POV Films & Lesson Plans: Putting a Human Face on Contemporary Social Issues

Rather than give students formulaic thinking and writing, teachers can address MA Framework goals meaningfully with multimedia, inquiry- based lessons and authentic, real-world context from PBS’s POV.

POV (a cinema term for “point of view”) is a showcase for independent non-fiction films known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues. Lesson plans comprise units that use film as a learning tool in U.S History, Civics, Current Events, Government and Journalism.

In the lesson Do the Actions of Whistleblowers Help or Hurt Society? students in grades 6-12  study the cases of two whistleblowers,  judge the effect of their actions and then explain how they would have acted if they had been in the whistleblowers’ situations.  Activities include:  learning objectives, an outline of relevant national standards met by the plans, a list of necessary tools and materials, a teaching strategy, assessment recommendations and extension ideas.

Filmmakers have also partnered with the Zinn Education Project to create a 94-page teaching guide with 8 more lesson plans.   Other resources include an overview with links to lesson plans by subject and video classroom clips, and a DVD Lending Library to borrow POV films for free, screen them in your classroom and download discussion guides and lesson plans.

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