Use of Movie & Video in the Classroom

   Policy Number: 2150

Date: 01/24/2019




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The Board of Trustees believes that the use of video media, including movies, clips from movies, television broadcasts, clips from television broadcasts, or the aforementioned downloaded or streamed from the Internet or stored by other means can have educational value and support, enhance, and/or supplement the curriculum and instructional lessons in the classroom. The Board believes that educators must select and use such materials in a responsible manner, taking into consideration the content and nature of the materials, the age and developmental level of the students, and in some cases parental approval of such materials. The Board believes that instructional time is valuable and that use of video materials must enhance and contribute positively to the advancement of instructional objectives, and must not cause inefficient use of instructional time. The Board believes that guidelines governing the use of such media are important to ensure the effective and responsible use of video media.


Video Media-

Means all forms of digital and/or analog video media, including but not limited to movies, clips from movies, television broadcasts, clips from television broadcasts, the aforementioned downloaded or streamed from the Internet or stored by other means.

MPAA Rating System-

Means the rating system established by the Motion Picture Association of America. The following is the MPAA Rating System:

        • G — General Audiences. All Ages Admitted. A G-rated motion picture contains nothing in theme, language, nudity, sex, violence or other matters that, in the view of the Rating Board, would offend parents whose younger children view the motion picture.
        • PG — Parental Guidance Suggested. Some Material May Not Be Suitable For Children. A PG-rated motion picture should be investigated by parents before they let their younger children attend. The PG rating indicates, in the view of the Rating Board, that parents may consider some material unsuitable for their children, and parents should make that decision. The more mature themes in some PG-rated motion pictures may call for parental guidance. There may be some profanity and some depictions of violence or brief nudity. But these elements are not deemed as intense as to require that parents be strongly cautioned beyond the suggestion of parental guidance. There is no drug use content in a PG-rated motion picture.
        • PG-13 — Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some Material May Be Inappropriate For Children Under 13. A PG-13 rating is a sterner warning by the Rating Board to parents to determine whether their children under age 13 should view the motion picture, as some material might not be suited for them. A PG-13 motion picture may go beyond the PG rating in theme, violence, nudity, sensuality, language, adult activities or other elements, but does not reach the restricted R category. The theme of the motion picture by itself will not result in a rating greater than PG-13, although depictions of activities related to a mature theme may result in a restricted rating for the motion picture. Any drug use will initially require at least a PG-13 rating. More than brief nudity will require at least a PG13 rating, but such nudity in a PG-13 rated motion picture generally will not be sexually oriented. There may be depictions of violence in a PG-13 movie, but generally not both realistic and extreme or persistent violence. A motion picture’s single use of one of the harsher sexually-derived words, though only as an expletive, initially requires at least a PG-13 rating. More than one such expletive requires an R rating, as must even one of those words used in a sexual context.

Appropriate Use of Video Media

In general, video media may be utilized as one tool to advance the instructional objectives of the American Leadership Academy approved curriculum, classroom lesson, and/or units of study. The content of the video material must directly support the stated instructional objectives of the lesson or unit plan, and must be part of an overall lesson that engages students in the development of understanding of the content and/or the development of skills of the lesson. Video material shall be intended to enrich the curriculum and assist students in meeting instructional goals. So as to make efficient use of instructional time, whenever possible excerpts or clips from video media should be utilized rather than having students view the entire piece.



There must be a stated instructional purpose in the lesson and/or unit plan for the use of video media in the classroom. The lesson must be clear on how the video media shall be used. Given the potential inappropriate nature of video media, media must be carefully reviewed by the teacher prior to consideration for use in class.


In general, full-length movies or television programs should not be utilized during instructional lessons.

A.  It is preferable that the portions of the movie or program pertinent to the objectives of the lesson should be identified and utilized.

B.  Full-length movies or programs may be utilized only if the video media is approved by the administration AND are specifically listed in the curriculum for that course.


In the case in which full-length movies or programs are utilized, accompanying instructional strategies and techniques must be developed and included in the teacher’s lesson plan to help the students view and process the material with purpose, and in a productive and efficient manner. These could include but shall not be limited to:

A. Anticipatory questions and/or discussion.

B.  A viewing guide. Pausing the video at predetermined times to provide for class or small-group discussion or activity about the content.

C.  Journal writing tasks to process or reflect upon the content in order to connect it to the overall objectives of the lesson and/or unit of study.

Supervising administrators shall review such strategies in lesson plans to ensure that full-length video media is utilized appropriately and in a manner consistent with this policy.


So as to make efficient use of instructional time, whenever possible pertinent video media clips should be shown, rather than viewing any media in its entirety. Excerpts from movies, television programs, or other video segments of less than 15 minutes may be infused into daily lesson plans at the teacher’s discretion. Teachers shall submit lesson plans to a supervisor/administrator per established procedures. When utilizing video media of less than 15 minutes, teacher should consider the following:

A.  Teachers may utilize at their discretion other video media (video media from appropriate internet sources or other sources) of less than 15 minutes in length directly related to the content of the curriculum and classroom lessons. If the content of the video media’s appropriateness is reasonably questionable in any way, the teacher should consult with their principal and seek approval using the video approval form. Please err on the side of caution.

B.  There should be a clear purpose of the video media directly related to the instructional objectives.

C.  Students should be provided clear direction regarding the purpose of the video segment and anticipatory questions and/or prompts to explicitly connect the video material to the content of the lesson so that the viewing of such material is productive and contributes to the lesson.

D.  Direct instructional strategies should be utilized to help students process the content of the video segment to make it meaningful to the instructional objectives of the lesson.


Any video media over 15 minutes needs to be approved by administration using the video approval form.


All video media MUST have been recently previewed by the teacher before showing the material to students. The choice of video material to be utilized for instructional purposes shall consider the following:

A.  The age, maturity, and sophistication of the students shall be considered when selecting material.

B.  The movie or video’s Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating or television parental guidelines rating.

C.  The presence of profanity, sexual content, prejudicial stereotypes, or violence. Video segments, movies or clips used in the classroom SHALL NOT include use of sexually-charged content, profanity, depiction of sexual acts, nudity, graphic or pervasive acts of violence, drug use, or aberrant behavior. The presence, or any reasonable question of the presence, of any such material shall prompt required evaluation and approval of the material for use by administration utilizing the video approval form.

D.  The quality of the overall piece and its relationship to the content of the curriculum and/or lesson.

E.  The accuracy of the piece, i.e. consideration of opinions, veracity and fair representation of “facts,” information that is timely, impartial and without bias.


For the use of any video media of any rating, the instructional relevance MUST be clearly demonstrated in the curriculum and lesson plan. The appropriateness of the video media, and the need for parental permission of viewing, depends on the grade- level of the students and the rating of the video media.

A.  All PG and PG-13 video media must be approved by administration, specifically listed in the curriculum for that particular course and provide written permission from parent or guardian by filling out the parent permission form. A parent or guardian who does not wish the child to view the film must provide a written objection, and the child will be given alternate lessons appropriate to the child’s grade level as determined by the teacher.

B.  For elementary classes and activities, movies or clips from movies may only be shown if they carry the MPAA G or PG rating or equivalent. Great care must be taken when choosing a PG film or program for elementary students to ensure the suitability of the material and must be under the supervision of the teacher.

C.  Courses whose sole purpose is to view and evaluate movies are exempt from this section of this policy. Parents of students in such a course shall be sent notification at the beginning of course with the list of movies and programs the students will view during the course. All video media for the course must be administration approved and listed in the curriculum. If a parent objects to the student viewing video media on the course list, the student should be removed from the course.


Showing television programs, movies or other content for entertainment purposes, as a class reward, or for general “down time” for students not directly connected to a curricular-based class lesson is strictly prohibited and is a violation of the policy. The exception would be school-wide or grade-level activities or celebrations.


Parent Permission Form

Teacher Video Approval Form