For Educators: Study/Discussion Guides

1. What was each sister's "journey to independence"? How successful were they in that journey?
2. What were the particular character traits of each woman, and how did they affect—both positively and adversely—their journey to independence, as well as with their relationship with one another?
3. What obstacles did they face as women in their journey? Were any of these problems specific to a particular place or a particular time?
4. How did the sisters’ relationship with one another help and/or hinder each other in their journey?
5. How did the relationship with their parents affect them in their journey? How did their relationship with their mother differ than that of their father? Did the sisters themselves differ in their individual relationships with their parents? If so, how?

1. What challenges did these women face that were specific to where they lived? What were these women’s view of these specific challenges?
2. What was each of the sisters’ view of where they were born? Did they differ from each other in their views?
3. How did the childhood of some of the sisters differ based on where they grew up—on the farm or in the city?
4. What strengths that these women had do you feel were a product of the Appalachian region?
5. What sort of cultural discrimination, if any, did these women face? When, where and how? What do you feel might be the source of this discrimination?

1. Name at least three significant historical events that occurred during these women’s journey to adulthood.
2. Choose one event from above and describe how it affected one of the women in the movie—how her life was changed.
3. What were the economics of when they grew up and how did it affect each of these women’s outlooks?
4. Was there a difference between the sisters in how they each grew up based on WHEN they grew up? If so, describe what those differences were and how it affected them. What cultural or historical events might have caused these differences?
5. In your opinion, what were the influences of WHEN they grew up and what were the influences of WHERE they grew up?

1. How did the sisters’ relationships differ with Carol? In your opinion, what were the positive and negative influences in Carol’s relationship to her sisters?
2. In what ways did the sisters’ relate differently with Glenna? What was Glenna’s influence on them? Was Glenna heroic? If so how?
3.Which sister did you most identify with? Why?
4. Choose one sister and identify one obstacle that was specific to her. How did she overcome that obstacle? In what way did she approach that problem as an individual, in what way was the problem approached as a family and in what way did their community and/or culture affect her approach to the obstacle?
5. What sort of discrimination, if any, did these women face? When, where and how? What do you feel might have been the source of this discrimination? Have you ever faced such discrimination? How did you handle it?

1.What are the roots of "old-time" music? What various forms of music did "old-time" go on to influence?
2. In what ways were the music traditions in the film passed on and how does that differ from the way musical traditions are passed on today? In what ways are they the same?
3.What are the differences between "old-time" and Bluegrass music?
4.What instruments distinguish this form of music from others?
5. In what ways did the particular songs relate to the context of the scene in the film in which it was used? What were the "theme" songs of each sister? What were the theme songs of each mood or message of the film? Why do you think they were used?

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