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

Viewing Topic: BiographyView All

Students will investigate Pakistan’s struggle to maintain a lasting democratic government, and look at various experiences in Benazir Bhutto’s life that shaped her as a leader.

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

Students will study the context in which Benazir Bhutto became the first woman leader of a Muslim nation, and the complexities of being a female leader in a Muslim country.

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

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

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

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 Women's Empowerment Classroom collection
From the film Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai

In this lesson, students will critically view and analyze media, learning how images, especially in documentary filmmaking, are constructed. (includes 2 film modules)

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

Students will consider the media’s role during the desegregation of Central High School and the consequences of media coverage on the private lives of those involved. They will identify Daisy Bates’s media strategies and analyze the ways in which race and gender shaped the media’s portrayal of her. Lastly, students will describe how they would use the media accessible to them to voice opposition to a specific event, policy, or practice in their community.

From the Women and Girls Lead, Vol. 2: African American Women Lead Classroom collection
From the film Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock

This lesson focuses on the mechanics of political campaigns, from campaign team roles to skills and strategies. (includes 2 film modules)

From the Vote Democracy! Classroom collection
From the films Please Vote for Me and An Unreasonable Man

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 Women's Empowerment Classroom collection
From the film Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai

This lesson examines the political party system in the U.S. and in other democracies, especially the participation of independent parties. (Includes 1 film module)

From the Vote Democracy! Classroom collection
From the film An Unreasonable Man