Teaching Students About Jack Haley
Jack Haley, an American actor best known for his portrayal of the Tin Man in the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz,” has left a lasting impact on cinema history. His legacy offers great learning opportunities for students studying film and drama. This article will provide insights into Jack Haley’s career, and how teachers can incorporate his work into their curriculum.
Section 1: Jack Haley’s Early Life and Career
1.1 Early Life
Born on August 10, 1898 in Boston, Massachusetts, John Joseph Haley Jr. grew up in a family of performers. Teachers can use this opportunity to discuss how family backgrounds influence personal career choices.
1.2 Vaudeville and Broadway
Haley’s early career as a vaudevillian actor and singer provides a chance to explore the history of vaudeville and Broadway during the early 20th century.
Section 2: The Wizard of Oz
2.1 Tin Man Role
Discuss Jack Haley’s most memorable role as the Tin Man in “The Wizard of Oz.” Analyze his performance, its significance in film history, and the character’s impact on popular culture.
2.2 Behind-The-Scenes Stories
Highlight behind-the-scenes stories from the movie set, including challenges faced during filming and costuming – particularly Jack Haley’s experience with aluminum-based makeup.
Section 3: Post-“Oz” Career & Personal Life
3.1 Later Movies & Television Appearances
Haley appeared in several other films after “The Wizard of Oz,” such as “Higher And Higher” (1943) and “Sing Your Way Home” (1945). Discuss these films’ relative successes and their contribution to his acting portfolio.
3.2 Personal Life & Retirement
Discuss Jack Haley’s personal life and eventual retirement from acting, showcasing how actors balanced careers and families during his time.
Section 4: Classroom Activities
4.1 Movie Viewing and Analysis
Screen “The Wizard of Oz” and other Jack Haley films, encouraging students to analyze his acting techniques, character portrayals, and the historical context of the movies’ production.
4.2 Costume Design Challenge
Assign a project where students design Tin Man costumes, experimenting with materials and historical accuracy while learning about film costuming.
4.3 Jack Haley Biography Project
Have students research and write a biography on Jack Haley, emphasizing the importance of primary sources and exploring various aspects of his life.