November 16, 2010
By Elisabeth Grant
POV, which stands for point-of-view, is “TV’s longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films.” Each year, POV presents “14-16 of the best, boldest & most innovative” documentaries on PBS. One of the films that premiered this year is The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, which has won the AHA’s 2010 John O’Connor film award.
The POV web site has an entire section, named “For Educators,” that is devoted to how teachers can use these films and related lesson plans in the classroom.
Lesson plans from POV are “produced in conjunction with PBS Teachers, educational professionals, librarians, issue-area experts, and advisory boards.” Each lesson includes a detailed plan (with objectives, activities, resources, and standards), discussion guide, and reading list.
For example, the lesson plan that goes with The Most Dangerous Man in America is titled “Do the Actions of Whistleblowers Help or Hurt Society?” Students will study two cases involving whistleblowers, watch clips from the movie, record details on a handout, and more. Teachers can refer to and draw from the film discussion guide and reading list, which includes fiction and non-fiction books as well as other films.