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SUBJECTS — U.S. 1945 - Current & the Press; Religions;

Age: 13+; MPAA Rating *; Drama; 2015, * minutes; Color. Available from Amazon.com.


Rationale for Using the Movie: 12 Angry Men shows a reasonable approximation of what happens behind the closed doors of the jury room and the dynamic of jury deliberations.

Objectives/Student Outcomes Using this Learning Guide:

Possible Problems:



Rationale and Objectives
Possible Problems
Parenting Points

Using the Movie in Class:
      Introduction to the Movie
      Discussion Questions


      Bridges to Reading
      Links to the Internet
      CCSS Anchor Standards
      Selected Awards & Cast
Helpful Background

Additional Discussion Questions:
      Subjects (Curriculum Topics)
      Social-Emotional Learning
      Moral-Ethical Emphasis
            (Character Counts)

Other Sections:
      CCSS Anchor Standards
      Selected Awards & Cast
For shortened guides use the following followed by /td

Other Sections:

Additional Discussion Questions:
     Social-Emotional Learning
     Moral-Ethical Emphasis
           (Character Counts)

MOVIE WORKSHEETS: TWM offers the following movie worksheets to keep students' minds on the film and to focus their attention on the lessons to be learned from the movie. Teachers can modify the movie worksheets to fit the needs of each class. See also TWM's Historical Fiction in Film Cross-Curricular Homework Project.

See also TWM's Historical Fiction in Film Cross-Curricular Homework Project and Movies as Literature Homework Project.

Additional ideas for lesson plans for this movie can be found at TWM's guide to Lesson Plans Using Film Adaptations of Novels, Short Stories or Plays.


At the height of the street fighting in Algiers, the French stage a press conference for a captured FLN leader. "Tell me, general," a Parisian journalist asks the revolutionary, "do you not consider it cowardly to send your women carrying bombs in their handbags, to blow up civilians?" The rebel replies in a flat tone of voice: "And do you not think it cowardly to bomb our people with napalm?" A pause. "Give us your airplanes and we will give you our women and their handbags." "universal frame of reference" Introduction to the Movie and Closing:

Before showing the movie, tell the class that the film shows a realistic view of jury deliberations.

At the end of the movie, tell the class that the conviction of innocent people is still a serious problem in the United States. For example, in 2000 the governor of Illinois issued a moratorium on death sentences in his state because more than 13 people who had been convicted and sentenced to death were later found to be innocent and at least one innocent man had been executed. "many intriguing questions about the legacy of Western colonialism in the Middle East are engaged in an epic film of 1966, The Battle of Algiers," "French counterinsurgency tactics such as torture may have won the Battle of Algiers but eventually led to the failure of the French to maintain their colony in Algeria. Thus, an August 2003 Battle of Algiers screening at the Pentagon was interpreted by the news media as raising questions regarding the efficacy of torture as a means for combating terrorism.' ' "stimulus for thinking about the roots of discontent with the West in the Islamic world. Consequently, The Battle of Algiers ought to find a place in the history curriculum of the schools and universities because of its usefulness to link the past and present and for telling a story of colonialism from the perspective of people that Frantz Fanon termed the wretched of the earth. "Screenings for The Battle of Algiers were often perceived as fostering domestic insurrection and providing tactical instructions for revolutionaries. The film was initially banned in France, while in the United States the Algerian rebellion was equated with the black liberation struggle and the actions of the Black Panther Party . . . . theme was one of valor." "Pontecorvo was a member of the Italian Communist Party who left the political organization following the 1956 Soviet suppression of the Hungarian Revolution. He sympathized with the Algerian revolutionaries.3 The director perceived the Algerian Revolution as part of a larger global anticolonial historical movement which he wanted to support with his filmmaking. "the look and feel of a documentary. "useful vehicle for the discussion of colonialism, wars of national liberation, and leftist politics, as well as contemporary issues regarding terrorism, torture, and the American military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Although The Battle of Algiers omits several historical details by focusing only upon FLN opposition to the French and ignores problems associated with governing Algeria after independence, I have found the film to be a valuable teaching tool in my college preparatory classes. The Battle of Algiers provides a useful vehicle for the discussion of colonialism, wars of national liberation, and leftist politics, as well as contemporary issues regarding terrorism, torture, and the American military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan. While Pontecorvo clearly perceived his film as supporting the cause of the revolutionary FLN, it is interesting to note that many young people view The Battle of Algiers as more even-handed, deploring the terrorist tactics of both the French and FLN. Students recognize the valid aspirations of colonized people, but they want to find a path toward a more just world short of romanticizing violent revolution. The message which enticed many young people in the 1960s gets a different reception in our time. "Ron Briley teaches history at the Sandia Preparatory School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is also assistant head of the school. A recipient of the Beveridge Family Teaching Prize from the AHA, he has several publications on film, politics, and sports. He is currently a member of the AHA's Committee on the John E. O'Connor Film Award. 2. Bosley Crowther, "The Battle of Algiers," New York Times, September 23, 1967.


Discussion Questions:

After watching the film, engage the class in a discussion about the movie.

1.   XX Suggested Response:

2.   XX Suggested Response:

3.   XX Suggested Response:

4.   XX Suggested Response:

5.   XX Suggested Response:

For seven additional discussion questions, click here.


Any of the discussion questions can serve as a writing prompt. Additional assignments include:

1.   Research the evolution of the Innocence Project and present the information to the class as an example of how often trials can result in wrongful conviction. Use a Power Point format and include your sources of information.

2.   Look up the concept of "due process" and write a formal essay in which you evaluate the film in terms of its adherence to the principle of "fundamental fairness."

3.   Write a newspaper account of the process by which the jurors determined that the accused in the case described in 12 Angry Men was innocent of the crime. You may want to make up quotes and attribute comments to various jurors that explain why they voted for or against conviction and ultimately changed their minds.

See also Additional Assignments for Use With any Film that is a Work of Fiction.


Select questions that are appropriate for your students.

Parenting Points: Watch the movie with your child and assure your child that situations have occurred when one juror has turned a jury around.

Reminder to Teachers: Obtain all required permissions from your school administration before showing any film.

Teachers who want parental permission to show this movie can use TWM's Movie Permission Slip.

Social-Emotional Learning Discussion Questions:


      See ELA Discussion Questions numbered 1, 3, 12, and 13.


      See ELA Discussion Questions numbered 6, 9, and 14.

1.  XXX Suggested Response: XXX

2.   XXX Suggested Response: XXX

3.  XXX Suggested Response: XXX

Social-Emotional Learning Discussion Questions


See the Subject Matter Discussion Questions above.

Moral-Ethical Emphasis Discussion Questions (Character Counts)
(TeachWithMovies.com is a Character Counts "Six Pillars Partner"
and  uses The Six Pillars of Character to to organize ethical principles.)

4.  XXX Suggested Response: XXX


5.   XXX Suggested Response: XXX

Bridges to Reading:


Links to the Internet:


Common Core State Standards that can be Served by this Learning Guide
(Anchor Standards only)

Multimedia: Anchor Standard #7 for Reading (for both ELA classes and for History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Classes). (The three Anchor Standards read: "Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media, including visually and quantitatively as well as in words.") CCSS pp. 35 & 60. See also Anchor Standard # 2 for ELA Speaking and Listening, CCSS pg. 48.

Reading: Anchor Standards #s 1, 2, 7 and 8 for Reading and related standards (for both ELA classes and for History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Classes). CCSS pp. 35 & 60.

Writing: Anchor Standards #s 1 - 5 and 7- 10 for Writing and related standards (for both ELA classes and for History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Classes). CCSS pp. 41 & 63.

Speaking and Listening: Anchor Standards #s 1 - 3 (for ELA classes). CCSS pg. 48.

Not all assignments reach all Anchor Standards. Teachers are encouraged to review the specific standards to make sure that over the term all standards are met.

Selected Awards, Cast and Director:

Selected Awards: 2013 Annie Awards: Best Animated Effects in an Animated Production; Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production;

Featured Actors:



In addition to websites which may be linked in the Guide and selected film reviews listed on the Movie Review Query Engine, the following resources were consulted in the preparation of this Learning Guide:


Select questions that are appropriate for your students.

Give us your feedback! Was the Guide helpful? If so, which sections were most helpful? Do you have any suggestions for improvement? Email us!

This Learning Guide written by James Frieden and Deborah Elliott and was published on December 26, 2013.

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