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leaders who make an impact on the world

Woodlawn Movie Lesson Plan


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

Woodlawn Movie Lesson Plan helps teachers share an inspirational story of a young man who had the courage to defend his beliefs in the face of fear and hatred.

After completing Woodlawn Movie Lesson Plan, students will have a better understanding of growing character skills, being a lighthouse, and knowing their integrity.

Woodlawn tells the story of Tony Nathan, who joined fellow African-American students at Woodlawn High School in Birmingham, Alabama following government-mandated desegregation in the early 1970’s. As violence and anger erupted in the city, Woodlawn football coach Tandy Gerelds allowed an outsider to speak to his players. His message of hope and love lead to a spiritual awakening that inspired star athlete Nathan, his teammates, and other members of the community to overcome the hate that surrounded them.

Woodlawn Movie Lesson Plan guides students to see that our beliefs can be a powerful force to stand up for what is right and change the world.

In order to complete these activities, students will need to watch the movie Woodlawn, which has a rating of PG and a run time of 2 hours and 4 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 Woodlawn 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!