FILMS LISTED BY APPROPRIATE AGE:
Topics relating to Social and Emotional Learning appear after the term “SEL”.
“Moral-Ethical Emphasis” is a reference to Character Counts’ Six Pillars of Character.
FILMS SUITABLE FOR USE IN COLLEGE-LEVEL CLASSES &
MOVIES ENTERTAINING AND EDUCATIONAL FOR ADULTS
Each film recommended to be shown in its entirety is a work of art that stimulates thinking while it entertains. Included in this list are some absolutely fabulous movies for which we have not created curriculum materials but which we recommend for college-level students and for any adult.
Snippet Lesson Plan: Inertial Forces (Newton’s First Law of Motion, the Centrifugal Force & Artificial Gravity) Using Clips from 2001: A Space Odyssey
[12+; snippets: three clips of approximately 9 minutes]
(1968) MPAA Rating: G; Director: Stanley Kubrick. This movie is ranked #22 on the American Film Institute’s List of the 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time (2006) and it is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” film. We found the movie to be too slow moving for K-12 and no Learning Guide has been prepared.
(U.S./1812 – 1865; Biography; SEL: Families in Crisis; Marriage; Grieving; Leadership; Father/Daughter; Mother/Son; Romantic Relationships; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect, Responsibility, Fairness) [10+]
Ancient Alexandria, Hypatia, and the Decline of Greco-Roman Civilization — using the Film Agora
(World/Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome; Religions (Christianity & Judaism); SEL: Female Role Model; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect) [14+]
Historical Evolution of Views About the Solar System and the Retrograde Motion of Mars using Film Clips from Agora and Internet Animations
(Science & Technology/Astronomy) [12+: Middle and High School Levels; Snippet: 8 minutes]
All That Jazz
(1979) MPAA Rating: R; Director: Bob Fosse. This film is ranked #14 on the American Film Institute’s List of the 25 Greatest Movie Musicals (2006). This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” film. The dancing and choreography are excellent. No curriculum materials have been created for this film.
(U.S./1991 – present and New York; SEL: Breaking Out; Coming of Age; Alcohol & Drug Abuse; Courage; Crime; Education; Families in Crisis; Surviving; Talent; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility; Caring) [12+]
The Battle of Algiers
(1966) No MPAA rating. Director: Gillo Pontecorvo. This is the story of the brutal suppression by the French Empire of a violent insurrection by the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN). The Battle of Algiers lasted from 1954 to 1957. A few years later the country rose up in a general revolt that led to the end of French colonial rule in 1962. The film has important historical lessons and some teachers have found it valuable for college-level history classes. For interesting discussions of the film see, e.g., FILM; Lessons of the Pentagon’s Favorite Training Film by Stuart Klawans, New York Times, January 4, 2004, and Terrorism on Screen: Lessons from The Battle of Algiers Ron Briley, Perspectives on History, October 2010. The film is in French with English subtitles.
The tragedy is that the violence of the Battle of Algiers was unnecessary. Few would have died had the FLN followed the example of the struggle of the Indian people against the British Empire. The Indians, led by Mahatma Gandhi, gained their independence through nonviolent direct action in a movement that achieved success in 1947. Had the FLN mounted a similar campaign, the democratic people of France would have responded and forced the French government to allow the Aglerians to govern themselves. Not only would many deaths have been avoided but the moral fiber of Algerian politics would have been uplifted. See discussion in Learning Guide to A Force More Powerful.
(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]
(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]
(Dance; World/England; SEL: Breaking Out, Families in Crisis, Father/Son, Courage, Grieving, Friendship, Parenting, Grandparents; GBLTQ, Education; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring, Responsibility, Respect; Trustworthiness) [12+]
Boy Meets Girl
(1966) No MPAA rating. Director: Eric Schaeffer. This is a heartwarming love story about a transgender young woman (born as a boy) who grew up in a small town in the South. It is filled with excellent messages of acceptance and love as well as reasons why this young girl and all others in similar situations should not commit suicide. Warning: the film contains several explicit references to heterosexual practices that may be objectionable to some. There is also a little nudity. TWM recommends this film for people trying to sort out their feelings about gay and transgender people.
(1998) MPAA Rating: R for sex, drug use, and profanity; Director: Warren Beatty. This hilarious farce tells the story of a U.S. Senator, suffering from depression, who puts out a contract on his own life so that his family can collect on his life insurance. (It was given to him as a bribe by the insurance industry.) Freed from the necessity of raising money for re-election, he starts to tell the truth about many things, including the role of money in politics, why the problems of the black community are not addressed by public officials, violence in the media, etc. Suddenly, he begins having fun and his depression lifts. No curriculum materials have been created for this film.
(U.S./1941 – 1945; World/WWII, France & Morocco; ELA: Extended Metaphor; Allegory; Hero’s Journey; SEL: Romantic Relationships; Redemption; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility; Caring; Citizenship) [12+]
(Music; World/France; Literature/Poetry Analysis; Literary Devices: themeSEL: Self-esteem; Talent; Education; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring) [10+; in French with English subtitles]
(Literature/U.S. & Literary Devices: Theme, Symbol, Irony; Religions/Judaism; U.S.: 1939 – 1945 & New York; SEL Parenting; Father/Son; Friendship; Breaking Out; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect; Caring) [10+]
(2001) MPAA Rating: R for a scene of sexuality; Director: Francis Veber. This is a very funny movie. It is in French with English subtitles. It details the adventures of a milk toast accountant who becomes someone to take notice of only when he claims to be homosexual to prevent his company from firing him. This movie has excellent messages about acceptance of gays and is a warm and loving film.
Snippet Lesson Plan: Interstellar and Intergalactic Distances
(Science & Technology; Astronomy) [10+: middle and high school levels; Film Clip: approximately 12 minutes or a shorter clip of approximately five minutes will also work; Lesson: one 50 minute class period.]
Snippet Lesson Plan: Exponents, Scientific Notation, and Numeral Systems
(Math and Science & Technology) [12+: middle and high school levels; Film Clip: 9 minutes; Lesson: not applicable – clips and supplemental materials designed to supplement teachers’ existing lesson plans.]
(U.S./1865 – 1913 & Florida; Literature/U.S.; SEL: Female Role Model; Parenting; Friendship; Suicide; Running Away; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility) [the events that inspired The Yearling]
(U.S./1629 – 1750, 1945-1991 & Massachusetts; Drama/U.S.; SEL: Justice; Marriage; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness; Fairness) (Two versions, one in French with English Subtitles) [12+]
(1998) MPAA Rating: R for some scenes of strong sensuality, and for nudity and language; Director: Marshall Herskovitz. This is the mostly true story of Veronica Franco, a remarkable courtesan of Renaissance Venice who wrote beautiful poetry, advised her clients on affairs of state, etc. The story is powerful and reveals much about the oppression of women in past centuries. Note that the overt support given to Veronica Franco by her various lovers in the Inquisition scene is fictional as was the threat of death. The Inquisition in Italy did not usually kill its victims but would subject them to various punishments including imprisonment, whipping, public humiliation, and house arrest. While Veronica Franco’s admirers most probably supported her during her trial by the Inquisition, they acted behind the scenes and without risk to themselves. This film is based upon the Ph.D. thesis of Professor Margaret Rosenthal of the University of Southern California. See her book The Honest Courtesan. Professor Rosenthal tells us that when she shows this film to her college classes, she fast forwards through the scenes depicting sexual activity so as not to distract her students.
Snippet Lesson Plan: Oxidation-Reduction Reactions (Redox)
(Science/Chemistry; [12+; middle school and high school; snippet: 3 minutes from Daylight and two YouTube sequences; lesson: One 45 to 55 minute class period.]
Dead Man Walking
(1995) MPAA Rating: R for a depiction of a rape and murder; Director: Tim Robbins. What happens when you get very close to a death row inmate who committed a terrible and vicious crime and you still have empathy for his victims? This movie tells the tale and brings up important issues about capital punishment.
Dead Poets Society
(1989) MPAA Rating: PG; Director: Peter Weir. This is a film about private school students and a sympathetic teacher who encourages them to seize the day. One of the children ends up committing suicide because he cannot handle the pressures put on him by his parents. The film is beautifully made and many people love it.
Snippet Lesson Plan for Total Solar Eclipse
(Science & Technology/Astronomy) [10+: Middle and High School Levels; Snippet: 1 minute, 35 seconds; lesson: adds 15 minutes to a lesson on total solar eclipse]
Snippet Lesson Plan: Music as a Human and Cultural Right using Clips from Dr. Sarmast’s Music School
(Music and Social Studies (World/Afghanistan; Human Rights of Artists; Women’s Rights) [12+; 100 minutes]
(World/South Africa; SEL: Courage; Justice; Human Rights; Grieving; Father/Son; Marriage; Families in Crisis; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness, Responsibility; Citizenship) [14+]
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1984) MPAA Rating: PG; Director: Steven Spielberg. This film is ranked #25 on the American Film Institute’s List of the 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time (2006). It is also listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” film.
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
Not rated; 2010 Directors: Joe Cross, Kurt Engfehr This is a movie that advocates juice fasts as the way to health. TWM doesn’t endorse juice fasts and much of the film is merely interesting. However, the movie contains one of the most uplifting true stories of a life redeemed that has ever graced a screen. We won’t spoil it, just watch the movie. For a film advocating a physician-designed scientifically based change in diet, see Forks Over Knives.
(World/India, Poland, Denmark, Chile, South Africa; 1800s – the Present; U.S./1945 – the Present; Civil Rights Movement, Tennessee; SEL: Rebellion; Peace/Peacemakers; Moral-Ethical: — Citizenship) [12+; Six sections, each between 20 and 30 minutes in length]
(Biography; World/India & South Africa; U.S./Diversity; SEL: Rebellion; Peace/Peacemakers; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness; Respect; Responsibility; Fairness; Caring; Citizenship) [10+]
(Medicine (Psychiatry); U.S./1991 – present & Massachusetts; SEL: Child Abuse; Marriage; Romantic Relationships; Fighting; Friendship; Male Role Model; Talent; Breaking Out; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring) [14+]
(The Environment; Science-Technology; World/Africa; SEL: Caring for Animals; Courage; Human Rights; Romantic Relationships; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness; Respect; Citizenship) [13+]
(1967) MPAA Rating: PG; Director: Mike Nichols. This is a great film about coming of age. The protagonist is college age. This film is ranked #7 on the American Film Institute’s List of the 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time (2006). It is ranked #9 on the American Film Institute’s List of the 100 Funniest American Movies of All Time (2006). This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” film.
(1978) MPAA Rating: PG; Director: Randal Kleiser. This film is ranked #20 on the American Film Institute’s List of the 25 Greatest Movie Musicals (2006). This film contains great dancing and good music. Note that the film contains gross profanity and three boys are shown mooning.
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+]
(Literature/Myths of the Western genre; Literary devices: symbol; motif; foil; and expository phase; SEL: Marriage; Leadership; Courage; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility; Citizenship) [11+]
(2011) MPAA Rating: PG-13; Director: Tanya Wexler. This movie shows the invention of the electric vibrator by Dr. Mortimer Granville to treat an epidemic of hysteria among middle class and wealthy women by manipulating their genitals until they reached “paroxysm”. Marketed to women directly, it became the most popular female sexual aid in history. See, e.g, Joseph Mortimer Granville, inventor of the electric vibrator for purposes of massage, but which is used by many women as a sexual aid; ‘Hysteria’ and the Long, Strange History of the Vibrator.
(Drama/England, World/England; SEL: Marriage, Families in Crisis, Friendship, Romantic Relationships, Justice, Redemption; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness; Responsibility; Caring) [12+]
(2013) MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements, some sexuality, and smoking; Director: Pawel Pawlikowski. This is a beautifully-filmed modern black-and-white movie about the Holocaust in Poland during WWII. Some Polish peasants killed Jews and took over their property. In a few cases, villagers attacked their Jewish populations and killed them en mass. Others, such as the content shown in the film, hid Jewish children and saved them. In this story, Ida was raised as a Christian with no knowledge of her Jewish heritage until just before she was to take her vows to become a nun. While none of the characters are historical, the events told by the movie show important truths about a particular time in history. Ida is too slow moving and abstract for most k-12 students and no Learning Guide has been prepared for the film. TWM does recommend the film for college level.
(2001) MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sexuality, drug references, brief violence, and language; Director: Jim Sheridan. This film makes the A+ list. It’s about family, friendship across racial lines, and a parent’s grieving for a child who has died. It is also a gripping story that is beautifully written and filmed, well-acted, and directed with intelligence and finesse. In America has the capacity to help parents heal psychological wounds from the death of a child or a child’s grievous injury. It is a work of genius.
(U.S./1991 – present, the Law and the Press; SEL: Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Families in Crisis, Marriage, Crime, Courage; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness, Responsibility, Citizenship) [13+]
(Literature: NonFiction; Literary Devices: theme; allusion; U.S.: 1945 – 1991; SEL: Taking Care of Yourself; Families in; Crisis Friendship; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility) [14+]
Jesus of Montreal
(1985) MPAA Rating: R; Director: Denys Arcand. French with English subtitles; a small section is in English with French subtitles. This film is an engaging allegory of the Passion of Christ as reinterpreted by a ragtag group of young actors in Montreal. Hired to “freshen up” a creaking and overwrought version of the Stations of the Cross by a sinner of a priest, the lives of the thespians take on aspects of the story they decide to play, that of the historically documented Jesus (called Yeshu Ben Panthera). This puts them at odds with the priest, who fears that tampering with dogma will incur the wrath of the archdiocese. As the actors immerse themselves in their roles, a dedication to the truths they are conveying begins to transform them. This is especially true of Daniel Coulombe, the actor/director who portrays Christ. (“Colombe” is French for dove, a common symbol of the Holy Spirit). There are many fine touches of allegorical irony: Mirielle, the girl who plays the harlot Mary Magdalene, is afraid that she is nothing but a body to be cast in semi-pornographic commercials. One of the actors who will be “called” to the play is introduced as he is munching a doughnut and doing voice-overs for a hard-core porn flick. “Christ” explodes in rage at a very contemporary and cynical assembly of moneychangers, the flesh peddling commercial film producers. In the end, the gifts of life and love he leaves reflect the core values of the Christian religion applied to an up-to-the-minute reality. While it is clear that the filmmakers intended to produce a testament to the enduring and transforming power of Christ’s story, the film may not appeal to conservative Christians who might find the film’s implied criticism of the clergy and its challenges to traditional beliefs offensive.
The Lives of Others
(2006) MPAA Rating: R for some sexuality/nudity; Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. This outstanding film is about the East German secret police (the Stasi) and the effects of a totalitarian regime on artists. It is an accurate depiction of life in East Germany in 1984 in the sense that good fiction is accurate. The acting, directing, everything is superior. It won an Academy Award in 2007 for best foreign film beating out such great films as “Water“. This is a film that should be seen especially in the modern-day U.S., which has increased its domestic surveillance in response to the threat from radical, misguided Islam. The director’s voice-over and his interview in the special features are also excellent. The R rating is for a brief and sensitive love scene.
The film presents a view of what life was like in the GDR (Communist East Germany). It seems authentic and truthful. Note that For Love or Country is probably a better film for demonstrating the difficulties of the life of an artist in a totalitarian country. For Love or Country is closer to home, dealing with Cuba and the defection of the great jazz trumpet player Arturo Sandoval to the United States. It shows the angst of the artist hamstrung by a totalitarian regime better than “The Lives of Others”. For Love or Country is also an excellent introduction to Jazz and the historical figures of Sandoval and Dizzy Gillespie. Finally, it is rated PG-13 while The Lives of Others is rated R. However, classes studying the Soviet empire, the GDR or the psychology of secret police agencies will benefit greatly from The Lives of Others.
(1996) MPAA Rating: R for brief language, sex, and violence; Director: John Sayles. This is a superbly-crafted and well-written detective story that is really about race and ethnic relations in a small Texas county along the Rio Grande. It has a twist at the end that will send your head spinning. It is a good addition to any class on ethnic relations in the U.S., especially Chicano or Hispanic studies.
(Literature: NonFiction; Literary Devices: allegory/parable; Biography; World/China; U.S.: 1945 – Present; Dance; SEL: Breaking Out; Human Rights; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility) [12+]
(Focusing on the Decision to End WWII with Surprise Atomic Attacks on Japanese Cities) (U.S./ 1941 – 1945; World/WWII and Japan; SEL: Human Rights; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility; Caring) [12+]
The Merchant of Venice
(2004) MPAA Rating: R for some nudity; Director: Michael Radford. This is an extraordinarily good film. The acting, direction, set design, and music are all excellent. Pacino’s Shylock is deep and profound. It will be the definitive Shylock for many, many decades. Jeremy Irons’ Antonio brings out more than one could ever imagine for this character. Lynn Collins’ Portia is brilliant. The other actors in the film are also excellent. There is not a single weak role. The interpretation of the play is extremely rich. It shows: (1) Shakespeare’s interest in the problems of revenge, a topic explored in other plays such as Romeo and Juliet and comprehensively dealt with in Hamlet; (2) the conflict between two cultures that live side-by-side but do not know each other; and (3) the contrast of the homosexual attraction between Antonio and Bassanio and the pull on Bassanio of Portia and his marriage vows. For those who would like to use the movie in class, the producers have provided an Official Teacher’s Guide. Note that throughout the film the prostitutes of Venice are shown with their breasts rouged and exposed. In addition, on occasion, the prostitutes are shown being groped by their clients. This, according to the director, is a historically accurate touch.
Snippet Lesson Plan: Surface Tension and Molecular Bonds
(Science/Chemistry; molecules; surface tension) [10+; middle school and high school; snippet: 7 minutes (in three segments); lesson: the clips and related discussion will add about fifteen minutes to existing lesson plans.]
(1969) MPAA Rating: R; Director: John Schlesinger. This film is ranked #36 on the American Film Institute’s List of the 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time (2006). This film is listed in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress as a “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” film.
(U.S. 1945 – Current, the Press; & the Law; Civics; SEL: Courage; Moral-Ethical Responsibility; Citizenship) [13+]
(Music/Classical; U.S. 1945 – 1991; SEL: Education; Male Role Model; Parenting; Father/Son; Mother/Son; Marriage; Disabilities; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility; Citizenship; Caring; Respect) [10+]
(Music/Classical, U.S./1991 – present & New York; Biography (Guaspari); SEL: Education; Talent, Disabilities; Romantic Relationships; Divorce and Separation; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility; Citizenship) [9+]
A Unit with four films to choose from: Citizenfour, War on Whistleblowers, Silenced, and The Most Dangerous Man in America.
(U.S. 1945 – Current, the Press & the Law; Civics; SEL: Courage; Moral-Ethical Responsibility; Citizenship) [13+]
(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]
(Lesson Plan in Civics and American Government: CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY; U.S./Politics & California; SEL: Caring for Animals; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Citizenship) [13+]
(1993) MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some graphic language and thematic material; Director: Jonathan Demme. This is a breakthrough movie promoting understanding of gay people and those with dreaded illnesses. TWM is considering preparing a Learning Guide for this film.
Snippet Lesson Plan: Harmonic Motion (Science & Technology/Physics – harmonic motion)
[10+; late elementary to high school; film clips: Pirates of the Caribbean – At World’s End: three minutes 30 seconds; Tacoma Bridge Collapse Video on YouTube: four minutes 13 seconds. lesson: Playing the snippets and discussing the examples of harmonic motion described in the Helpful Background section will take about 40 minutes.]
Snippet Lesson Plan: Refraction and the Green Flash (Science & Technology/Physics)
[10+; late elementary to high school; Film Clips: one minute and five seconds, in two segments; three additional optional segments total about 50 seconds; Lesson: Adds 30 minutes to a class in which the phenomenon of optical refraction is introduced.]
(Health; ELA (for cross-curricular assignments); Psychology; SEL: Child Abuse, Self-esteem, GBLTQ; Parenting, Taking Care of Yourself; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility, Caring) [15+; 121 minutes]
(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]
(U.S./1945 – 1991, Diversity & Virginia; Sports/Football; SEL: Breaking Out; Friendship; Teamwork; Leadership; Male Role Model; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect; Responsibility; Fairness; Citizenship) [11+]
Requiem for a Dream
(2000) MPAA Rating R for intense depiction of drug addiction, graphic sexuality, strong language and some violence; Director: Darren Aronofsky. This film shows the self-destruction of the major characters, young and old, through addiction to heroin, cocaine, and diet pills (speed). At the beginning of the story they have dreams, but by the end, they are lost due to their addictions. Watching this movie is a searing life experience that will leave vivid memories and perhaps nightmares for years. TWM recommends that this film be shown to those over the age of 16 who are at substantial risk of becoming addicted to a drug or who are already dealing with an addiction. No guide is necessary for this movie. Just put it on let them watch. For minors, teachers should obtain a release from their parents before showing the film.
Snippet Lesson Plan on the Omaha Beach Landing Using a Film Clip from Saving Private Ryan
(U.S./1941 – 1945; World/WWII; SEL: Courage in War; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness; Citizenship) [16+]
(U.S./1629 – 1750 & Massachusetts; Religions/Christianity; Literature/U.S.; SEL: Redemption; Romantic Relationships; Revenge; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Trustworthiness; Responsibility) [12+]
(U.S./1865 – 1913; Literature/Myths of the Western Genre; Literary Devices: theme & characterization; Cinema; SEL: Coming of Age; Illness (Serious); Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect; Caring) [14+]
(U.S./1865 – 1913 & Diversity; Cinema; Drama/Musicals; Dance/Performance; SEL: Marriage; Romantic Relationships; Alcohol and Drug Abuse; Gambling Addiction; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect) [11+]
Snippet Lesson Plan
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]
Snippet Lesson Plan for Thermonuclear Reactions in the Sun and As a Source of Unlimited Energy for Mankind
(Science & Technology/Astronomy; the Environment; Science Fiction) [12+: Middle School Level; Snippet: approximately eight and 1/4 minutes in two segments. Lesson: approximately 30 minutes]
(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]
(1993) MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence and some language; Director: Thomas Carter. Many teachers have recommended this film. “‘Swing Kids’ is a great movie to illustrate several concepts: propaganda, the HJ (the Nazi version of boy scouts who eventually become officers of the SS), and WWII from a European point of view. The boys are all college friends who love American swing music, which is banned by the Reich because of its ties to Jewish and African-American musicians. They attend covert dances where swing music is played and danced to. Noah Wylie plays a convincing former friend-turned-HJ officer who lulls two of the swing kids into their way of thinking… for a while, anyway. The music is awesome, the propaganda authentic, and the tactics eye-opening. A wonderful movie about the Holocaust, despite some cursing and a scene in which the boys relieve themselves on a poster of Hitler after a night of swing dancing.” Suzanne Funk, Teacher, Indianapolis, IN.
Snippet Lesson Plan: Electromagnetic Waves, Induction, Capacitance, and Antennae
(Science & Technology/Physics; Music) [12+; Middle and High School Level; film clip 6.5 minutes]
(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]
(Aviation; U.S./1941 – 1945, Diversity & Alabama; SEL: Courage; Courage in War; Friendship; Self-esteem; Grieving; Suicide; Surviving; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect; Responsibility) [10+]
(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+]
Part of a Unit on National Security Whistleblowers
(U.S. 1945 – Current, the Press & the Law; Civics; SEL: Courage; Moral-Ethical Responsibility; Citizenship) [13+]
(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]
(Drama/Musicals; U.S./1945 – 1991, Diversity & New York; Dance/Performance; SEL: Fighting; Revenge; Romantic Relationships; Bad Associations; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect; Caring; Citizenship) [12+]
White Man’s Burden
(1995) MPAA Rating: R for strong language and some violence. Director: Desmond Nakano. This is a gripping film with a reversal of roles in which “minority” whites are persecuted by “majority” blacks. Some whites who have seen this film tell us that no other film made them understand what it might be like to be a member of a minority. However, there is some disturbing violence and profanity pervades the screenplay.