Community Classroom -- Engaging educators and students through film

Interactive Features

Explore social issue games, mobile apps, and other non-linear storytelling features, inspired by Independent Lens and ITVS films.

  • Lesson Plans

    A graphic of a man wearing a sandwich board, next to the words More Than a Mapp

    More Than a Mapp is a free iPhone and iPod app that allows users to discover and contribute to the African American history that exists all around us. Using the location-enabled app can reveal sites of significance to black history in your city, encouraging you to upload map points of your own. More Than a Mapp is accompanied by an educator’s guide designed to contextualize the app in the classroom through discussion, debate, research, and hands-on activities.

    Lessons are directed toward grades 7 through 12.
    Subject areas: Social Studies, American History, World History, Civics, Geography, Government, Language Arts, Technology, Research, and Information Literacy

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  • A graphic of a goat leaning into a box that says organics, with a recycling symbol in front of it

    Imagine if recycling were not just a matter of protecting the environment, but of personal survival. The Zaballeen have been collecting garbage in Cairo since the early 1900s. At the turn of this century, the government of Cairo began using foreign companies to haul garbage. These companies recycle just 20 percent of what they collect, and the rest is dumped into a landfill.

    The Garbage Dreams Game asks players to take on the role of the Zaballeen: to sort, process, and profit from the garbage collected in from Cairo’s neighborhoods. The film, the game, and the corresponding lesson plans explore recycling and the globalized economy.

    Lessons are directed toward grades 7 through 12.
    Subject areas: Social Studies, Language Arts, Cultural Studies, Economics

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  • A graphic depicting an ancient Middle Eastern building and the word Baghdad

    This is a role-playing adventure game where players navigate the ancient cities of Baghdad and Cordoba in search of mythical stone referenced in Hindu and Arab texts and believed to contain infinite wisdom. It is a race against time and the villain Rhugal, who is also hunting for the Noor stone. Over the course of the game, players will gather necessary information about the history, language, and culture of each city and use it to problem solve as they progress on their journey. The Hunt for the Noor Stone is both a stand-alone game and extension of the film Wham! Bam! Islam! The inspiration for the game is taken from the first storylines in THE 99 comic book series which we see being written and illustrated in the first act of Wham! Bam! Islam! The game can also be enjoyed by players who have never seen the documentary or know of THE 99.

    Lessons are directed toward grades 7 through 12.
    Subject areas: Social Studies, World History, Cultural Studies, Language Arts, Art

    Play the game and view lesson plans >>

  • Screenshot of Beyond the Fire Web page showing a map of Iraq with a cut-out photo of two young men standing on top of it

    Best Educational Resource, South by Southwest Web Awards

    Of the millions of war refugees fleeing conflicts around the globe, almost half are children. Fostering dialogue on geography, human rights, and diplomacy, Beyond the Fire offers a Web-based experience, featuring teen refugees' stories, an interactive virtual passport, lesson plans, and discussion guides. Two lesson plans allow students to look at the issue of child soldiers and explore and compare the experiences of teen refugees.

    Lessons are directed toward grades 7 through 12.
    Subject areas: Geography, Civics, World History, Language Arts

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  • A Native American man with a red blanket draped over his shoulders stands in front of an open doorway

    Best Educational Resource Finalist, South by Southwest Web Awards

    With Native culture bearers as guides, this interactive website explores the art, heritage and legacy of the Native American oral tradition. These three lessons allow students to examine the complex and rich oral tradition of Native American storytelling, create their own stories to share, explore indigenous and Native American cultures and the issues which face them today, and research heritage.

    Lessons are directed toward grades 6 through 12.
    Subject areas: Language Arts, Theater, History, Social Studies, Multicultural Studies, Technology, Life Science

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  • Closeup of a woman's face

    Best Educational Resource, South by Southwest Web Awards; New Media Award, Media That Matters Film Festival

    Connecting the experiences of antipathy, prejudice, fear and confusion, felt by Japanese Americans in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor with those confronting Arab and Muslim Americans today, Face to Face uncovers and dispels myths and untruths, similarities and shared experiences, and finds some common ground for understanding, tolerance, and compassion.

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