This FilmED Lesson Plan focuses on themes such as identity, race, difference, and self-acceptance. 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.
These 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 teach students to watch films actively and thoughtfully.
- Background information and informative Q&As with 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, inclusion, and perseverance.
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 Perfect Houseguest
A lovely animated film that creates accessible points of entry to initiate conversations with the youngest grades around identity, difference, assumptions, and stereotypes.
02 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.
03 The Magic of Chess
A short doc with a very inclusive portrait of young chess players that demonstrates they come from all backgrounds and genders, and lets kids share in their own words lessons of resilience and tenacity and facing their fears.
Learn about the different kinds of animation and how they are created in this 2-minute video.
Two instructional videos for creating stop motion animation with a smartphone or tablet.
Stop Motion How To
Stop Motion Studio App Instructional Site
A Kids Book About Racism – A read aloud with author Jelany Memory
Don’t Touch My Hair – A read aloud of the book by Sharee Miller
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?
How to Start Talking About Race in the Early Elementary School Classroom
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.
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Educator’s Network
Preparing for and Responding to Teachable Moments
Border Crossers: Racial Justice in Education
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