6 Movies to Teach High School Students about Persistence and Grit

Teaching students about the values of persistence and grit can be a daunting task. To assist in this endeavor, we can harness the captivating power of cinema. In this post, we’ll delve into six insightful films that shed light on these vital qualities. Each movie presents a unique narrative that showcases the resilience of its characters and their ability to overcome adversity. So, are you ready to explore the 6 Movies to Teach High School Students about Persistence and Grit? Let’s dive in!

The Miracle Worker (NR – 1962)

This powerful film tells the story of Helen Keller, a young girl born blind and deaf, and her extraordinary teacher, Anne Sullivan. Sullivan’s unwavering determination to communicate with Helen, despite immense challenges, is a testament to her persistence and grit. Through Sullivan’s relentless efforts, Helen learns to communicate, highlighting the transformative power of perseverance.

The Miracle Worker Movie Guide (Helen Keller Story) Worksheet (NR - 1962)
The Miracle Worker Movie Guide (Helen Keller Story) (NR – 1962)

The Martian (PG-13 – 2015)

In The Martian, astronaut Mark Watney finds himself stranded alone on Mars. Faced with limited supplies and seemingly insurmountable odds, he must rely on his ingenuity and determination to survive. His continuous struggle to find solutions, regardless of the challenges he faces, provides a compelling portrayal of grit and resilience.

The Martian Movie Guide | Questions | Worksheet | Google Slides (PG13 - 2015)
The Martian Movie Guide (PG13 – 2015)

Drumline (PG-13 – 2002)

Drumline chronicles the story of a talented street drummer, Devon, who earns a spot in a prestigious university band. The film explores his journey as he grapples with the demands of discipline, teamwork, and hard work. His determination to improve and adapt exemplifies the essence of persistence and grit.

Drumline Movie Guide | Viewing Worksheet | Questions (PG13 - 2002) Cover
Drumline Movie Guide (PG13 – 2002)

McFarland, USA (PG – 2015)

This inspiring movie follows the journey of a group of novice runners from a predominantly Latino high school in California. Under the guidance of their coach, they overcome socio-economic hardships to form a competitive cross-country team. Their relentless effort and commitment in the face of adversity exemplify the qualities of persistence and grit.

McFarland, USA Movie Guide | Questions | Worksheet | Google Formats (PG - 2015)
McFarland, USA Movie Guide (PG – 2015)

Gattaca (PG-13 – 1997)

Gattaca presents a dystopian future where genetic makeup determines one’s fate. The protagonist, Vincent, born with inferior genes, dreams of space travel. Undeterred by societal norms, he displays immense grit and determination to overcome his genetic disposition and pursue his dream.

Gattaca Movie Guide | Questions | Worksheet | Google Formats (PG13 - 1997)
Gattaca Movie Guide (PG13 – 1997)

Rudy (PG – 1993)

Rudy showcases the inspiring tale of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, who aspires to play football for Notre Dame University despite his lack of athletic ability and academic achievements. Rudy’s relentless perseverance, despite numerous setbacks, makes this film a heartwarming testament to the power of persistence and grit.

Rudy Movie Guide | Questions | Worksheet | Google Slides (PG - 1993) Cover
Rudy Movie Guide (PG – 1993)

Movies have the potential to ignite meaningful conversations and instill essential values in students. These six films offer valuable insights into the qualities of persistence and grit, making them fantastic resources for educators. What do you think of our picks for the 6 Movies to Teach High School Students about Persistence and Grit? Do you have other movies in mind that should make the list? Share your thoughts with us!

Do you want to search for more movies by their educational key concept?

Check out this blog post to discover 21 educational key concepts and find more movies that align with each one!