The core curriculum for The Story of Movies includes multiple print components that educators can download and incorporate into their lessons, maximizing students’ immersion in meaningful film study.

The components for the first three SOM units (focusing on To Kill a Mockingbird, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and The Day the Earth Stood Still) are:

Teacher’s Guide. The teacher’s instructional book includes learning objectives, “engage” or warm-up activities, “explain and explore" guided discussions with recommended answers, and prompts for extension and enrichment activities. Also included in the Teacher's Guide are lesson quizzes and chapter tests.

Student Activity Book. This book includes graphic organizers, screening sheets, and recommended reading, writing and research activities.

To Kill a Mockingbird

(1962, directed by Robert Mulligan)

This Academy Award® winning film, based on the novel by Harper Lee, tells the poignant story of childhood and loss of innocence, and of racism and justice during a period of civil rights strife. The film both shaped and was shaped by society, and maintains great relevance today.

Lesson Grid Overview

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

(1939, directed by Frank Capra)

Selected as a historically and culturally significant film by the Library of Congress, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is the story of an idealistic but inexperienced senator who confronts corruption in government. At the time of its release, the Second World War had begun in Europe, and Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy banned the film. In America, it became the focus of a controversy when some American politicians and journalists labeled it unpatriotic.

Lesson Grid Overview

The Day the Earth Stood Still

(1951, directed by Robert Wise)

In the post-World War II climate of nuclear weapons testing, this film was a warning to nations on Earth to find peaceful solutions to their differences. Still relevant today, the film engages students in the science fiction genre while examining the era’s concerns about atomic warfare, as well as its fascination with the idea of visitors from outer space.

Lesson Grid Overview