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Soul Surfer Movie Lesson Plan


  • This resource is a downloadable PDF
  • Ideal for Grades 6-12
  • Perfect for Language Arts, Life Skills, Character Education, Leadership classes or Youth Group Activities
  • Aligned to Common Core State Standards
  • Activities designed to help students meet Social & Emotional Learning Competencies

Soul Surfer Movie Lesson Plan helps teachers bring life lessons to their classrooms using the inspiring story of Bethany Hamilton.

After completing Soul Surfer Movie Lesson Plan, students will experience the opportunity to reflect on important fundamentals like pursuing their dreams, overcoming obstacles, and enjoying the journey.

What happens in Soul Surfer? Bethany Hamilton seemed to have it all…living in Hawaii with a wonderful family and the talent to become a championship surfer. But in an instant, all the plans she had for her life were ripped away from her when she lost her arm in a shark attack.

Bethany refused to let the loss of her arm keep her from pursuing her dream. However, the greatest lesson that Bethany learned was that fulfillment not only comes from pursuing your own dreams but inspiring others to chase their dreams as well.

Soul Surfer Movie Lesson Plan helps students extract lessons from the heroic story of Bethany Hamilton. Sometimes, we have to find a new path in life. And just like Bethany, we don’t need easy…we just need possible.

Click HERE to learn more about Bethany Hamilton.

In order to complete these activities, students will need to watch the movie Soul Surfer (watch official trailer), which has a rating of PG (for an intense accident sequence and some thematic material) and a run time of 1 hour and 46 minutes.

*This lesson plan is intended to be used with the movie Soul Surfer and not the book (although the book may be a good supplemental reference).


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 Soul Surfer 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!