CREATE U.S. HISTORY LESSON PLANS FROM MOVIES AND FILM

Table of Contents for U.S. History Learning Guides and Lesson Plans from Movies and Film

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

1940 – 1945: the Second World War

All My Sons

U.S./1941 – 1991; Drama/U.S. [13+]

Apollo 13

(U.S./1945 – 1991; Space Exploration; U.S./1941 – 1991; Drama/U.S. [8+]

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman

U.S./1865 – 1991 & Diversity [10+]

Casablanca

U.S./1941 – 1945; World/WWII, France & Morocco [12+]

The Chosen

Literature/U.S. & Literary Devices: Theme, Symbol, Irony; Religions/Judaism; U.S.: 1941 – 1945 & New York [10+]

Eleanor Roosevelt

Biography; U.S./1865 – 1991; Politics [10+]

Fat Man and Little Boy

U.S./1941 – 1945 & New Mexico; Science-Technology [13+]

Flags of Our Fathers

(U.S./1940-1945; World/WWII; SEL: Courage in War Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness; Citizenship) [15+]

Grave of the Fireflies

(U.S./1941 – 1991; World/WW-II and Japan; Cinema; SEL: Human Rights; Surviving; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring) [13+]

Hidden Figures

(U.S. 1940 – 1991, Diversity, and Virginia; Mathematics; Science-Technology;; Cinema; SEL: Courage; Human Rights; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect) [13+]

Hiroshima Maiden

U.S./1941 – 1991; World/WW-II and Japan [9 – 13]

It’s a Wonderful Life

U.S./1913 – 1945 [10+]

Judgment at Nuremberg

U.S./1941 – 1945, The Law; World/WWII [10+]

The Longest Day

U.S./1941 – 1945; World/WWII [10+]

Mass Casualties Lesson Plan

(Focusing on the Decision to End WWII with Surprise Atomic Attacks on Japanese Cities) U.S./ 1941 – 1945; World/WWII and Japan [12+]

Memphis Belle

Aviation; U.S./1941 – 1945 [12+]

A Midnight Clear

U.S./1941-1945 [13+]

Midway

U.S./1941 – 1945; World/WWII; Seafaring [10+]

My Family

(U.S. 1929 – 1991; Hispanic & California; World/Mexico; SEL: Families in Crisis; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring) [13+]

Partners of the Heart

Medicine; U.S./1917 – 1991, Diversity, Tennessee & Maryland [10+]

Patton

Biography; U.S./1941 – 1945 [12+]

The Right Stuff

Aviation & Space Exploration; U.S./1941 – 1945 [12+]

Saving Private Ryan

Snippet Lesson Plan: Omaha Beach Landing

(U.S./1941 – 1945; World/WWII; SEL: Courage in War; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness; Citizenship) [16+]

Something the Lord Made

Medicine; U.S./1917 – 1991, Diversity, Tennessee & Maryland [10+]

South Pacific

Drama/Musicals; U.S./1941 – 1945 & Diversity [10+]

Tora! Tora! Tora!

U.S./1941 – 1945; World/Japan & WWII; Seafaring [10+] (Portions in Japanese with English subtitles)

Truman

Biography; U.S./1941 – 1991 [12+]

Tuskegee Airmen

Aviation; U.S./1941 – 1945, Diversity & Alabama [10+]

Twelve O’Clock High

Aviation; U.S./1941-1945 [10+]

Warm Springs

U.S./1913 – 1929 & Georgia; Biography [12+]

1945 – 1991: the Cold War — including the Korean War and Vietnamese War

12 Angry Men

U.S./1945 – 1991 & The Law (due process; jury selection) [11+]

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

(Health, ELA, United States (1949 to 1991; 1991 to Present; and the Press); SEL: Father/Son; Male Role Model; Parenting;  Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring) [14+]

All My Sons

U.S./1941 – 1991; Drama/U.S. [13+]

All the President’s Men

U.S./1945 – 1991 & Politics [12+]

Angels in the Outfield

Sports/Baseball; U.S./1945 – 1991 & California [9 – 12]

Apollo 13

U.S./1945 – 1991; Space Exploration [8+]

Argo

(U.S./1945 – 1991 & Iran – The Iran Hostage Crisis; SEL: Courage; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring, Citizenship) [14+]

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman

U.S./1865 – 1991 & Diversity [10+]

Baseball: Inning 1-9

The National Pastime: 1940 – 1950 U.S./1941 – 1945; Sports; U.S. History & Culture [10+]

Breaking Away

Sports/Bicycle Racing; U.S./1945 – 1991 & Indiana; [12+]

Brian’s Song

Sports/Football; U.S./1945 – 1991 & Diversity [10+]

Bridge to Terabithia

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

The Buddy Holly Story

Music/Popular; U.S./1945 – 1991[12+]

Cast Away

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

Cesar Chavez: Respect for All

(U.S. 1945 – current, Diversity; Hispanic-Americans & California; SEL: Leadership; GBLTQ; Caring for Animals; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect) [10+; 22 minutes]

Conrack

U.S./1945 – 1991, Diversity & South Carolina [10+]

The Crucible

U.S./1629 – 1750, 1945-1991 & Massachusetts; Drama/U.S. [12+]

Desert Bloom

U.S./1945 – 1991 & Nevada [13+]

Dr. Strangelove

U.S./1945 – 1991 [10+]

Edge of America

Sports/Basketball; U.S./1945-1991; Diversity/Native American & African American and New Mexico [12+]

Edward Scissorhands

(U.S./1945 – 1991; ELA) [13+; Literary devices analyzed: expository phase, setting, character; development, theme.]

Einstein: Light to the Power of 2

Biography; Science-Technology; U.S./1945 – 1991 & Diversity [8 – 13]

El Norte

U.S./1945 to present, Diversity & California; World/Guatemala [14+]

Eleanor Roosevelt

Biography; U.S./1865 – 1991; Politics [10+]

Eye in the Sky

(U.S. 1991 – Current; War on Terror (Drone Warfare); SEL: Courage in War; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness) [14+]

Fail-Safe

U.S./1945 – 1991; World/Cold War [14+]

Field of Dreams

Sports/Baseball; U.S./1945 – 1991 & Iowa [10+]

Force More Powerful

Short Subject: World/India, Poland, Denmark, Chile, South Africa; 1800s – the Present; U.S./1945 – the Present; Civil Rights Movement, Tennessee

[12+; Six sections, each between 20 and 30 minutes in length]

Force More Powerful

Snippet Lesson Plan: Civil Rights Movement – The Nashville Sit-ins, 1960

(U.S./1945 – 1991 & Diversity) [12+; snippet: 25 minutes; lesson: two class periods]

Free State of Jones

Rethinking the Southern Home Front in the Civil War

(U.S. 1860 – 1991, The African/American Experience and the Civil Rights Movement, and Mississippi; SEL: Rebellion; Ethical Emphasis: Citizenship) [14+]

A Gentleman’s Agreement

U.S./1945 – 1991 & Diversity [12+]

Ghosts of Mississippi

U.S./1945 – Present, Diversity, the Law & Mississippi [12+]

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

U.S./ 1945 – 1991 & Diversity [10+]

The Help

(US 1945-1991, Diversity & Mississippi; SEL: Self-Esteem, Friendship, Courage; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect) [13+]

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]

Hiroshima Maiden

U.S./1941 – 1991; World/WW-II and Japan [9 – 13]

Hidden Figures

(U.S. 1940 – 1991, Diversity, and Virginia; Mathematics; Science-Technology;; Cinema; SEL: Courage; Human Rights; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect) [13+]

Hoosiers

Sports/Basketball; U.S. 1945 – 1991 & Indiana [11+]

Inherit the Wind

Cinema; U.S./1913 – 1929, 1945 – 1991 & Tennessee [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+]

The Jackie Robinson Story

Biography; Sports/Baseball; U.S./1945 – 1991 & Diversity [8+]

The Joy Luck Club

U.S./1945 – 1991, Diversity; California; World/China [14+]

Just Mercy

(Drama/England; World/Ancient Rome; SEL: Ambition; Rebellion; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect) [12+]

The Long Walk Home

(U.S./1945 – 1991, Diversity & Alabama [12+]

Lord of the Flies

(ELA; U.S./1945 -1991) [13+; Literary devices analyzed: symbol, character development, theme, irony.]

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+]

McFarland, USA

(Sports; U.S. 1945 – Current, Hispanic, & California; SEL: Education; Breaking Out; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility) [12+]

The Most Dangerous Man in America

Part of a unit on National Security Whistleblowers

(U.S. 1945 – Current, the Press; & the Law; Civics; SEL: Courage; Moral-Ethical Responsibility; Citizenship) [13+]

Mr. Holland’s Opus

Music/Classical; U.S./1945 – 1991 [10+]

The Music Within

(U.S. 1945 – 1991; Health (disabilities; effects of early-life trauma); SEL: Disabilities; Work/Career; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect; Citizenship) [14+]

My Family

(U.S. 1929 – 1991; Hispanic & California; World/Mexico; SEL: Families in Crisis; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring) [13+]

Native Son

U.S./1945 – 1991, Diversity & Illinois; Literature/U.S. [15+]

Never Cry Wolf

Science-Technology, The Environment; U.S./1945 – 1991; Alaska [10+]

El Norte

U.S./1945 to present, Diversity & California; World/Guatemala [14+]

October Sky

Aviation & Space Exploration; U.S./1945 – 1991 & West Virginia; Science-Technology [10+]

On The Waterfront

U.S./1945 – 1991 & New York; Cinema [12+]

The Outsiders

Literature/U.S.; U.S./1945 – 1991 [11+; Literary devices analyzed: expository phase; flashback; symbol; foreshadowing; Bildungsroman; irony; protagonist/antagonist confusion and theme]

Partners of the Heart

Medicine; U.S./1917 – 1991, Diversity, Tennessee & Maryland [10+]

Quiz Show

U.S./1945 – 1991 & New York [11+]

A Raisin in the Sun

U.S./1945 – 1991, Diversity & Illinois; Drama/U.S [12+]

The Right Stuff

U.S./1945 – 1991; Aviation; Space Exploration [12+]

The Russians are Coming the Russians are Coming

U.S./1945 – 1991 & Massachusetts [8 – 12]

Sayonara

U.S./1945 – 1991 & Diversity; World/Japan [12+]

Selma

(U.S.: 1945-1991; Civil Rights Movement; Civics; SEL: Leadership; Courage; Human Rights; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Fairness, Citizenship) [12+]

Seven Days in May

U.S./1945 – 1991 [12+]

Shiloh

(U.S./1945 – 1991 & West Virginia) [10+]

Silenced

Part of a unit on National Security Whistleblowers

(U.S. 1945 – Current, the Press; & the Law; Civics; SEL: Courage; Moral-Ethical Responsibility; Citizenship) [13+]

Something the Lord Made

Medicine; U.S./1917 – 1991, Diversity, Tennessee & Maryland [10+]

Spotlight

(U.S. 1945 – Current, the Press & Massachusetts; Religions; SEL: Child Abuse; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility) [13+; 128 minutes]

Stand and Deliver

U.S./1941 – 1996, Diversity & California; Mathematics; ELA [12+; Literary devices analyzed: character, symbols, subplot, foils and irony]

Thirteen Days

U.S./1945 – 1991; World/Russia & The Cold War [12+]

Tootsie

U.S./1945 – 1991 & New York; Drama/U.S. [13+]

Truman

Biography; U.S./1941 – 1991 [12+]

Tucker: The Man and His Dream

U.S./1945-1991; Science-Technology [10+]

The Turning Point

Dance; U.S./1945 – 1991 [14+]

War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and the National Security State

part of a Unit on National Security Whistleblowers

(U.S. 1945 – Current, the Press & the Law; Civics; SEL: Courage; Moral-Ethical Responsibility; Citizenship) [13+]

West Side Story

Drama/Musicals; U.S./1945 – 1991, Diversity & New York; Dance/Performance [12+]

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Health (Parenting); Biography (Fred Rogers); U.S. History 1945 to 1991. 1991 to present; SEL: Parenting; Male Role Model; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring; AGE; 16+

TeachWithMovies.org Learning Guides are ideal lesson plan makers for teachers of U.S. history. Each Learning Guide contains sections on Helpful Background, Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Discussion Questions, and Assignments. They are designed to allow you to quickly create great U.S. history lesson plans.

The film clips and short subjects used in Snippet Lesson Plans are less than 40 minutes in length and are ideal for classroom use.

Movies make the events they portray come alive. TeachWithMovies.org helps teachers and parents make U.S. history vivid and personal for children.

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from 1991 to the present day, click here.