Teaching Students About Linda Hunt
As educators, it is our responsibility to not only teach subjects like math, science, and literature, but also to pass on knowledge about lesser-known figures who have made a considerable impact on society. One such individual is Linda Hunt, an Academy Award-winning actress with an incredible story of resilience and determination.
In this article, we will outline how educators can introduce students to the life of Linda Hunt and design a lesson plan that engages curiosity while imparting valuable lessons.
– To educate students on the life and career of Linda Hunt
– To inspire resilience and determination in the face of adversity
Linda Hunt is an American actress best known for her role as Henrietta ‘Hetty’ Lange in the television show “NCIS: Los Angeles.” Born with a condition called hypopituitarism, which affects growth hormones leading to a smaller stature, she stands at only 4’9″. Despite this challenge, Hunt has excelled in her career as an actor and has become a trailblazer in Hollywood due to her unique appearance and powerful performances.
In 1984, she became the first individual to win an Academy Award for portraying a member of the opposite sex, thanks to her role as Billy Kwan in Peter Weir’s film “The Year of Living Dangerously.” Linda’s groundbreaking performance raised awareness about transgender representation in the media and would go on to influence future generations.
Introducing Linda Hunt to Students:
1. Begin by providing a brief biography of Linda’s life. Share information about her birthplace (Morristown, New Jersey), the effects of hypopituitarism on her life, and how she turned adversity into a driving force for success.
2. Show clips or images from some of Linda’s iconic roles such as: Billy Kwan from “The Year of Living Dangerously,” Stella from “Silverado,” and Henrietta ‘Hetty’ Lange from “NCIS: Los Angeles.” Discuss the wide range of characters she has played, emphasizing how her unique appearance has allowed her to portray diverse roles in movies and television.
3. Watch Linda Hunt’s Academy Award acceptance speech as a class and discuss her humble gratitude for the opportunities provided to her. Encourage students to share their thoughts on overcoming adversity and how one can turn obstacles into motivation.
Activities for Students:
1. Create a timeline of Linda Hunt’s career highlights, such as her theater work with the prestigious Long Wharf Theatre, her film debut in “Popeye,” and her Emmy-nominated performance in “The Practice.”
2. Divide students into small groups and assign them various roles from Linda’s career. Have them research those roles, study the characters, and prepare a short presentation on the impact of the role—whether on Linda’s life or public perception of transgender actors/actresses or people with disabilities.
3. As a class or individually, have students write an essay exploring struggles they face in their own lives, how they perceive these challenges might affect their future goals, and how they can learn from Linda’s determination to transform adversity into strength.