Women's Empowerment

Lesson Plans and Film Modules

In this lesson, students will examine how Kenya’s history as a colonized nation has contributed to their challenges with deforestation. Students will first identify how this environmental degradation is related to other social, political and economic problems that affect the country’s marginalized citizens and then research and interview local environmental champions. (includes 2 film modules)

From the film Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai

In this lesson, students examine the community organizing/civic action steps that the Green Belt Movement took to address Kenya’s deforestation and investigate the strategies that other “change makers” and organizations use to address specific issues—leading them to research two activist organizations of their choice. (includes 2 film modules)

From the film Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai

In this lesson, students investigate the concepts of unemployment, unions and worker’s rights as universal human rights. After listening to various voices involved in an indigenous workers’ struggle in Bolivia, students research an organization and create campaign media for it. (includes 1 film module)

From the film Waiting for the Revolution

Students will investigate the dilemma of whether community organizers should work within the system or outside of the system to bring about social change. As a culminating assignment, students will take sides and debate the issue with their classmates. (includes 1 film module)

From the film Waiting for the Revolution

In this lesson, students look at the principles that might make an election democratic as well as ways in which elections can be inefficient, manipulated or abused. They apply these lessons toward understanding the 2005 election in Egypt, and then research the electoral process of a country of their own choosing. (includes 1 film module)

From the film Shayfeen.com: We're Watching You

In this lesson, students will analyze how digital media tools work in less developed nations or areas where media access is limited. In addition, they will evaluate the savvy, resources, skills and support needed to develop effective media outreach. Students will also explore social networking and video as empowerment tools—and then create their own. (includes 1 film module)

From the film Shayfeen.com: We're Watching You

Students will investigate Arab citizens of Israel as a group, and how the film Shadya draws attention to a population rarely exposed in the media. Students will then use their research skills to take a deeper look at a minority group in another country and present their findings online. (includes 1 film module)

From the film Shadya

Muslim women face many of the same struggles and challenges as women all over the world. In addition, there are specific issues these women face as Muslims within their families, communities and religion. This lesson explores the ways in which Muslim girls and women have made strides in asserting their rights. Students will study various voices and then compose a dialogue poem. (includes 1 film module)

From the film Shadya

Community Classroom 7

About this collection

Four documentaries explore stories of women’s empowerment and leadership around the world. Meet an indigenous Bolivian leader fighting for labor rights, a young Israeli Arab karate champion with feminist ideas, three Egyptian women working for fair elections, and a Kenyan leader sparking a nationwide environmental movement.

Lesson plans and film modules encourage students to learn about international struggles and take an active role in issues affecting their own communities. Lessons are directed toward high school and college students.

Subject areas: Social Studies, Environmental Studies, Global Studies, Civics, Economics, Government, Political Science, Peace Studies, Sociology, World History, Human Geography, Language Arts, Women’s Studies, Media Studies, Primary Resources.