ITVS Brings Short-Form Science Fiction Film Into The Classroom With FUTURESTATES Series & Lesson Plans

Groundbreaking Digital Shorts & Lesson Plans Help Students Explore Future Scenarios through the Lens of Today’s Global Realities

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(San Francisco)—ITVS, the nation’s leader in independent public media, launches FUTURESTATES lesson plans as part of its education program, Community Classroom. Imagining tomorrow’s America today, FUTURESTATES is a series of independent mini-features: short narrative films created by experienced filmmakers and emerging talents that transform today’s complex social issues into visions about what life in America will be like in decades to come. This new collection from Community Classroom includes standards-aligned lesson plans in language arts and science to accompany seven films from the FUTURESTATES series, season one. The collection of lesson plans and streaming video are available for free on the FUTURESTATES website ( 

Video Games and Social Control (Lesson plan for Play)
What happens when people lose control over their technology? In this lesson, students investigate their own use of technology and consider how to maintain control.   

Building a Story within a Story (Lesson plan for Tent City)
This lesson focuses on the narrative technique of a frame story. Through extension activities, students analyze the film’s structure, write their own frame stories, and research real tent cities.   

Developing Empathy for Others (Lesson plan for Tia and Marco)
Students analyze the development of empathy in the film. They then explore the impact of empathy in their own lives, with the goal of producing personal stories that model what empathy means to them.   

The Future of Reproduction (Lesson plan for Silver Sling)
While watching the film, students will determine the aspects or themes of surrogacy that appear to be possible now, and the ones that do not. Then, they will read and respond to an article about surrogate mothers. 

Global Warming and Carbon Dioxide Sequestration (Lesson plan for Mr. Green)
In this lesson, students will examine global warming, analyze the validity of the solution presented in the film, and then investigate the concept of carbon dioxide sequestration. 

The Future of Genetic Engineering (Lesson plan for Seed)
The lesson plan for Seed reviews the history of agricultural biotechnology. Students will propose a new GMO product based on need, potential for profit, and minimal environmental effects.  

Where Does It All End Up? (Lesson plan for Plastic Bag)
Struggling with its immortality, a discarded plastic bag ventures through the environmentally barren remains of America as it searches for its maker. Students examine the scope of plastic bag use, as well as disposal issues. 

About ITVS 
The Independent Television Service (ITVS) funds and presents award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television, innovative new media projects on the Web, and the Emmy® Award-winning weekly series Independent Lens on Tuesday nights at 10pm on PBS. ITVS is a miracle of public policy created by media activists, citizens, and politicians seeking to foster plurality and diversity in public television. ITVS was established by a historic mandate of Congress to champion independently produced programs that take creative risks, spark public dialogue, and serve underserved audiences. Since its inception in 1991, ITVS programs have revitalized the relationship between the public and public television, bringing television audiences face-to-face with the lives and concerns of their fellow Americans. For more information about ITVS, visit ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people. 

About Community Classroom 
Community Classroom brings innovative media resources to educators in high schools, community colleges, and other youth-serving organizations. In tandem with ITVS’ Community Cinema, Community Classroom connects educators and students with cutting edge content, resources, and opportunities for engagement and action. Community Classroom provides educational video modules drawn from ITVS’ acclaimed documentary films and standards-aligned lesson plans, activities, and interactive online content. Community Classroom resources connect twenty-first century students with video content from independent filmmakers who share new perspectives about a diverse range of people, places, moments in history, and history-in-the-making. Through these authentic stories, young and adult learners alike will develop a deeper understanding of vital social issues in their own backyards and around the world. 

CONTACT: Krissy Bailey 415-356-8383, ext 254

Posted on November 1, 2010