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.

  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.

12 Years a Slave

(U.S./1812 – 1865; Literature/U.S. (Slave Narrative); Biography; SEL: Human Rights; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect) [15+]

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

(Literature/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/antagonist 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+]

Multi-Media Supplement for Jonathan Edwards’ “SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD”

Using “Sinner Man” in Song and in Dance to Enliven the Study of the Sermon, Enhance its Meaning, Demonstrate the Metaphorical Nature of Artistic Expression, and Foster Appreciation for the Arts (U.S. 1629 – 1750; ELA — American Literature, Metaphor; Music; Dance) [15+; 3 minutes, played several times]

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; Responsibility; 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 & WWI) [12+]

The Book Thief

(World/Germany, WW-II, ELA (theme, personification, symbol, & irony); SEL: Families in Crisis; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility, Caring) [13+; 121 minutes]

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 Book Thief

(World/Germany, WW-II, ELA (theme, personification, symbol, & irony); SEL: Families in Crisis; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility, Caring) [13+; character-driven stories, plot, irony, and deriving theme; 121 minutes]

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

(World/WWII & 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/WWII; 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

(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, backstory, 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

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

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

Expository Phase ELA: Expository Phase [12+; snippet: 15 minutes, 20 seconds; lesson: one to two class periods]

In Her Shoes

Snippet Lesson Plan: 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 Simpsons: 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: 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+]

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Deriving Theme — Using the Fishing Scene

[12+; snippet: 14 minutes; lesson: one 45 – 55 minute class period]

Pink Floyd: The Wall

Snippet Lesson Plan: 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

Snippet Lesson Plan: The Raven section – Introducing the Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe

[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]

Thelma and Louise

Foreshadowing and Characterization 

[14+; snippet: 40 minutes; lesson: One and one-half to two 45 – 50 minute class periods]

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/WWII; 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]

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+]

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+]