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Hart’s War Movie Lesson Plan


  • This resource is a downloadable PDF
  • Ideal for Grades 9-12
  • Perfect for Law, Psychology, Sociology, Military History, Life Skills, Character Education, or Leadership classes
  • Aligned to Common Core State Standards
  • Activities designed to help students meet Social & Emotional Learning Competencies

Hart’s War Movie Lesson Plan helps teachers use this fictional story about a World War II prisoner of camp to teach about law, justice, racism, and integrity.

This lesson plan is perfect for law, government, social studies, language arts, or leadership classrooms.

After completing Hart’s War Movie Lesson Plan, students will increase their understanding of rising above, knowing their integrity, and living by principles.

Lieutenant Thomas Hart was an American law student turned soldier serving in Belgium in December 1944 when he was captured by the Nazis. After undergoing harsh interrogation, Hart landed at a German prisoner of war camp.

The American POWs, led by ranking officer Colonel William McNamara, were suspicious of Hart upon his arrival. Hart was not happy when he was placed in a barracks for enlisted men. But Hart’s troubles deepened when one African-American officer was executed after being set up and another was put on trial for murdering a fellow soldier.

While the war raged on outside the walls of the POW camp, Lieutenant Hart was forced to fight for truth and justice against his fellow soldiers while defending the African-American soldier accused of murder.

Hart’s War Movie Lesson Plan teaches us that there is no field manual to know how to act with honor, courage, duty, and sacrifice. Each man must fight for justice using his own integrity, even when the battle lines between right and wrong are not clearly defined.

In order to complete these activities, students will need to watch the movie Hart’s War, which has a rating of R (violence, adult content, adult language) and has a run time of 2 hours and 5 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 Hart’s War 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.

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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!