Guns, Germs and Steel Movie Documentary Guide
This Guns, Germs and Steel Movie Documentary Guide challenges students to get the most out of this dense yet fascinating look at how the world’s power and wealth came into existence. Analyze how indigenous plants, animals and geography shaped ancient civilizations. Compare the tribes of Papua New Guinea with the Eurasian peoples and how their environment helped or hindered their growth. Identify how the Spaniards used guns, germs and steel (as well as writing and horses) to conquer the Incas despite being vastly outnumbered.
This resource consists of 19 high-level, short answer and essay questions that will do more than just ask your students to regurgitate information. See the thumbnail images for sample questions.
Note: This resource is meant to accompany the 3 part mini series aired in 2005 on National Geographic, which was based on Jared Diamond’s Pulitzer prize winning 1997 non-fiction book of the same title. See the IMDb listing here to avoid any confusion.
This product .zip file includes:
- A student movie guide, PDF digital fillable form version (5 pages)
- A student movie guide, PDF print version (5 pages)
- An answer key (5 pages) is included, however, some answers will vary as students are encouraged to construct their own meaning throughout the film and many questions are open-ended.
- A Google Forms Version of the Movie Guide
- A generic movie guide permission slip (1 page)
- CCSS alignment indicating standards met, PDF (1 page – see also preview image)
- CCSS Note: I’ve taken the liberty of aligning certain reading standards with the act of consuming content via the movie instead. Although students aren’t reading they are asked to perform the same cognitive functions on the content that they consumed from the movie.
Distance Learning Tips:
- Distribute the digital PDF file or the google forms version to each student
- Use the screen sharing tool on your group call software to play the movie
- Pause the movie at each question to give students time to write/discuss
Here are my tips for using this Guns, Germs and Steel Movie Documentary Guide in your classroom:
- Print one, double-sided movie guide for each student
- Preview each question on the movie guide as you come to it before resuming the movie
- Pause at the times designated on the movie guide and help students if necessary
- Discussion here is great, encourage and allow students to share their ideas and thoughts for any question
- Discourage students from simply copying answers
- If needed, and if time allows, feel free to rewind and show important parts of the movie for additional analysis
- After completing the short answers on the movie guide, allow 5-10 minutes for each essay question at the end
- On average, completing this movie guide will require about 30-45 minutes in addition to the length of the movie
This Guns, Germs and Steel Movie Documentary Guide resource is also available on TeachersPayTeachers
Try before you buy! Check out a variety of 100% Free Movie Guides:
Get a feel for these movie guides and see if this resource is right for you. I ask questions that require students to ‘live’ on the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy.
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K12 Movie Guides are on these other platforms as well:
- Pinterest – TeacherTravis
- Facebook Page – K12MovieGuides
- Instagram – TeacherTravis
- Twitter – @k12movieguides
Digital PDF Version Tips
- It is intended for a paperless, 1:1 tablet/iPad classroom
- Ask students to download a PDF editor app if they don’t already have one. It needs to have a save function as well. I used Foxit PDF.
- Host the file. I used google drive to share a folder with students.
- When complete, ask students to save the file in a designated google drive folder using a naming convention. (I use LastnameFirstnameMovieGuide.pdf)