Create U.S. History Lesson Plans from Movies and Film:
Second World War, Cold War and the Present

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.

1941 - 1945: the Second World War

All My Sons    U.S./1941 - 1991; Drama/U.S. [13+]

Apollo 13 (U.S./1945 - 1991; Space Exploration; U.S./1941 - 1991; Drama/U.S. [8+]

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

Baseball: Inning 6. The National Pastime: 1940 - 1950    Sports; U.S. History & Culture [10+]

Casablanca    U.S./1941 - 1945; World/WW II, France & Morocco [12+]

The Chosen Literature/U.S. & Literary Devices: Theme, Symbol, Irony; Religions/Judaism; U.S.: 1941 - 1945 & New York [10+]

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

Fat Man and Little Boy    U.S./1941 - 1945 & New Mexico; Science-Technology [13+]

Hiroshima Maiden    U.S./1941 - 1991; World/WW-II and Japan [9 - 13]

Grave of the Fireflies (U.S./1941 - 1991; World/WW-II and Japan; Cinema; SEL: Human Rights; Surviving; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring) [13+]

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

Judgment at Nuremberg    U.S./1941 - 1945, The Law; World/WW II [10+]

The Longest Day    U.S./1941 - 1945; World/WW II [10+]

Mass Casualties Lesson Plan (Focusing on the Decision to End WW II with Surprise Atomic Attacks on Japanese Cities)    U.S./ 1941 - 1945; World/WW II and Japan [12+]

 

Memphis Belle    Aviation; U.S./1941 - 1945 [12+]

A Midnight Clear    U.S./1941-1945 [13+]

Midway    U.S./1941 - 1945; World/WW II; Seafaring [10+]

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

Patton    Biography; U.S./1941 - 1945 [12+]

The Right Stuff    Aviation & Space Exploration; U.S./1941 - 1945 [12+]

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

South Pacific    Drama/Musicals; U.S./1941 - 1945 & Diversity [10+]

Tora! Tora! Tora!    U.S./1941 - 1945; World/Japan & WW II; Seafaring [10+] (Portions in Japanese with English subtitles)

Truman    Biography; U.S./1941 - 1991 [12+]

Tuskegee Airmen    Aviation; U.S./1941 - 1945, Diversity & Alabama [10+]

Twelve O'Clock High    Aviation; U.S./1941-1945 [10+]

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



1945 - 1991: the Cold War -- including the Korean War and Vietnamese War

12 Angry Men    U.S./1945 - 1991 & The Law (due process; jury selection) [11+]

All My Sons    U.S./1941 - 1991; Drama/U.S. [13+]

All the President's Men    U.S./1945 - 1991 & Politics [12+]

Angels in the Outfield    Sports/Baseball; U.S./1945 - 1991 & California [9 - 12]

Apollo 13    U.S./1945 - 1991; Space Exploration [8+]

Argo (U.S./1945 - 1991 & Iran - The Iran Hostage Crisis; SEL: Courage; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring, Citizenship) [14+]

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

Baseball: Inning 6. The National Pastime: 1940 - 1950    U.S./1941 - 1945; Sports; U.S. History & Culture [10+]

Baseball: Inning 7. The Capital of Baseball: 1950 - 1960    Sports; U.S. History & Culture [10+]

Baseball: Inning 8. A Whole New Ball Game: 1960 - 1970    U.S. History & Culture, Diversity; Sports; U.S. History & Culture [10+]

Baseball: Inning 9. Home: 1970 - 1994    Sports; U.S. History & Culture [10+]

Breaking Away    Sports/Bicycle Racing; U.S./1945 - 1991 & Indiana; [12+]

Brian's Song    Sports/Football; U.S./1945 - 1991 & Diversity [10+]

Bridge to Terabithia (Literature/U.S.; U.S./1945 - 1991 & Virginia; SEL: Friendship; Grieving; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Caring) [10-13]

The Buddy Holly Story    Music/Popular; U.S./1945 - 1991[12+]

Cast Away (U.S./1945 - 1991 and Tennessee; ELA: expository phase; motif; symbol; theme development; dramatic irony) [13+]

Conrack    U.S./1945 - 1991, Diversity & South Carolina [10+]

The Crucible    U.S./1629 - 1750, 1945-1991 & Massachusetts; Drama/U.S. [12+]

Desert Bloom    U.S./1945 - 1991 & Nevada [13+]

Dr. Strangelove    U.S./1945 - 1991 [10+]

Edge of America    Sports/Basketball; U.S./1945-1991; Diversity/Native American & African American and New Mexico [12+]

Edward Scissorhands (U.S./1945 - 1991; ELA) [13+; Literary devices analyzed: expository phase, setting, character; development, theme.]

Einstein: Light to the Power of 2       Biography; Science-Technology; U.S./1945 - 1991 & Diversity [8 - 13]

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

Fail-Safe    U.S./1945 - 1991; World/Cold War [14+]

Field of Dreams    Sports/Baseball; U.S./1945 - 1991 & Iowa [10+]

Force More Powerful -- Short Subject       World/India, Poland, Denmark, Chile, South Africa; 1800s - the Present; U.S./1945 - the Present; Civil Rights Movement, Tennessee [12+; Six sections, each between 20 and 30 minutes in length]

Snippet Lesson Plan on the Civil Rights Movement - The Nashville Sit-ins, 1960 (U.S./1945 - 1991 & Diversity) [12+; snippet: 25 minutes; lesson: two class periods]

A Gentleman's Agreement    U.S./1945 - 1991 & Diversity [12+]

Ghosts of Mississippi    U.S./1945 - Present, Diversity, the Law & Mississippi [12+]

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner    U.S./ 1945 - 1991 & Diversity [10+]

The Help (US 1945-1991, Diversity & Mississippi; SEL: Self-Esteem, Friendship, Courage; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect) [13+]

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]

 

Hiroshima Maiden    U.S./1941 - 1991; World/WW-II and Japan [9 - 13]

Hoosiers    Sports/Basketball; U.S. 1945 - 1991 & Indiana [11+]

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

Into the Wild (Literature: NonFiction; Literary Devices: theme; allusion; U.S.: 1945 - 1991; SEL: Taking Care of Yourself; Families in; Crisis Friendship; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility) [14+]

The Jackie Robinson Story    Biography; Sports/Baseball; U.S./1945 - 1991 & Diversity [8+]

The Joy Luck Club    U.S./1945 - 1991, Diversity; California; World/China [14+]

The Long Walk Home (U.S./1945 - 1991, Diversity & Alabama [12+]

Lord of the Flies (ELA; U.S./1945 -1991) [13+; Literary devices analyzed: symbol, character development, theme, irony.]

Mao's Last Dancer (Literature: NonFiction; Literary Devices: allegory/parable; Biography; World/China; U.S.: 1945 - Present; Dance; SEL: Breaking Out; Human Rights; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility) [12+]

Mr. Holland's Opus    Music/Classical; U.S./1945 - 1991 [10+]

Native Son    U.S./1945 - 1991, Diversity & Illinois; Literature/U.S. [15+]

Never Cry Wolf    Science-Technology, The Environment; U.S./1945 - 1991; Alaska [10+]

October Sky    Aviation & Space Exploration; U.S./1945 - 1991 & West Virginia; Science-Technology [10+]

On The Waterfront    U.S./1945 - 1991 & New York; Cinema [12+]

The Outsiders Literature/U.S.; U.S./1945 - 1991 [11+; Literary devices analyzed: expository phase; flashback; symbol; foreshadowing; Bildungsroman; irony; protagonist/antagonist confusion and theme]

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

Quiz Show    U.S./1945 - 1991 & New York [11+]

A Raisin in the Sun    U.S./1945 - 1991, Diversity & Illinois; Drama/U.S [12+]

The Right Stuff    U.S./1945 - 1991; Aviation; Space Exploration [12+]

Remember the Titans    U.S./1945 - 1991, Diversity & Virginia; Sports/Football [11+]

The Russians are Coming the Russians are Coming    U.S./1945 - 1991 & Massachusetts [8 - 12]

Sayonara    U.S./1945 - 1991 & Diversity; World/Japan [12+]

Seven Days in May    U.S./1945 - 1991 [12+]

Shiloh (U.S./1945 - 1991 & West Virginia) [10+]

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

Stand and Deliver    U.S./1941 - 1996, Diversity & California; Mathematics; ELA [12+; Literary devices analyzed: character, symbols, subplot, foils and irony]

Thirteen Days    U.S./1945 - 1991; World/Russia & The Cold War [12+]

Tootsie    U.S./1945 - 1991 & New York; Drama/U.S. [13+]

Truman    Biography; U.S./1941 - 1991 [12+]

Tucker: The Man and His Dream    U.S./1945-1991; Science-Technology [10+]

The Turning Point    Dance; U.S./1945 - 1991 [14+]

West Side Story    Drama/Musicals; U.S./1945 - 1991, Diversity & New York; Dance/Performance [12+]



1991 to the Present

American Violet (U.S. 1991 - Present; Civics; Plea Bargaining; Snippet: Film Clips: First 31 minutes of the film; Lesson: one and one-half 45 - 55 minute class periods [13+]

Anne B. Real    U.S./1991 - present and New York [12+]

Contagion (Health; Medicine; Science-Technology; U.S. 1991 - present; World/Asia; SEL: Courage; Surviving; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility; Citizenship) [13+]

Courage Under Fire    U.S./1991 - Present [12+]

Crash (U.S. - 1991 to Current; Diversity; California; Literary Devices: Irony; SEL: Mother/Son; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect) [15+]

Force More Powerful-- Short Subject       World/India, Poland, Denmark, Chile, South Africa; 1800s - the Present; U.S./1945 - the Present; Civil Rights Movement, Tennessee [12+; Six sections, each between 20 and 30 minutes in length]

Ghosts of Mississippi    U.S./1945 - Present, Diversity, the Law & Mississippi [12+]

Good Will Hunting    Medicine (Psychiatry); U.S./1991 - present & Massachusetts; [14+]

Gracie's Choice (Health; U.S./1991 - present) [12+]

Hoop Dreams    Sports/Basketball; U.S./1991 - Present & Illinois [10+]

Hotel Rwanda    World/Rwanda & the Post-Cold War Era; U.S./1991 - present [14+]

The Insider    U.S./1991 - present, the Law and the Press [13+]

 

Music of the Heart    Music/Classical, U.S./1991 - present & New York; Biography (Guaspari) [9+]

Outbreak — Snippet Lesson Plan on the Spread of Viral Infection Using Film Clips from Outbreak (Health; Science-Technology (Biology)) [14+]

Pay It Forward    U.S./1991 - Present [12+]

The Pursuit of HappynessU.S./1991 - present and Biography [12+]

The Rookie    Sports/Baseball; U.S./1991 - present [9+]

Small Wonders    Music/Classical; U.S./1991 - Present & New York; Biography (Guaspari) [6+]

Smoke Signals    U.S./1991 - Present, Diversity (Native American) & Idaho [12+]

A Lesson Plan for Health Classes based on "Super Size Me" U.S./1991 - present; Medicine [11+]

When a Man Loves a Woman U.S./1945 - 1991 [13+]

The Witness    (U.S./1991 - present & New York [13+]






For more U.S. History Lesson Plans from movies and film relating to the
Civil Rights Movement, Politics, the Law, and the Press 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 Second World War, the Cold War and the Present.

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