Create U.S. History Lesson Plans from Movies and Film:
Civil War to the Great Depression

[ Suggested Ages are in brackets at the end of each entry. ]

Snippet Lesson Plans are based on short subjects or film clips. They are ideal for classroom use because the video segments are less than 40 minutes in length.

1860 - 1865: the Civil War

Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided    U.S./1812 - 1865; Biography [10+]

Baseball: Inning 1. Our Game: The 1840's - 1900    Sports; U.S. History & Culture [10+]

The Civil War    U.S./1860 - 1865 [12+]

Gettysburg    U.S./1860 - 1865 & Pennsylvania [10+]

Glory    U.S./ 1860 - 1865 & Massachusetts [14+]

Gone With the Wind    U.S./1860 - 1865 & Georgia [12+]

The King and I    Drama/Musicals; World/Thailand; U.S./1860 - 1865; Dance/Performance [8+]

 

Lesson Plan: The End of American's Nightmare Dance with Slavery Using Spielberg's Lincoln (U.S./1812 - 1865; Biography; SEL: Leadership; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Citizenship) [13+]

Little Women    U.S./1860 - 1865 & Massachusetts; Literature/U.S. [6+]

The Red Badge of Courage    U.S./1860 - 1865; Literature/U.S. [10+]

The Smithsonian and the Presidency -- Short Subject       U.S./Creating the Nation, 1860 - 1865; and 1929 - 1941 [7 - 11; 25 minutes]

Winslow Homer: An American Original       U.S./1861 - 1913; Visual Arts; Medicine-Psychiatry; Biography [8 - 12]

Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives U.S./1812 - 1865; 1865 - 1913; and African Americans & the Civil Rights Movement; Literature/U.S. (Narrative Writing) [10+]



1865 - 1913: Reconstruction and the Beginning of the Age of Invention

An American Tail U.S./1865 - 1913; Diversity & New York; Religions/Judaism [7 - 10]

An American Tail - Talking and Playing for Growth U.S./1865 - 1913; Diversity & New York; Religions/Judaism) [5 - 8]

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman    U.S./1865 - 1991 & Diversity [10+]

Baseball: Inning 1. Our Game: The 1840's - 1900    Sports; U.S. History & Culture [10+]

Baseball: Inning 2. Something Like War: 1900 - 1910    Sports; U.S. History & Culture [10+]

The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad -- Short Subject    U.S./1865 - 1913 [8 - 11; 24 minutes]

The Color Purple Literature/U.S. & Literary Devices: motif, theme, symbol, characterization; U.S./1865 - 1913, 1913 - 1929; & Diversity/African-American [15+]

Cross Creek    U.S./1865 - 1913 & Florida; Literature/U.S. [the events that inspired The Yearling]

Edison: The Wizard of Light       Science-Technology; U.S./1865 - 1929; Cinema; Biography [8 - 13]

Eleanor Roosevelt    Biography; U.S./1865 - 1991; Politics [10+]

The Great Inventors -- Short Subject       Science - Technology; U.S./1865 - 1929 [8 - 11; 24 minutes]

Hester Street    U.S./1865 - 1913; Diversity & New York [12+]

High Noon for American History and Civics Classes (U.S./The Frontier & the West, 1865 - 1913 and 1945 - 1991 (the Red Scare); Cinema; SEL: Marriage; Leadership; Courage; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility; Citizenship) [11+]

High Noon for ELA Classes (Literature/Myths of the Western genre; Literary devices: symbol; motif; foil; and expository phase; SEL: Marriage; Leadership; Courage; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility; Citizenship) [11+]

High Noon Snippet Lesson Plan on the Expository Phase ELA: Expository Phase [12+; snippet: 15 minutes, 20 seconds; lesson: one to two class periods]

 

Life With Father    U.S./1865 - 1913 & New York [8+]

Mary Cassatt: American Impressionist       Visual Arts; World/France; U.S./1865 - 1913; Biography [8+]

The Miracle Worker    Biography/Keller; U.S./1865 - 1913 [10+]

The Music and Heroes of America -- Short Subject       Music [8 - 11; 25 minutes]

The Music Man    Drama/Musicals; U.S./1865 - 1913; Dance/Performance [6+]

Oklahoma!    Drama/Musicals; U.S./1865-1913 & Oklahoma; Dance/Performance [12+]

Old Yeller    U.S./1865 - 1913 [7-12]

The Ox-Bow Incident    U.S./The Frontier and the West; 1865 - 1913; The Law; & Nevada [12+]

Roots Vol. VI    U.S./1865 - 1913 & Diversity [12+]

The Searchers (U.S./1865 - 1913; ELA) [13+; Literary devices analyzed: expository phase, character development, theme.]

The Shootist (U.S./1865 - 1913; Literature/Myths of the Western Genre; Literary Devices: theme & characterization; Cinema) [14+]

Show Boat    U.S./1865 - 1913 & Diversity; Cinema; Drama/Musicals; Dance/Performance [11+]

Winslow Homer: An American Original       U.S./1861 - 1913; Visual Arts; Medicine-Psychiatry; Biography [8 - 12]

The Wizard of Oz — Secondary    Cinema; Drama/Musicals; U.S./1865-1913 [5+]

The Wright Brothers at Kitty Haw -- Short Subject       U.S./1865 - 1913; Aviation [8 - 11; 24 minutes]

The Yearling    U.S./1865 - 1913 & Florida; Literature/U.S. [8 - 12]



1913 - 1929: the First World War and the Roaring 20's

All The King's Men    U.S./1913 - 1941, Politics & Louisiana; Literature/U.S. [13+]

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman    U.S./1865 - 1991 & Diversity [10+]

Baseball: Inning 3. The Faith of Fifty Million People 1910 - 1920    Sports/Baseball; U.S./1913 - 1929 [10+]

Baseball: Inning 4. A National Heirloom: 1920 - 1930    Sports; U.S./1913-1929 [10+]

Boystown    U.S./1913 - 1929 & Nebraska; Religions/Christianity [10+]

The Color Purple Literature/U.S. & Literary Devices: motif, theme, symbol, characterization; U.S./1865 - 1913, 1913 - 1929; & Diversity/African-American [15+]

Eleanor Roosevelt    Biography; U.S./1865 - 1991; Politics [10+]

The Glenn Miller Story    Biography; Music/Popular; U.S.: 1929 - 1941 - 1945 [12+]

The Great Gatsby (U.S. 1913 - 1929 & New York; Literature; Literary Devices: symbol, imagery, motif, flashback, characterization; SEL: Romantic Relationships; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility) [13+]

Inherit the Wind    Cinema; U.S./1913 - 1929, 1945 - 1991 & Tennessee [12+]

Iron Jawed Angels (U.S. 1913 - 1929) [11+]

 

It's a Wonderful Life    U.S./1913 - 1945 [10+]

The Jazz Singer    Cinema; U.S./1913 - 1929, Diversity & New York; Music/Popular [12+]

Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (U.S./1929 - 1941 (the Great Depression) [6-12]

Knute Rockne -- All American    Sports/Football; U.S./1913 - 1929; Biography [8+]

Matewan    U.S./1913 - 1929, Diversity & West Virginia; Religions/Christianity [12+]

Partners of the Heart    Medicine; U.S./1917 - 1991, Diversity, Tennessee & Maryland [10+]

Something the Lord Made    Medicine; U.S./1917 - 1991, Diversity, Tennessee & Maryland [10+]

To Kill A Mockingbird    U.S./1929 - 1941, the Law & Diversity; Literature/U.S. [11+; Literary devices analyzed: symbol; flashback; irony; humor]

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn    U.S./1913 - 1929, Diversity & New York [9+]

Warm Springs    U.S./1913 - 1929 & Georgia; Biography [12+]



1929 - 1941: the Great Depression and the Clouds of War

All The King's Men    U.S./1913 - 1941, Politics & Louisiana; Literature/U.S. [13+]

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman    U.S./1865 - 1991 & Diversity [10+]

Baseball: Inning 5. The Shadow Ball: 1930 - 1940    Sports; U.S. History & Culture [10+]

Captains Courageous    U.S./1929 - 1941 & Massachusetts; Seafaring [8 - 12]

Damn Yankees    Drama/Musicals; Sports/Baseball; Dance/Performance; U.S./1945 - 1991 [10+]

Eleanor Roosevelt    Biography; U.S./1865 - 1991; Politics [10+]

The Glenn Miller Story    Biography; Music/Popular; U.S.: 1929 - 1941 - 1945[12+]

 

The Grapes of Wrath    U.S./1929 - 1941; Oklahoma & California; Literature/U.S.; [12+]

It's a Wonderful Life    U.S./1913 - 1945 [10+]

Modern Times    Cinema; U.S./1929-1941 [8+]

Partners of the Heart    Medicine; U.S./1917 - 1991, Diversity, Tennessee & Maryland [10+]

The Smithsonian and the Presidency -- Short Subject       U.S./Creating the Nation, 1860 - 1865; and 1929 - 1941 [7 - 11; 25 minutes]

Something the Lord Made    Medicine; U.S./1917 - 1991, Diversity, Tennessee & Maryland [10+]

Warm Springs    U.S./1913 - 1929 & Georgia; Biography [12+]





For more U.S. History Lesson Plans from movies and film,
from the Second World War to the present day, click here.





TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guides are ideal lesson plan makers for teachers of U.S. History. Each Guide contains sections on Helpful Background, Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Discussion Questions, and Assignments. They are designed to allow you to quickly create great U.S. History lesson plans relating to the Civil War, Reconstruction, the First World War, the Roaring 20s and the Great Depression.

Movies and film make the events they portray come alive. TeachWithMovies.com helps teachers and parents make U.S. history vivid and personal for children.

Table of Contents for Creating U.S. History Lesson Plans from Movies and Film