Not In Our School Lessons Meet the Common Core State Standards | Not in Our Town

Not In Our School Lessons Meet the Common Core State Standards

Grade Level: 
High School (9-12)

Additional Writing Activities for Not In Our School Films and the Video Action Kit

NIOS films and lesson plans can be used in academic courses that address writing and health. Here are some activities that can be added to address Common Core State Standards in areas of Writing and Critical Thinking.

1. Vocabulary: Select key words (e.g., stereotype, bullying, hate)
  • seek dictionary definitions
  • observe how the words are used in context of the film      
  • analyze the impact of specific word choices
2. Select a pre-viewing or post-viewing question. Seek additional information from primary and secondary sources. Write a persuasive essay. Support claims with relevant evidence.

3. Select a film topic (e.g., bullying, prejudice, hate crimes, Islam, immigration, sexual orientation) and do additional research. Synthesize the new information with information in the film. Write a research report on the topic.

4. Select a film. Interview several peers on the topic. Compare and contrast points of view expressed in the film with points of view expressed by peers. Write a letter to the editor or blog post with the findings.

5. Select a film. Do a quick-write with an analysis of the purpose of showing the film to students. What can you draw from the film to apply to your experience?

6. Pick a student from the film. Observe the student’s comments and actions. What was the main message the student was trying to convey? Write a narrative from that student’s point of view about what he or she learned. Describe what that student might have felt if he or she transferred to your school. Compare and contrast the experiences at the two schools.

7. Apply the message of the film to your school. Write a business letter to your principal with suggestions for ways to improve your school climate and reduce bullying and teasing at your school.

8. Select 2-3 films. Write summaries of the films. Compare and contrast different responses to bullying. Analyze what might work at your school.

9. Have students keep a journal where they write after each film viewing. Ask them to do three things in each journal entry: Write about what new information they learned, how they felt, and what they can do with the information.

10. Write scenarios for role-plays on topics of student leadership, or intervening safely in bullying situations.

11. Write narratives to share personal experiences with bullying, teasing, harassment or intolerance. Describe what happened, how you felt, what steps you took to resolve the situation. What did you learn from the experience? Consider other possible reactions and outcomes.

12. Have students write a personal plan of action related to the topic of the film.

13. After viewing the film(s) about bullying, hate, or violence, have the students consider the role of reporting information to a trusted adult. How do they identify an adult to trust? What are safe ways to report? Write a reflective essay.

14. Publish PowerPoint presentations, blog posts, pledges, proposals for school campaigns or change efforts, letters to community leaders, school officials, and to editors of news media on topics related to the films.

Find films and lesson plans that meet the Common Core State Standards and the California Health Education Content Standards.


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