The Story of Stuff Video Guide | Worksheet | Questions (NR – 2009)


The Story of Stuff Video Guide | Worksheet | Questions (NR – 2009) challenges students to connect with and digest the plethora of information in this short, 20 minute, video. Examine each stage of the Materials Economy process including extraction, production, distribution, consumption and disposal. Ask student to share their experience with the concepts of planned obsolescence & perceived obsolescence and imagine ways in which costs are externalized for products they are familiar with. Explore the work-watch-spend treadmill idea and whether or not students recognize elements of it in their life or their community. Finally, encourage students to interact with the website, take the change maker quiz and take action as they see fit.

Teacher’s Note: This movie was first published on YouTube in 2009 by and a simple search for this video will yield plenty of links and it is easy to find on YouTube.

Check the thumbnails for high resolution sample questions to see if this movie guide is suitable for your students. This resource consists of 7 high-level, short answer reflection and essay questions that will do more than just ask your students to regurgitate information.

This product .zip file includes:

  • A student movie guide, PDF print version (4 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 Google Slides Version of the Movie Guide (A PDF with a link to make a copy of the guide to your Google Drive)
  • 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.


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Here are my tips for using The Story of Stuff Video Guide | Worksheet | Questions (NR – 2009) in your classroom:

  1. Print one, double-sided movie guide for each student
  2. Preview each question on the movie guide as you come to it before resuming the movie
  3. 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
  4. After completing the short answers on the movie guide, allow 5-10 minutes for each essay question at the end
  5. On average, completing this movie guide will require about 30-45 minutes in addition to the length of the movie

Google Classroom | Google Slide | Tips:

    1. Click on the link included in the PDF titled “Google Slides Version” and save a copy of the file to your Google Drive/Classroom
    2. Create an assignment for your students
    3. If you are using this resource for multiple classes and want to separate responses by class, create multiple copies of the Google Slides version with file names such as [Title]ClassPeriod[2] and then create assignments

The Story of Stuff Video Guide | Worksheet | Questions (NR – 2009) resource is also available on TeachersPayTeachers

Free Downloads Below:

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.

K12 Movie Guides are on these other platforms as well:

The Story of Stuff Video Guide | Worksheet | Questions (NR - 2009) CoverThe Story of Stuff Video Guide | Worksheet | Questions (NR - 2009) CoverThe Story of Stuff Video Guide | Worksheet | Questions (NR – 2009)