Big Hero 6 fever has hit my house.
If you haven’t seen Big Hero 6, it’s the story of a boy, Hiro, who is a bit of a child genius. At 14, he’s already graduated high school, and he is inventing robots. His older brother is a “nerd” at a private college, where they specialize in all the coolest technology and gadgets. Sadly, his brother is killed in an accident at the same time that Hiro’s micro-robots are stolen, leaving him feeling lost, with nothing more than his brother’s latest invention, Baymax (a personal health care companion robot) for company.
Baymax spends the movie trying to help Hiro feel better as he searches for answers, deals with his feelings of loss, and wrestles with his desire for revenge. Hiro converts Baymax into a fighting robot, but that doesn’t change his caring heart.
There are so many wonderful lessons and examples of strong character in this movie! As homeschoolers, I am always looking for teachable moments in our day, so I knew I had to include some character education lessons based on the movie in our schoolwork this week to celebrate the release of the film.
There are also some fun Big Hero 6 books you can use as part of your homeschool if you like. Any time I can get the kids reading, I call it a win, and The Essential Guide and the Ultimate Sticker Book were awesome additions to our detour from our typical school work this week.
After the movie, the kids settled in with their new books, and we began discussing the movie. I really wanted the kids to focus on the character of Baymax, and the traits he had that made him special.
Baymax is a bit of a detour from a typical superhero as normally shown in movies like this. First and foremost, Baymax is a “huggable health care companion.” His main purpose is to take care of Hiro and make sure that he is okay, and even when he is being trained to fight, fly and confront the bad guys, he still keeps Hiro’s emotional needs in mind.
We made a list of the traits that made Baymax special, and then we set out to find examples of these traits in the movie. We discussed the meaning of words like compassionate, adaptable, and thoughtful (all of the traits that make Baymax special).
We also talked about how we can be more like Baymax and be a hero in our own home. The kids came up with some wonderful ideas. Bug suggested that he can think up ways to be helpful around the house and do his chores without being asked (because after all, a hero is reliable). Mr. Man decided he can be more like a hero by looking out for his little brother and making sure that Peanut is always safe and cared for. Little Miss said she can learn to fly, which I am really hoping she won’t do because that is how she broke her arm last week. Oh well, I can’t win them all!
Then, the kids wrote their own hero stories, keeping strong character traits in mind. While the big kids worked on their stories, Little Miss worked on some coloring pages and told me all about how Baymax is a special kind of hero.
After we finished our lesson on character, the kids settled in to watch the second bonus DVD from the combo pack. It’s got a neat feature on the real science behind the concepts shared in the movie. I had no idea that the tech used to create Baymax really exists (vinyl covered robots, who knew!?!) or that the college in the movie is based on MIT and their labs.
The kids are now insisting they are going to be robot inventors at MIT… and I am all for encouraging that plan!
Free Big Hero 6 “What Makes a Hero?” Printable Pack
This Big Hero 6 Printable pack has a couple of elements to help you incorporate the movie into your lessons this week. All the activities we did above are shared here in the pack for you to use at home. Watch the movie with the kids, and then dive in!
1. Baymax Coloring Pages
This pack has two coloring pages, one of Baymax in his huggable form, and one of him in his armor, ready to go!
2. What Makes a Hero?
Use this page to brainstorm with your students. Your student can write the character traits that make Baymax special on the lines as you come up with ideas.
3. Heroes Have Character
Use these two pages to discuss the specific examples shown. Have your child think about the examples, and then come up with their own definitions for the vocabulary words.
4. My Hero Story
Use these pages for a creative writing activity. Have your child come up with their own hero concept, and share their story. Encourage them to keep in mind strong character traits as they brainstorm.
5. Hero Vocabulary Word Search