New FUTURESTATES Curriculum & Social Screenings

Four new curriculum lessons from the FUTURESTATES series use science fiction to encourage students to imagine possible outcomes of today’s current events. FUTURESTATES is a series of independent mini-features—short narrative films created by experienced filmmakers and emerging talents—that transform today’s complex social issues into visions about what life in America will be like in decades to come.

On Wednesday December 12 at 12pm ET, watch and chat live with others during the social screening of the FUTURESTATES episode Crossover at ovee.itvs.org/screenings/64l61. The film’s co-producer, Debra Wilson, will be joining as a special guest for the discussion.

Crossover depicts the timely ethical dilemma of a mother whose children are trapped in a vastly unequal school system. The corresponding lesson plan, aligned to Common Core standards in Language Arts, asks students to reflect more deeply about the state of our public education system — both in the near future, and today.

According to some research reports and media accounts, American society is facing a growing separation between rich and poor. Many researchers find that this disparity is increasingly reflected in our education system. Student discussion considers the questions: Do all children in the United States have the same opportunities to succeed in life? And to what lengths would parents go in order to give their children the same chances to succeed?

Crossover refers to the desire of the main character, Angela, to help her children “cross over” from their poor public school into the fully resourced private school in a restricted section of the city. She is willing to consider undergoing an illegal organ donation procedure to pay for their chance at a better future. Lesson plan activities ask students to identify the differences between private and public schools and think about why some schools have more resources to teach children than other schools. To download the Crossover lesson plan and others from the FUTURESTATES lesson plans at futurestates.tv/about/for_educators.

Viewers, teachers, and students can contribute to the themes of upcoming FUTURESTATES episodes by posting their ‘Wish for the Future’ on wishforthefuture.com. Submissions on the site will be considered in the production of new FUTURESTATES episodes.