title Rationale Lesson 1
menu ConclusionLesson 7 Lesson 6 Lesson 5 Lesson 4 Lesson 3 Lesson 2 Lesson 1


  • IL.2.B.2b Identify and explain themes that have been explored in literature from different societies and eras.

  • IL.4.B.2b Use speaking skills and procedures to participate in group discussions.

  • IL.5.B.2a Determine the accuracy, currency and reliability of materials from various sources.


  • Distinguish between what (especially in film) is realistic and what is not.


  • Bonanza – [02x01] - “Showdown” (47 minutes)


  • Riesner, D. (Writer), Allen, L. (Director). (1960). Showdown [television series episode]. In Bonanza. National Broadcasting Company.

A. Purpose: Students will be able to distinguish between what (especially in film) is realistic and what is not.

B. Activity: Class will begin with the viewing of a classic Western television episode (not necessarily Bonanza's “Showdown”, but this is a good example). Encourage students to look at how realistic background scenery is (in Bonanza, backgrounds are used when riding horses, etcetera), but also to look at costumes, scenery, and how characters are portrayed. When the viewing is complete, take fifteen minutes or longer to discuss what on film was fact, and what was fiction. In addition, discuss what attributes made the show a Western.

C. Assessment: Students can be informally evaluated based on conversation within the discussion.

Progression: Watch a more modern Western (i.e. The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.) and compare/contrast the interpretations of Western life.