched that has changed the way you think about relationships, particularly what makes a good relationship? Bonus points for shorter texts and YouTube videos, but all texts should be approachable for high school juniors taking AP English for the first time. More specifics behind the cut.

We also would like sources that present very different views. I'm thinking particularly about things like What Shamu Taught Me About A Happy Marriage and Brene Brown's TED Talk on vulnerability. Very different takes, but both interesting and enough to pull ideas for students to write about what makes for a good relationship.

These are going to be used for a summer reading assignment, which will lead to an in-class essay on the first day. While we don't like giving homework, that is an expectation for the course and we're trying to make it meaningful and helpful in assessing their ability to read, comprehend, synthesise, analyse and write about clearly.

One more note: we are trying to come up with as many free/web-available texts as we can to keep costs for students low.

Any help you can give would be great. Thanks all.
posted by guster4lovers to Human Relations (7 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Especially given the "Bonus points for shorter texts" requirement here, I'm going to admit to a fondness for the little squibs at The Philosophers' Mail.
posted by kmennie at 4:44 PM on July 7, 2014

The thing that popped into my head is Bend It Like Beckham (which does look like it's available spuriously on YouTube, but is probably also owned by your public library), though I think of it as being more about family relationships than romantic relationships.
posted by hoyland at 4:53 PM on July 7, 2014

I regularly reference the 5 Love Languages Series.
posted by Hermione Granger at 5:05 PM on July 7, 2014

This 10 minute video from John Gottman packs a lot of great information about communication and conflict in relationships. I use it every semester with college freshman.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 5:08 PM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

You guys reminded me of something else I read on Metafilter a while ago. The Arranged Marriage that Ended Happily Ever After...30 Years Later and an article from the Philosopher's Mail (thanks for that kmennie!) called How We End Up Marrying the Wrong Person are exactly what we were looking for, in case more examples are helpful.

Thanks for that video too, Pater Aletheias. That's awesome.

Great suggestions so far.
posted by guster4lovers at 6:29 PM on July 7, 2014

Dating tips for the feminist man is the most recent thing to make me really think about relationships. The intro may not be great for a classroom, because it is addressed to self-identifying lefty feminist men, which likely describes at most a portion of your students. But I think you could adapt it into something for a wider audience.
posted by the big lizard at 7:18 PM on July 7, 2014

What comes to mind:

1. I really liked the first 10 minutes or so of Up that told a whole story of a relationship between Carl and Ellie. Meeting, dating, marriage, middle age, old age. Big picture.

2. This is very interesting. More Gottman research stuff.

3. A short film about the complicated unravelling of a relationship - We're having sex. I think what makes it interesting is it shows some of the ordinary real world moments of being in a longer relationship. There is a scene with the girl in bra and panties and some simulated clothed sex. Unsure if that would disqualify it, but it's kinda hard to talk relationships without talking sex.

4. Sliding vs Deciding
posted by griselda at 8:12 AM on July 8, 2014

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