STAFF PICKS

What We're Watching

Dim the lights and get ready to learn with these TT-approved films!

Screenshot from movie "One Small Step"

The first project from TAIKO studios, One Small Step tells the story of Luna, a Chinese-American girl who dreams of becoming an astronaut. Luna’s journey of struggle, failure and resilience is supported by the unwavering love of her father, a cobbler who makes Luna her first pair of moon boots. The details of their Chinese immigrant household add specificity and depth to a universal story of pursuing one’s dreams, no matter the setbacks. (8 min.) 

Free to stream on TAIKO Studio’s YouTube and Vimeo pages

elementary and middle school 

 

Netflix’s new show Brainchild is equally focused on entertaining and educating. In each episode, host Sahana Srinivasan introduces a new question: “What exactly are memories?” “How big is the universe?” “Do you control your emotions, or do emotions control you?” Expanding on the tradition of Mr. Wizard and Bill Nye, Srinivasan and a diverse group of teenage students explore these questions by consulting with experts and conducting snappy experiments. Following the need for recent Twitter trends like #whatadoctorlookslike, the show does a service by spotlighting a group of young scientists who look like the young people in classrooms across our country. (24 min.) 

Free to Stream on Netflix

upper elementary AND middle school

 

Are you or your students hearing the phrase “implicit bias,” but unsure what it means? Do you feel like admitting to having a bias will cause others to view you negatively? In the series Who, Me? Biased? The New York Times offers six introductory videos discussing implicit bias with experts. The videos use everyday items, such as peanut butter and jelly, to deal with a challenging topic. After explaining a term or discussing related research, they end with a practical action step anyone can take to understand and challenge their own biases. (2-3 min.)

Free to stream through The New York Times

upper elementary through high school

 

Dolores tells the story of Dolores Huerta, labor rights activist and co-organizer of the Delano grape migrant workers’ strike in California. The film chronicles her evolution from passionate community organizer to one of the most instrumental champions of migrant labor rights of the 20th century. Huerta’s dedication to workers’ rights is displayed in a narrative carefully crafted from archival footage and personal interviews. Dolores captures the essence of a tenacious civil rights visionary who has worked tirelessly to turn her conviction into justice. (96 min.)

Widely available for rent or purchase

middle and high school

 

Adapted from the highly acclaimed book of the same name, The Hate U Give follows Starr Carter, a teen who finds her voice after she witnesses a friend being killed by police. Reluctant to speak out at first, eventually she is empowered to join her community in seeking truth and justice for her friend. Starr manages her dual life as a black girl from an all-black neighborhood at a predominately white private school with double consciousness and code-switching, even as her childhood friendships are interrupted by violence and racism. Featuring a theme of stolen innocence among black children, as well as a caring, proud family, The Hate U Give offers a representation of the black experience that comes without stereotypes or a respectability lens. (132 min.)

Widely available for rent or purchase 

upper middle and high school