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Curriculum & Resources: Independent Television Service (ITVS) Lesson Plans

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ITVS Community Classroom

ITVS Community Classroom generously offers free and engaging curricula and lesson plans developed from powerful documentaries. This site not only will boost your students' knowledge about peace and justice issues in this country and all over the world, but also give them greater empathy for the human plight to equity and happiness.

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ITVS Curriculum Collections

ITVS Curriculum Collections pair standards-based lesson plans with award-winning documentaries from independent filmmakers and PBS, and will engage your students in deeper understanding of a number of contemporary issues, including immigration and deportation, music and technology copyright laws, hip-hop culture,  the role of religion in medical practices and ethics, and more.

Request a collection on DVD for free, or stream individual films online. Free lesson plans can be downloaded in PDF format and contain pre-/post-screening discussion questions, worksheets, writing prompts, and the Common Core Standards each lesson meets. Lesson plans are appropriate for high school and community colleges, NGOs, and youth organizations.

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Here is a sample of ITVS's stellar curricula offerings:


Vote Democracy!

Vote Democracy Just in time for the general election in November! This Curriculum Collection—recommended for high school and college students—features seven lesson plans using four different documentaries: An Unreasonable Man, Chicago 10, Iron Ladies of Liberia, and Please Vote for Me. Lesson plans focus on the concept of democracy, gender, campaigns and elections, and media literacy.

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Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
Half the SkyThis Curriculum Collection features five lesson plans inspired by the PBS documentary based on Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s best-selling book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Lesson plans focus on maternal mortality, gender-based violence, education, economic       
empowerment, and modern slavery.

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ITVS Interactive

Virtual Mine Need another teaching tool to grab your students' attention? ITVS Interactive focuses on innovation, participation, and engagement bringing new audiences to public media 2.0. Students can enter a 3D virtual mountain top removal mine. Use the latest hand-held technology to participate in Power Poetry, the world’s first mobile youth poetry community. Find sites of significance to black history in your city using a free iPhone or iPod app. 

EXPLORE ITVS Interactive



For additional resources, films, and screening opportunities, visit ITVS's official website




Independent Television Service (ITVS) brings independently produced, high quality public broadcast and new media programs to international audiences. Through intriguing and engaging documentaries, ITVS aims to expand cultural awareness and inspire civic participation. VISIT ITVS Homepage. 


YES! Archive



  • YES! Videos

    Telling inspiring stories of social change.

  • YES! Takes on the Election 

    The results of this election will affect health care, energy, and the position of the U.S. government on climate change. This page gathers together YES! articles about places in the process where positive change is possible.


The above resources accompany the October 2012 YES! Education Connection Newsletter


READ NEWSLETTER: 9 steps to better health :: How to help your introvert students

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