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This unit uses film as a means to help students form an understanding and appreciation for the cultural diversity of Ireland, how its geography influences its culture and economy. Students will study the Irish folktales that have survived for generations, comparing them to American legends that have influenced American children for centuries.

(Recommended for Reading and Social Studies, grades 5-6)


This unit uses film and literature to address and understand the impact the Atlantic slave trade had on Africa and the African people. It will examine the conditions of Africa and African society before the period of domination by Europe, and then how Africa liberated itself , developing into unique and independent nations.

(Recommended for History and Geography, grades 9-12)


This unit invites students to ride the rails from Beijing to St. Petersburg, traveling from China through Mongolia and Russia to the edge of Europe, via film and literature. Students will make maps and keep travelogues along the way.

(Recommended for Language Arts, grade 8)


Through French-speaking films, music, visual art, poetry, and traditional recipes showcasing dominant crops, this unit will introduce students to French-speaking countries that often get little exposure in middle school French classes: Burkina Faso, Quebec, Martinique, and Madagascar. The goal is to learn how these cultures are distinguished from one another as well as from our own culture.

(Recommended for French, grades 7-8)


The primary goal of this unit is to discover through film how connected our American population is even though our ancestors are from all over the globe. Through a blend of geography and realistic fiction and folklore through film, students will compare geographical aspects of countries, experience rich Language Arts activities, and compare common-thread life experience across cultures.

(Recommended for Geography and Language Arts, grade 3)


This unit is based on the premise that our concept of the geography of the world goes only as far as our exposure to it and our ability to imagine it. Beginning with the students’ familiar space, their comfort zone, this unit uses film to expand their view of the world from New Haven to places heretofore unknown to them except as a configuration on a map: New York City, Brazil, and the Australian outback. Students will use graphic organizers and the five-paragraph essay to compare their findings.

(Recommended for Language Arts and Social Studies, grades 9-12)


Through film, this unit will interpret the experiences of diverse populations that have suffered as a result of migration patterns, specifically children, and their movement from a rural environment to an urban setting, in search of work and family. Although often victims of society’s ills, against great odds, they often survive and overcome these potentially paralyzing experiences. Students will have the opportunity to become more "visually literate".

(Recommended for ESL Intermediate, grades 9-12)


This unit encompasses the Jewish experience in Europe and the emergence of modern anti-Semitism in the 1880’s. While it uses film as its primary vehicle, it includes a wide selection of writers and poets in response to anti-Semitism.

(Recommended for History and Social Studies 10-12)


In this interdisciplinary unit students will visit the story of the African Diaspora and find out what people of African descent did for themselves, despite the hardships they endured during slavery. Studying autobiographical accounts of slaves, students will engage in role-play so they will be able to more fully connect with the slaves’ experiences. Students will sharpen their literary skills and sharpen their listening and note-taking skills.

(Recommended for Reading, Language Arts, Social Studies, Visual and Performing Arts, grades 6-8)


This unit, rich with children’s literature, is designed to give students the opportunity to learn about the Plains Indian culture through various learning experiences and activities relating to transportation, food sources such as buffalo and corn, and the art of beading. Students will take home a product representing the material covered in the unit.

(Recommended for Language Arts, History, and Social Studies, grades K-2)


This unit provides a skeletal structure whereby teachers are able to incorporate early, local, New Haven history into the existing United States curriculum. It provides an overview of New Haven history in four parts: the Puritans settling New Haven and their relationship to local Native Americans; Puritan society; Colonial New Haven during the American Revolution; post-revolutionary New Haven.

(Recommended for U.S. History, grade 10)


This unit introduces students to Native American women on the East Coast to dispel stereotypes based on Anglo-Saxon and European attitudes. Students will use primary and secondary sources, develop research skills via books and the Web. They will study and make

comparisons between Native American women then and now.

(Recommended for Social Studies, Language Arts, and Social Development, grade 5)


This poetry unit, written for high school students with low reading levels, focuses on character traits suggested in Maya Angelou’s poetry. It is designed to be a non-threatening introduction to poetry. Students are encouraged to create poems using techniques Angelou suggests in her poems.

(Recommended for Character and English, grades 9-12)


This unit is designed to exploit student enthusiasm for rap music, teaching how rap is a modern poetic form. It explores common themes indicative of the problems visible in urban culture today. Students will study famous political speeches, poetry, and rap, and will write and perform poetic works.

(Recommended for English, Creative Writing, Poetry, and Literature, grades 9-12)