Create Lesson Plans for English Language Arts and
Literature Classes Based on Movies and Film


Most Learning Guides, including those that are not listed in this section, contain suggested writing assignments and discussion questions through which students can practice many of the skills required by the 2010 Common Core State Standards, College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing, pp. 41 - 47, and for Speaking and Listening, pp. 48 - 50. The Guides listed in this section refer to movie adaptations of the literature of specific countries. This index also lists Guides and lesson plans that will help teachers introduce specific literary devices (Section D) or the Hero's Journey (Section E). Finally, Section F, lists Guides intended to assist in getting students to read nonfiction texts. Teaching Students to Read Nonfiction: How Movies Can Help.

Full Length Movies — Short Subjects — Movie Clips — Film Clips — Video Clips — Snippets



Suggested ages are in brackets at the end of each entry. Topcs relating to Social Emotional Learning appear after the term "SEL." Moral-Ethical Emphasis is a reference to Character Counts' Six Pillars of Character.

The terms "snippet," "film clip," "movie clip," and "video clip" refer to a movie segment which is less than 40 minutes in length. "Short subjects" are complete movies which are also 40 minutes or less.



A.   Lesson Plans from Movies Based on the Literature of England
For English Language Arts and Literature Classes (Including the traditional curriculum, Media Literacy, and Multimodal Literacy)
    For Shakespeare and other dramatists, see Drama (Stage) Subject Index.

    Animal Farm (Literature/England & Literary Devices; World/Russia; SEL: Rebellion; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness) [6+; Literary genre: Allegory]

    Emma (Literature/England; World/England; SEL: Romantic Relationships; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect; Caring) [12+]

    Great Expectations (Literature/England; World/England; SEL: Romantic Relationships; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness) [10+]

    The Old Curiosity Shop (Literature/England; SEL: Gambling Addiction; Parenting; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility) [11+]

    Oliver! (Drama/Musicals; Literature/England; World/England; SEL: Spousal Abuse; Crime; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring) [8+]

    Oliver Twist (Literature/England; World/England; SEL: Spousal Abuse; Crime; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring) [10+]

     

    A Passage To India (World/India & England; Literature/England; SEL: Friendship; Romantic Relationships; Justice; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness; Respect) [12+]

    Persuasion (Literature/England; World/England; SEL: Romantic Relationships; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility) [12+]

    Pride and Prejudice (Literature/England; World/England; SEL: Romantic Relationships; Sisters; Humility; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect) [12+; Literary devices analyzed: theme; foils, contrasting characters; character development; subplot; irony; and use of letters read by a character.]

    Sense and Sensibility (Literature/England; World/England; SEL: Romantic Relationships; Sisters; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility; Caring) [12+]

    Tale of Two Cities (Literature/England; World/France & England; Char. Dev: Alcohol and Drug Abuse; Rebellion; Addiction; Romantic Relationships; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring) [12+]




B.   Lesson Plans from Movies Based on the Literature of the United States
For traditional curriculum in English Language Arts and Literature Classes but also stressing Media Literacy, and Multimodal Literacy
    For Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams and other dramatists, see Drama (Stage) Subject Index.

    127 Hours (English Language Arts; SEL: Surviving; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility) [14+]

    The Adventures of Huck Finn (U.S./1812 - 1860, Diversity & Missouri; Literature/U.S.; SEL: Breaking Out; Running Away; Friendship; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility) [6+]

    All The King's Men (U.S./1913 - 1941, Politics & Louisiana; Literature/U.S.; SEL Ambition; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility; Fairness) [13+]

    Beautiful Dreamers (Biography/Whitman; Literature/U.S.; World/Canada; Medicine; SEL: Male Role Model; Mental Illness; Breaking Out; Friendship; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect) [12+; useful for getting students to read and appreciate the poetry of Walt Whitman]

    Bridge to Terabithia (Literature/U.S.; U.S./1945 - 1991 & Virginia; SEL: Friendship; Grieving; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring) [10-13]

    The Chosen (Literature/U.S. & Literary Devices: Theme, Symbol, Irony; Religions/Judaism; U.S.: 1941 - 1945 & New York; SEL Parenting; Father/Son; Friendship; Breaking Out; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect; Caring) [10+]

    The Color Purple (Literature/U.S. & Literary Devices: motif, theme, symbol, characterization; U.S./1865 - 1913, 1913 - 1929; & Diversity/African-American; SEL: Breaking Out; Self-esteem; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect) [15+]

    Cross Creek (U.S./1865 - 1913 & Florida; Literature/U.S.; SEL: Female Role Model; Parenting; Friendship; Suicide; Running Away; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility) [14+; the events that inspired The Yearling]

    For Whom the Bell Tolls (Literature/U.S.; World/Between World Wars & Spain; SEL: Courage in War; Romantic Relationships; Rebellion; Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness; Citizenship) [12+]

    The Grapes of Wrath (U.S./1929 - 1941; Oklahoma & California; Literature/U.S.; SEL: Families in Crisis; Female Role Model; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Fairness) [12+]

    The Great Gatsby (U.S. 1913 - 1929 & New York; Literature; Literary Devices: symbol, imagery, motif, flashback, characterization; SEL: Romantic Relationships; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility) [13+]

    Little Women (U.S./1860 - 1865 & Massachusetts; Literature/U.S.; SEL: Female Role Model; Families in Crisis; Parenting; Sisters; Coming of Age; Talent; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility; Caring) [6+]

     

    Midnight in Paris (Literature/U.S.; Visual Arts; Music; World/France; SEL: Romantic Relationships; Breaking Out; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring) [14+]

    Moby Dick (Literature/U.S.; Seafaring; U.S./1812 - 1860 & Massachusetts; SEL: Revenge, Humility; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility) [10+]

    Native Son (U.S./1945 - 1991, Diversity & Illinois; Literature/U.S.; Literature/U.S.; SEL: Justice; Friendship; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect; Responsibility; Fairness) [15+]

    Of Mice And Men (Literature - U.S.; SEL: Friendship; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring) [13+]

    The Old Man and the Sea (Literataure/U.S.; SEL: Friendship; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness; Caring) [12+]

    The Outsiders (Literature/U.S. & Literary Devices; U.S./1945 - 1991; SEL: Brothers; Coming of Age; Courage; Fighting; Friendship; Peer Pressure; Redemption; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Caring) [11+; Literary devices analyzed: expository phase; flashback; symbol; foreshadowing; Bildungsroman; irony; protagonist/antagionist confusion and theme.]

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Literature/U.S.; SEL: Child Abuse; Courage; GBLTQ; Friendship; Romantic Relationships; Mental Illness;Suicide; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring) [14+]

    The Red Badge of Courage (U.S./1860 - 1865; Literature/U.S.; SEL: Redemption, Coming of Age; Courage in War; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility) [10+]

    The Scarlet Letter (U.S./1629 - 1750 & Massachusetts; Religions/Christianity; Literature/U.S.; SEL: Redemption; Romantic Relationships; Revenge; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness; Responsibility) [12+]

    To Kill A Mockingbird (U.S./1929 - 1941, the Law & Diversity; Literature/U.S. & Literary Devices; SEL: Justice; Male Role Model; Courage; Mental Illness; Parenting; Disabilities; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness; Respect; Responsibilility; Fairness; Caring; Citizenship) [11+; Literary devices analyzed: symbol; flashback; irony; humor.]

    Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives (U.S./1812 - 1865; 1865 - 1913; and African Americans & the Civil Rights Movement; Literature/U.S. (Narrative Writing); SEL: Human Rights; Courage; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect; Fairness) [10+]

    The Yearling (U.S./1865 - 1913 & Florida; Literature/U.S.; SEL: Male Role Model; Coming of Age; Running Away; Father/Son; Mother/Son; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility; Caring) [8 - 12 ]



    C.    Other Countries -- Lesson Plans from Movies Based on the Literature of Other Countries
    English Language Arts, Literature Classes, Media Literacy, and Multimodal Literacy

    All Quiet on the Western Front (Courage in War; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness; Respect; Citizenship; Caring; Subjects: World/Germany & WW I) [12+]

    Gulliver's Travels (Literature/Ireland; World/Enlightenment; SEL: Peace/Peacemakers; Courage in War; Humility) [7+]

    Les Misérables (Literature/France; World/France; SEL: Redemption; Suicide; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Fairness, Caring) [8+]

    The Life of Emile Zola (Biography; World/France; Literature/France; SEL: Justice; Talent; Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness; Fairness) [10+]

     

    The Odyssey (World/Ancient Greece; Mythology; Literature & Literary Devices; Seafaring; SEL: Humility; Surviving; Marriage; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness; Responsibility) [14+ for the movie; 11+ for the book. Literary devices analyzed: simile, metaphor, flashback; symbol.]

    Ponyo (Literature/World; World/Japan; SEL: Breaking Out; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility; Caring) [5+]

    The Swiss Family Robinson (Literature/England; World/Indonesia; Science-Technology; SEL: Families in Crisis; Brothers; Surviving; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: General) [6 - 12]

    War and Peace (World/Russia; Literature/Russia) [10+]



    D.    Movies Analyzed for Their Use of Literary Devices and Lesson Plans Relating to English Language Arts.
    For traditional curriculum in English Language Arts and Literature Classes stressing Media Literacy, and Multimodal Literacy

    Behind the Sun (World/Brazil & Albania; ELA; SEL: Revenge; Breaking Out; Brothers; Romantic Relationships; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring; Responsibility) [12+; Literary devices analyzed: symbols, subplot, flashback, foreshadowing and irony.]

    The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (World/WW II & Germany; ELA; SEL: Human Rights; Friendship; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect; Responsibility; Caring) [13+; Literary Devices Analyzed: irony]

    Casablanca (Romantic Relationships; Redemption; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility; Caring; Citizenship; Subjects: U.S./1941-1945; World/WW II; France & Morocco; ELA: Extended Metaphor; Allegory; Hero's Journey) [12+]

    Cast Away (U.S./1945 - 1991 and Tennessee; ELA: expository phase; motif; symbol; theme development; dramatic irony) [13+]

    Cast Away -- Set-Up-the-Sub to keep your English Language Arts classes learning while you are absent (ELA: expository phase; motif; symbol; theme development; dramatic irony) [13+]

    The Chosen (Literature/U.S. & Literary Devices: Theme, Symbol, Irony; Religions/Judaism; U.S.: 1941 - 1945 & New York; SEL Parenting; Father/Son; Friendship; Breaking Out; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect; Caring) [10+]

    The Color Purple (Literature/U.S. & Literary Devices: motif, theme, symbol, characterization; U.S./1865 - 1913, 1913 - 1929; & Diversity/African-American; SEL: Breaking Out; Self-esteem; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect) [15+]

    Dear Frankie (ELA (Characterization,Theme & Complication); SEL Disabilities, Mother/Son; Subjects: Health, Literature) [12+]

    Edward Scissorhands (U.S./1945 - 1991; ELA SEL: Friendship; Disabilities; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect; Caring) [13+; Literary devices analyzed: expository phase, setting, character; development, theme.]

    Fly Away Home (Health (Grieving); ELA: theme, characterization, back story, allusion, complication; Science(Biology); the Environment; World/Canada; SEL: Grieving; Parenting; Father/Daughter; Caring for Animals; Teamwork; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility; Caring) [10+]

    The Great Gatsby (U.S. 1913 - 1929 & New York; Literature; Literary Devices: symbol, imagery, motif, flashback, characterization; SEL: Romantic Relationships; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility) [13+]

    Groundhog Day (Literature; SEL: Friendship; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring) [12+]

    High Noon for American History and Civics Classes (U.S./The Frontier & the West, 1865 - 1913 and 1945 - 1991 (the Red Scare); Cinema; SEL: Marriage; Leadership; Courage; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility; Citizenship) [11+]

    High Noon for ELA Classes (Literature/Myths of the Western genre; Literary devices: symbol; motif; foil; and expository phase; SEL: Marriage; Leadership; Courage; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility; Citizenship) [11+]

    High Noon Snippet Lesson Plan on the Expository Phase ELA: Expository Phase [12+; snippet: 15 minutes, 20 seconds; lesson: one to two class periods]

    In Her Shoes -- Snippet Lesson Plan on the Analysis and Explication of Poetry [14+; snippet: 10 minutes; lesson: two class periods plus time to write a concluding essay]

    Into the Wild (Literature: NonFiction; Literature: Literary Devices: theme; allusion; U.S.: 1945 - 1991; SEL: Taking Care of Yourself; Families in; Crisis Friendship; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility) [14+]

    The Ladykillers — Introducing the Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe Using The Raven (from "The Simpsons") and To Helen (from "The Ladykillers") [14+; snippets: 8 minutes; lesson: from one to three 45 - 55 minute classes, depending on the assignments given]

    Les Choristes (Music; World/France; Literature/Poetry Analysis; Literary Devices: theme;SEL: Self-esteem; Talent; Education; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring) [10+; in French with English subtitles]

     

    Lord of the Flies (ELA; U.S./1945 -1991; SEL: Peer Pressure; Surviving; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility; Caring) [13+; Literary devices analyzed: symbol, character development, theme, irony.]

    Man on Fire -- Snippet Lesson Plan to The Child Savior Myth and Literary Archetypes - An Introduction [14+; snippet: 22 minutes; lesson: one class period]

    Mao's Last Dancer (Literature: NonFiction; Literary Devices: allegory/parable; Biography; World/China; U.S.: 1945 - Present; Dance; SEL: Breaking Out; Human Rights; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility) [12+]

    Deriving Theme Using the Fishing Scene from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest [12+; snippet: 14 minutes; lesson: one 45 - 55 minute class period]

    Pink Floyd: The Wall — Snippet Lesson Plan on Determining Theme [10+; snippet: 15 minutes, Lesson: three 45 - 55 minute class periods]

    Roxanne (Drama; ELA: irony; characterization; SEL: Romantic Relationships; Self-esteem; Moral-Ethical Emphasis Respect) [12+]

    The Searchers (U.S./1865 - 1913; ELA SEL: Revenge; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility; Caring) [13+; Literary devices analyzed: expository phase, character development, theme.]

    The Sandlot (Sports/Baseball; ELA Discussion and Writing Exercises for middle and junior high school; SEL: Friendship; Leadership; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring) [10 - 14]

    The Simpsons - The Raven section of the Second Season, Treehouse of Horrow Episode — Introducing the Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe Using "The Simpsons" and "The Ladykillers" [14+; snippets: 8 minutes; lesson: from one to three 45 - 55 minute classes, depending on the assignments given]

    Stand and Deliver (U.S./1941 - 1996, Diversity & California; Mathematics; ELA; SEL: Male Role Model; Self-esteem; Education; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness; Responsibility; Citizenship) [12+; Literary devices analyzed: character, symbols, subplot, foils and irony.]

    Swan Lake (Dance/Performance; ELA; SEL: Romantic Relations; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring) [10+; Literary devices analyzed: metaphor; symbol]

    Foreshadowing and Characterization Using A Clip from Thelma and Louise [14+; snippet: 40 minutes; lesson: One and one-half to two 45 - 50 minute class periods]

    Comparing Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" with the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" [14+; snippet: 8 minutes; lesson: one 45 - 55 minute class period]

    War of the Buttons - Using Characterization in Literary Analysis (ELA: characterization; World/Ireland; SEL: Fighting; Friendship; Leadership; Parenting; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness; Caring) [10+]

    Water (World/India; Religions/Hinduism; ELA; SEL: Human Rights; Suicide; Breaking Out; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect; Caring; Fairness) [12+; Literary devices analyzed: character, symbols, subplot, foils and irony.]

    Whale Rider (World/New Zealand; ELA, including characterization, symbol and foil; SEL: Breaking Out; Female Role Model; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect) [12+]


    Writing Narratives: Teaching Students to Write a Narrative; English Language Arts -- secondary school level.




    E.   Lesson Plans for Teaching the Stages and Archetypes of the Hero's Journey

    Big — Internal Growth Using a Romantic Comedy With a Child Hero [12+]

    Casablanca (Romantic Relationships; Redemption; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility; Caring; Citizenship; Subjects: U.S./1941-1945; World/WW II; France & Morocco; ELA: Extended Metaphor; Allegory; Hero's Journey) [12+]

    Departures — Internal Growth Using a Foreign Film [14+]

     

    Fly Away Home — Two Journeys, One of Internal Growth and One of Environmental Achievement, With a Young Heroine[12+]

    "The Wizard of Oz" — Internal Growth Using a Children's Classic [12]

    Article: The Hero's Journey and It's Archetypes — Introducing the Monomyth

    Worksheet: The Hero's Journey Worksheet — Explaining the Monomyth


    F.   Lesson Plans from Movies Based on NonFiction

    Mao's Last Dancer (Literature: Nonfiction; Literary Devices: allegory/parable; Biography; World/China; U.S.: 1945 - Present; Dance; SEL: Breaking Out; Human Rights; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility) [12+]

     

    Into the Wild (Literature: Nonfiction; Literary Devices: theme; allusion; U.S.: 1945 - 1991; SEL: Taking Care of Yourself; Families in; Crisis Friendship; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility) [14+]

    See Teaching Students to Read Nonfiction: How Movies Can Help.




    G.   Lesson Plans from Movies Based on Social Satire

    Dr. Strangelove (U.S./1945 - 1991; SEL: Leadership; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness) [10+]

    Gulliver's Travels (World/Enlightenment; Literature/Ireland; SEL: Peace/Peacemakers; Courage in War; Humility) [7+]

     

    The Invention of Lying (ELA: Social Satire; SEL: Romantic Relationships; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness) [13+]






TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guides are designed to assist teachers in creating lesson plans. Each Learning Guide contains sections on Helpful Background, Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Discussion Questions, and Assignments.

Snippet Lesson Plans are made from short subjects or from "film clips," "movie clips," or "video clips." The video segments of these lesson plans are ideal for classroom use because they are less than 40 minutes long.

Movies and films make the events they portray come alive. TeachWithMovies.com helps teachers create lesson plans for English Language Arts and literature classes.


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