The Pursuit of Happyness Movie Lesson Plan
- This resource is a downloadable PDF
- Ideal for Grades 8-12
- Perfect for Language Arts, Life Skills, Character Education, or Leadership classes
- Aligned to Common Core State Standards
- Activities designed to help students meet Social & Emotional Learning Competencies
The Pursuit of Happyness Lesson Plan helps teachers show their students an inspiring example of going after their dreams and never giving up, even when it seems impossible.
By completing The Pursuit of Happyness Lesson Plan, students will gain a greater understanding of having a vision, growing character skills, and leading by serving.
The Pursuit of Happyness chronicles the struggling life of single father Chris Gardner. Evicted from their apartment, Chris and his young son find themselves alone with no place to go. Even though Chris eventually lands a job as an intern at a prestigious brokerage firm, the position pays no money. The pair must live in shelters and endure many hardships, but Chris refuses to give in to despair as he struggles to create a better life for himself and his son.
The Pursuit of Happyness Lesson Plan helps us realize the struggle it takes to achieve our dreams…but that it is possible when we keep moving forward one day at a time.
In order to complete these activities, students will need to watch the movie The Pursuit of Happyness, which has a rating of PG-13 (mild adult language and some parental fighting) and a run time of 1 hour and 57 minutes.
Each of our 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 The Pursuit of Happyness 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.