Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Movie Guide | Questions | Worksheet (1939) challenges students to analyze government, corruption, how a bill gets passed and the importance of liberty, free speech and the freedom of the press. Although this movie is almost 80 years it is amazing that the director Frank Capra, and the writers were able to create something that is still capture’s students attention and is highly educational.
Note: The final essay question requires background knowledge of Don Quixote or a brief reading of a summary of the the story, as students are asked to compare Mr. Smith to Don Quixote. This question can be skipped if desired.
This product includes:
- A student movie guide, PDF digital fillable form version (6 pages)
- A student movie guide, PDF print version (6 pages)
- An answer key (4 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 generic movie guide permission slip (1 page)
The digital version is for a paperless classroom if your students each have a tablet/iPad. Here is a method that worked for me:
1. 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.
2. Host the file. I used google drive to share a folder with the students.
3. After students have completed the movie guide, ask them to save it in a designated google drive folder using a naming convention. (I use LastnameFirstnameMovieGuide.pdf)
Here are my tips for using the Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Movie Guide | Questions | Worksheet (1939) with students 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