5 Educational Movies for Your Teenager

Every learner needs a break off academics once in a while. It is the reason why there is even a break at the end of every school term. This allows the learner to refresh, connect with their surroundings and also get a chance to develop in other spheres of life.

One of the things learners can do to have this much needed break is watching movies. But in a world where the movie industry is awash with violent and improper themes, it becomes obvious that learners’ access to them has to be restricted or heavily monitored. In fact the debate on whether it is okay for teenagers to watch movies is so complex that many parents and educators prefer to play deaf to the discussion.

However, not all movies are bad. In fact, a good and healthy movie experience has several benefits to these learners for example, being inspired to pursue a career in the performing arts. There are undoubtedly many movies available that are entertaining yet educative at the same time. In this article, I share just 10 of the many movies that I have come across that are healthy to watch for your teenager.

1. The Pursuit of Happyness – Will Smith

In The Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith plays a good-natured father who is a bit hapless. He spends his live savings on an invention and ends up losing his wife and his home because of it. Throughout his time as a homeless father, he looks after his son well and strives to make a better life for them both, working immensely hard and not letting anyone dull his enthusiasm for the future dream. Released in 2006, this movie teaches about determination, a virtue every one needs at some point in our lives.

2. Nappily Ever After – Sanaa Lathan

Based on the novel of the same name by Trisha R. Thomas. Violet’s mother Paulette (Lynn Whitfield) always insists she look perfect. Paulette straightens her natural hair, but it takes time and she is occasionally burned by the iron. At a pool, a boy dares Violet to hold her breath longer underwater, so she jumps in, despite her mother’s protests. Underwater, her hair instantly becomes naturally wild and frizzy. The other children start to tease her, and her horrified mother takes her home.

This movie teaches one about self acceptance in a world that seems to judge otherwise.

3. The Breakfast Club – Molly Ringwald

Released in 1985, this classic is about a group of High School students who have to undergo a Saturday morning detention, where they must write an essay on “who you think you are“. They all come from different walks of life and think they have nothing in common, but time can prove otherwise. This movie teaches us to stop judging each other and give respect to each one.

4. Slumdog Millionaire – Dev Patel

Jamal Malik is an 18-year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, and when he gets into the Indian version of “Who wants to be a millionaire” no-one expects him to do well. How can he be one question away from winning 20 million rupees? Watch as the film unveils how he has gained all the knowledge to be in this hot seat. The theme in this movie is overcoming adversity. It also shows us that we can learn a lot outside the four walls of the classroom.

5. Hidden Figures

Themes:  Equality, Discrimination, Feminism, Racism

A truly inspirational film based on true events. Back in the 1960s when NASA was racing against Russia to put a man on the moon, they found they had genius untapped talent in the form of three African-American women mathematicians. They quickly rose through the ranks breaking all previous norms and became known as “human-Computers”. The themes in this movie include equality, discrimination, feminism and racism.

These are just 5 of the many movies out there that are entertaining yet educative. Learners should be guided on what they should watch because the market is full of violent and inappropriate content which if not watched is detrimental to their emotional development.



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