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Freedom Movie Lesson Plan


  • This resource is a downloadable PDF
  • Ideal for Grades 8-12
  • Perfect for US History, Life Skills, Character Education, or Leadership classes
  • Aligned to Common Core State Standards
  • Activities designed to help students meet Social & Emotional Learning Competencies

Freedom Movie Lesson Plan helps teachers show students the fictional story of Samuel Woodward and his family escaping along the Underground overlaid with the true story of John Newton, the former slave ship captain who authored one of the most famous hymns of all time, Amazing Grace.

After completing Freedom Movie Lesson Plan, students will increase their understanding of pursuing their dreams, rising above, and living by principles.

This movie, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Samuel Woodward, follows a family of slaves attempting to make it safely to Canada via the Underground Railroad. At the same time, we are told the story of John Newton because Samuel’s grandfather was one of the passengers on Newton’s slave ship.

As we follow the journeys of both Samuel Woodward and John Newton, we see their attitudes toward God change and, as a result, the way they live their lives will transform as well.

Freedom Movie Lesson Plan teaches us that freedom from physical slavery is only one form of bondage that we need to free ourselves from. When we surrender our worries to God and live to make a difference in the lives of others, then we are truly free.

In order to complete these activities, students will need to watch the movie Freedom, which has a rating of R (alcohol use, violence, language) and has a run time of 1 hour and 35 minutes.


Each of our Leadership at the Movies lesson plans includes the following activities:

✅ Reflection: allows students to journal about one of the movie’s themes prior to watching.

✅ Analysis: questions and prompts to analyze the characters, plot, and climax of the movie.

✅ Practice & Discussion: a partner/group activity that takes the principles of the movie and asks students to take action and grow in their own lives.

✅ Extension: a RAFT (Role-Audience-Format-Topic) writing prompt to help students apply their new knowledge.

✅ Lead for Impact: challenges students to pinpoint how the hero of the story exhibited The 12 Fundamentals of Impact and then synthesize how they can apply the lessons to writing their own story.


WARNING: This is a DEEP LEARNING lesson plan to help students employ a LEADERSHIP approach to SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL LEARNING.

These activities are designed to help students meet the following Social & Emotional Learning Competencies as outlined by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL):

⭐ Develop SELF-AWARENESS and SELF-MANAGEMENT skills to achieve school and life success.

⭐ Use SOCIAL-AWARENESS and interpersonal skills to establish and maintain POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS.

⭐ Demonstrate DECISION-MAKING skills and responsible behaviors in personal, school, and community contexts.


The activities in Freedom Movie Lesson Plan will challenge students to move closer to mastery in the following skills: leadership, cooperation with others, creativity, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, problem solving, and judgment and decision making.

Related Products

Leadership at the Movies Bundle

With school-wide access to lesson plans and teaching resources for over 75 movies, you can help your students strive to reach their full potential!