Second in a Series

Our first film lesson book, Teaching life Skills Through Popular Film, was created in 2001 and proved to be very popular. However, in time some of the films and the related activities have become outdated. Though this old book is still available, a new book was needed.

We plan to offer a new film lesson plan book at regular intervals to keep materials fresh.

The Author

Frances Caldwell taught in public schools for almost 25 years at almost every level—middle school, high school, and community college. From there, she became a curriculum designer and opened her own publishing company AYWN Publications. At first specializing in materials for at-risk students, she broadened her interests to include materials for all teachers, parents and youth leaders.

As a writer/editor, she has helped 100’s of writers ready their work for publishing, and has written several of her own books—Ask Nicky (gang prevention curriculum), The Second Chance Writing Book—and co-authored several more.

She graduated from Oregon State University and continued her education with a master’s degree in English/Education from the University of Oregon.


$4.00 shipping

Back to Home

Teaching with Popular Film

Written by Frances Caldwell, a former teacher with over 20 years of experience in the classroom, this book has a spiral binding, making it easy to make copies of the 49 worksheets included. Each plan is made up of a film summary, 10 discussion/writing questions, 5 or more related activities, and 2 to 4 worksheets.

In addition to providing an easy way for substitute teachers to teach while you're away, the right films offer students education and inspiration.

13 Reasons to Teach with Film

  1. Seeing a good film in class is like reading a good book together, only better.
  2. We don’t have to worry about the reading level, as everyone is generally on the same viewing level.
  3. We can rent one DVD for $3 or $4, instead of buying a classroom set of books.
  4. We don’t have to worry about whether students did their reading homework.
  5. Today’s youth are attuned to screens, not pages of print or classroom lectures.
  6. They can discuss the themes and subjects immediately without leaving anyone behind.
  7. They can learn decision-making, problem-solving, geography, history, anthropology, science, business, human relations, psychology, and much more.
  8. They can find role models and heroes.
  9. They can help each other understand difficult concepts.
  10. It doesn’t matter if some have seen the film; chances are they haven’t seen it in the same way.
  11. Any number of lessons can be attached to a film. The film sparks interest; the lessons further the learning.
    Films can elicit strong emotion, and when emotion accompanies learning, it is more likely to be retained, so says Howard Gardner, renowned educational psychologist.
  12. Films can help students develop compassion and empathy.
  13. The discussion following a film is often profound and inspirational.

Table of Contents for Teaching with Popular Film

The Butler is a historical journey through African American eyes.
Worksheet # 1 Discussion/Writing Questions for The Butler
Worksheet #2 Six Historical Events 1953-1989
Worksheet #3 Quotes from The Butler
Worksheet #4 U.S. Presidents from 1953 to 1989

Cinderella Man paints a realistic, yet hopeful, view of the Great Depression.
Worksheet #5 Discussion/Writing Questions for Cinderella Man
Worksheet #6 Opinions to Ponder
Worksheet #7 Roosevelt’s New Deal

Concussion is based on a true story—but this truth is one nobody wants to hear.
Worksheet #8 Discussion/Writing Questions for Concussion
Worksheet #9 Who said it? What does it mean?
Worksheet #10 Dangerous Sports

Eye in the Sky shows the agony of decision-making, the most dangerous kind.
Worksheet #11 Discussion/Writing Questions for Eye in the Sky
Worksheet #12 Designing a Surveillance Tool
Worksheet #13 Analyzing a Decision

Flash of Genius shows what can happen when someone stands up to a major corporation.
Worksheet #14 Discussion/Writing Questions for Flash of Genius
Worksheet #15 Who Won? Lawsuits against Big Corporations
Worksheet #16 Inventions. Real or Imagined? Necessary or Not?

Frozen River teaches compassion when cultures collide.
Worksheet #17 Discussion/Writing Questions for Frozen River
Worksheet #18 Terrorism in the United States
Worksheet #19 Single Parents in the United States

The Imitation Game: Finally a hero gets the respect he deserves.
Worksheet #20 Discussion/Writing Questions for The Imitation Game
Worksheet #21 Creating a Crossword Puzzle
Worksheet #22 Martian at Your Door

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Christmas Classic.
Worksheet #23 Discussion/Writing Questions for It’s a Wonderful Life
Worksheet #24 Christmas Movies
Worksheet #25 Survey: What does it mean to be a classic?

Maria Full of Grace is the story of a young immigrant girl’s risky actions and
what she learned in the process.
Worksheet #26 Discussion/Writing Questions for Maria Full of Grace
Worksheet #27 Speaking Conversational Spanish Worksheet #28 What’s the Risk?

Million Dollar Baby, a movie you and your students will never forget.
Worksheet #29 Discussion/Writing Questions for Million-Dollar Baby
Worksheet #30 To Take a Life
Worksheet #31 Stereotyping

Pieces of April—What a Thanksgiving Treat!
Worksheet #32 Discussion/Writing Questions for Pieces of April
Worksheet #33 What do You Know about American Holidays?
Worksheet #34 Your Heritage

Schindler’s List is a classic that will forever remind us of the evils of prejudice.
Worksheet #35 Discussion/Writing Questions for Schindler’s List
Worksheet #36 Quotes from Schindler’s List
Worksheet #37 Character Descriptions

Selma exposes the personal stories behind the marches in 1965, a turning point in Black America’s fight for justice.
Worksheet #38 Discussion/Writing Questions for Selma
Worksheet #39 Lyrics to John Legend’s and Common’s Song/Rap “Glory”
Worksheet #40 Planning a Public Relations Campaign

Water for Elephants, as the circus takes down its tents forever, teaches American history
enhanced by the thrill of circus life.
Worksheet #41 Discussion/Writing Questions for Water for Elephants
Worksheet #42 Animal Cruelty—It’s a Tricky Issue
Worksheet #43 Forms of Entertainment – Your Favorites


Writing Opinion Pieces
Worksheet #44 Statement of Opinion
Worksheet #45 Formal Business Letter Directions
Worksheet #46 - Sample Letter on a Controversial Issue

Landmark Legislation in Women’s History

Film lesson on North Country, a piece of history that teaches lessons in gender equity
Worksheet #47 Discussion/Writing Questions for North Country
Worksheet #48 What is Sexual Harassment?
Worksheet #49 What Should You Do When Harassed?