ITVS Community Classroom lesson plans pair educational film modules drawn from ITVS’s acclaimed documentary films with standards-based lesson plans, activities, and other interactive content.

Lesson Plans

In this lesson, students will make personal connections with a family that has been traumatized and displaced by conflict in their homeland, the Democratic Republic of Congo, or DR Congo. Doing so will help put a human face on a far away and unimaginable conflict that is the deadliest since World War II. Students will then investigate various events in DR Congo’s history, determine the causes and impact of the war, and analyze the effects that war has had on women in particular. (includes 2 film modules)

From the Women and Girls Lead, Volume 1 Classroom collection
From the film Pushing the Elephant

This lesson teaches students about some of the laws related to immigrants convicted of crimes and encourages students to form opinions about the legal system and the policies related to convicted immigrants. (includes 3 film modules)

From the Sentenced Home Classroom collection
From the film Sentenced Home

This film depicts the ethical dilemma of a mother whose children are trapped in a vastly unequal school system. The lesson plan asks students to reflect more deeply about the state of our public education system — both in the near future, and today.

From the FUTURESTATES Classroom collection
From the film Crossover

This lesson takes a global look at the range of democratic governments in different countries, from new and transitional democratic systems to more established ones. (includes 1 film module)

From the Vote Democracy! Classroom collection
From the film Iron Ladies of Liberia

Students analyze the video to watch the development of empathy. They explore the impact of empathy in their own lives, and they produce a story that models empathy.

From the FUTURESTATES Classroom collection
From the film Tia and Marco

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 Women's Empowerment Classroom collection
From the film Shayfeen.com: We're Watching You

This activity takes a look at how dissent is manifested in American democracy and gives students an opportunity to share their own voice on controversial issues. (includes 2 film modules)

From the Vote Democracy! Classroom collection
From the film Chicago 10

Students will meet Nhi and Phung, two students in the Room to Read program in Vietnam, and learn about their struggles and successes as they pursue their education against all the odds. The activities in the lesson will also engage students in a conversation about the value and meaning of education in their own lives and the impact of the gender imbalance in education on the lives of individual girls around the world and our communities at home.

From the Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide Classroom collection
From the film Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

This lesson encourages students to consider the challenges inherent in committing to a calling or life purpose. The film modules will help students identify potential issues that are unique to individual circumstances, as well as those that are universal to anyone undertaking a difficult, long-term task. Activities will guide students to think about the challenges they may face as they pursue their future goals.

From the What’s Your Calling? Classroom collection
From the film The Calling

In this lesson students will learn about the history of the Khmer people and the conflicts that brought them to America as refugees. They will learn about changes to U.S. laws governing refugees and why some now face deportation back to their homeland. Students will also study how other countries around the world address refugee issues as part of a research project. (includes 3 film modules)

From the Sentenced Home Classroom collection
From the film Sentenced Home