Movies that Teach Important Lessons for High School Students

Most high school students love to watch movies. Turn that love of movies into something educational. The following movies can be used to teach high school students important life lessons.

To Kill a Mockingbird

“To Kill a Mockingbird” was released on December 25, 1962. It is the film adaptation of Harper Lee’s classic novel. The movie follows the tragic incident in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama from 1933-1935. A young black man named Tom Robinson is accused of rape, and Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) is assigned to the case. This case impacts the lives of everyone in town including Atticus’s two young children Scout (Mary Badham) and Jem (Phillip Alford).

The character Boo Radley had a mental disability, and this movie explores the importance of acceptance. It also explored the world of racism, and its effects.

The Devil’s Arithmetic

“The Devil’s Arithmetic” is a television movie that is based on the novel of the same name by Jane Yolen. In this movie, Jewish-American teenager Hannah Stern (Kirsten Dunst) is unconcerned with her family’s religious traditions. She only wants to live the life of an average teenager. This all changes when Hannah finds herself magically transported back into the past. The year is 1942. And, Hannah discovers what it really means to be Jewish when she is captured and placed in a Nazi concentration camp.

“The Devil’s Arithmetic” can be used to show high school students the importance of family, history, and tolerance.

Simeon Birch

Bring some laughter into the classroom with this comedy/drama. “Simeon Birch” is a film based on the novel by John Irving. Simeon Birch (Ian Michael Smith) was born small and all of the people in town think that he is strange. Simeon, however, proclaims that he is a hero. His only friend is Joseph Wenteworth (Joseph Mazzello), who is also ridiculed by the townspeople.

“Simeon Birch” is another movie that can be used to teach high school students about acceptance. It can also be used to teach them about bullying and the importance of friendship.

After Earth

The Earth has become uninhabitable, and the human race has been forced to move to a new planet called Nova Prime. Alien invaders called S’krell also want to inhabit Nova Prime, but they don’t want to share this planet with humans. The S’Krell uses their secret weapon, the Ursas, to try to annihilate the human race. General Cypher Raige (Will Smith) has learned how to defeat the Ursas. He uses a technique called “ghosting” which allows him to control his fears. His son Kitai desperately wants to live up to his father, but he lacks the discipline. While on a routine mission, Cypher and his son Kitai Raige crash land on Earth. Cypher is seriously wounded and Kitai must save them both.

“After Earth” can be used to teach high school teens self-reliance and the importance of facing their fears.

Movies can be used to teach high school students importance life lessons. The movies listed above are not only entertaining. They teach important life lessons as well.