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Race Jesse Owens Movie Lesson Plan


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

Race Jesse Owens Movie Lesson Plan helps teachers bring the amazing story of Jesse Owens into their classroom to help explore issues of prejudice and discrimination, as well as American and world history.

Using Race Jesse Owens Movie Lesson Plan, students will learn about seeking excellence as both an athlete and a person, rising above our feelings, and living by the principles of our integrity.

Jesse Owens made history by winning four gold medals in track and field events at the 1936 Olympic Games held in Berlin, Germany. But his life before, during, and after those Olympics were anything but fun and games. Jesse faced racial discrimination and bigotry throughout his childhood and his time as a track star at Ohio State. In fact, many people did not want him to go to Berlin because of the racial policies of the Nazi government. By following his heart and his dreams, Jesse became a lighthouse that others looked to for direction, guidance, and hope.

Race Jesse Owens Movie Lesson Plan teaches us that the heroes from the past who we often idolize may have achieved great things, but they still endured some of the same internal human struggles which we all experience. Life will present us all with a chance to be a hero, and if we respond appropriately, we can write a story which makes a positive impact on others.

In order to complete these activities, students will need to watch the movie Race, which has a rating of PG-13 (thematic elements and language) and a run time of 2 hours and 15 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 Race Jesse Owens 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!