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  • Lesson plan
  • Grades 11-12,
  • Grades 6-8,
  • Grades 9-10

Minding the Gap: Educator Resource

About the Film

Minding the Gap is a coming of age film by Bing Liu. Starting in high school, Bing begins to make skate videos. What starts as a hobby ends up as a profound exploration of issues that is likely to resonate deeply with students.

The diverse group of participants in the film – Bing, Keire, Zack, and Nina – see and feel the often jarring challenges of life in a small, declining Rust Belt city. Collectively, they experience family violence, substance abuse, economic insecurity, racism, and teen pregnancy, along with the typical struggles of identity formation as teens become adults. To cope, they skate — regulating the speed at which they move through life, attacking obstacles and flipping over platforms, sometimes unsuccessfully. The risks they take are sometimes rewarded and sometimes the source of pain. But they persevere.

About the authors

Zakiyyah Ali

Zakiyyah Ali is a proud Virginia State University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political

Science and a Master of Arts Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision. She holds a

permanent license in Social Studies as she is a former New York City Department of Education teacher,

and she is also a former Researcher on disproportionality with New York University and an adjunct

instructor in Steinhardt’s Early Childhood Education Department. She is currently the Founder and CEO

of Zakiyyah Ali Educational Consulting, LLC.

Faith Rogow

Faith Rogow, Ph.D., is the co-author of The Teacher's Guide to Media Literacy: Critical Thinking in a Multimedia World (Corwin, 2012) and past president of the National Association for Media Literacy Education. She has written discussion guides and lesson plans for more than 250 independent films.