Teaching children about equality and fairness is really important to me. I want to raise my children to have empathy and understanding, I want them to be feminist children who can speak up when they see inequality around them. I wish that in 2018 this wasn’t needed but sadly it is required more than ever. Therefore I have put together a roundup of Inspirational Movies Based on True Stories for Tweens and Teens. These films teach children a message and will help them develop their social awareness.
My Erin is very socially aware already and this is in part to having a mum who taught Sociology and also being with my older two children as we regularly discuss inequality and fairness in society. I knew Erin had taken this onboard last week when I heard her saying to her best friend, ‘you really need to watch this programme’ When her friend asked her what it was Erin replied ‘its about black inequality in society’. I was amazed as I had not ever seen this programme myself – it was something she had found on YouTube and watched. This demonstrates that I am winning at parenting! The programme was Melody.
Melody Nine-year-old Melody is described as a singer in her local church, with her backstory set against the civil rights movement and the rising popularity of Motown. “As Melody gains more awareness of racial inequality and her sense of community grows from her extended family to include her neighbourhood and, ultimately, all African Americans, she is inspired by Dr King to have a dream of her own: to lift her voice for fairness and equality”. This is a short programme of under 50 minutes and therefore great for tweens and younger viewers.
The Greatest Showman This is the story of Barnum who introduced the concept of the Circus through using his ‘people with oodities’ including a bearded lady and people of colour. The film mixes the truth with some fictional characters to. The show has a brilliant score to go with it and as I watched the film I sobbed but also wanted to sing and dance. It teaches us that people of all shapes and sizes are to be treated fairly. It has a great cast and tweens and teens will adore the film. It has been the unexpected hit of the cinema and all my friends have proclaimed how much they enjoyed it.
The Help An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African American maids’ point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis. I both cried and laughed my way through the film. Perfect for teaching about black history and ethnic inequality.
Schindlers List The year 1939, World War II. A German political man wants to profit from the war but needs workers in his factory. What does he do? He hires Jews who are being exterminated under Hitler’s rule. He employs about 300 of them to work in his factory with proper labor arrangements. But gradually realizes, he’s giving them a new life also. He goes through a list of measures to keep his workers safe, so as to maintain the factory running, which in turn also saves Jews from the SS.
Cool Runnings The true story of the first Jamaican bobsleigh team. Derice is a sprinter who, after a fall in trials fails to be picked for the Olympic squad. Having heard that sprinters make good bobsleighers, he sets about getting a team together asking friends Sanka, and Junior and fellow sprinter Yul and searches out disgraced former Olympic bobsleigh champion Irv Blitzer to coach the team. This inspires tweens to never give up and shows how important team work is.
We hope you enjoy these Inspirational Movies Based on True Stories for Tweens and Teens. Let me know in the comments which other inspirational true movies you would recommend to teens and tweens.