This FilmED Lesson Plan focuses on themes such as identity, race, difference, and inclusion. It includes a selection of four short films, each with an accompanying Film Guide, that we hope will amplify diverse stories and filmmakers, as these talented artists share how they craft their own visions and voices through the power of art and storytelling, and inspire your students to share their own experiences.
The Film Guides are customizable. You will see that the sections focus on different areas such as the theme, the characters, the filmmakers, and what we call “The Bigger Conversation.” Read through the Film Guides to see which sections and questions speak best to you and your class.
The curriculum materials crafted around each Lesson Plan are meant to support you, the educator, in leading meaningful conversations with your students, highlight the individual filmmakers and voices behind these stories, and allow opportunities for students to expand their learning while sharing their observations, ideas and experiences among one another.
- Question prompts and conversation starters that will help your students find deeper meanings and interpretations of the films.
- Background information and informative Q&As with a diverse group of filmmakers, which will help students see the ways a filmmaker can use the different tools of filmmaking to craft a meaningful story.
- Resources to support you in leading challenging and important conversations around the themes of the films which include identity, prejudice, bullying, racism and self-acceptance.
We’ve suggested the films in a particular order, with accompanying materials that build upon interpretation and media literacy-skills. As the students watch the films and gain observational and literacy skills, they should be able to understand and discuss the more challenging films that we present later in the Lesson Plan.
01 Wash Day
A visually vibrant, easily accessible film that amplifies Black stories on screen and behind the camera, and affords all ages an entry into discussions of identity, gender, and representation.
02 Welcome to my Life
A cleverly voiced and animated allegory about difference through a faux documentary format; fosters discussions of identity, inclusion, and storytelling genres and amplifies Asian-American stories.
03 Chin Up
This visually inventive animated and live action documentary, recounted in first person by filmmaker JoAnne Salmon, relates her journey as she overcomes a facial deformity to live her dreams as an animator.
04 Amelia’s Closet
An incisive and moving film about a young Black student’s experiences with racism and privilege in the classroom; fosters dialogues about race, class, perspective-shifting, and understanding.
Learn about the different kinds of animation and how they are created, in this 2 minute video.
A series of instructional videos to create hand drawn animation on a tablet or computer.
Lesson 1 – Bouncing Ball
Lesson 2 – Character Blinking
Lesson 3 – Character Turning Its Head
Two instructional videos for creating stop motion animation with a smartphone or tablet.
Stop Motion How To
Stop Motion Studio App Instructional Site
How to Shoot Video With Your iPhone
10 Ways to Talk to Students About Sensitive Issues in The News
Personalized Learning Coaching and Development Tool: Self Awareness
The National Association for Multicultural Education Advancing and Advocating for Social Justice & Equity: How do I know if my biases affect my teaching?
Creating and Identity-Safe Classroom
Having Difficult Conversations: A Guide to Having Respectful Conversations [PDF]
Creating A Safe Space For Students To Have Conversations
Teaching About Gender Equity In Your Classroom
Talking About Race and Racism [PDF]
Teaching Tolerance: Resources, Classroom Activities, Professional Development and More, Plus A Blog of Educators’ Experiences.
This Lesson Plan and its respective Film Guides address national and NY state standards for the arts, English Language arts, and Media Literacy.
NY State Media Learning Standards and Common Core State Standards:
LEAD CURRICULUM DEVELOPER & DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION ADVISOR
Jessica Polaniecki, NYICFF staff
SPECIAL ADVISOR FOR EDUCATION
Jane Royal, NYICFF Board of Directors
DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION REVIEWER
ART DIRECTION & DESIGN
Francesca Campanella, Kiss Me I’m Polish
Agnieszka Gasparska, Kiss Me I’m Polish
Andrea Stein-Davis, Car of Tomorrow
NYICFF EXECUTIVE TEAM
Nina Guralnick, Executive Director
Maria-Christina Villaseñor, Programming Director