Seven Best Short Films to Introduce Values

A photo by London Scout.


In an increasingly hyper-competitive and individualised world where isolation and loneliness are more and more prevalent, the role of universal values such as altruism, authenticity, community, compassion, creativity, determination, fairness, honesty, generosity, kindness, optimism, respect, responsibility, self-respect, tolerance, and wisdom in education is becoming increasingly important. Short films are a wonderful and engaging medium through which to introduce values into the classroom and to encourage students to reflect on values.


How to Become a Better Person

How to Become a Better Person created by Tracy Foster for The School of Life is a lovely animation which explores the values and virtues important in the modern world. The film is beautifully narrated by the popular philosopher and writer Alain de Botton.

You can watch the film below and find a full lesson plan here.



Educate the Heart

Educate the Heart is a stunning animated poem narrated by the spoken word poet Shane Koyzcan which examines the role of compassion, kindness and fairness in our schools and educational systems.

You can watch the film below and find a full lesson plan here.





Wisdom is a video trailer for the book of the same name, Wisdom by Andrew Zuckerman, which features a number of famous writers, actors, activists such as Judi Dench, Robert Redford, Desmond Tutu, and Roasamund Picher explaining what wisdom means to them.

You can watch the film below and find a full lesson plan here.




Kindness is a short film by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Thought Bubble which illustrates in a moving way why kindness is the most important human quality.

You can watch the film below and find a full lesson plan here.





Success a short film by Lara Lee forThe School of Life which explores the nature of success and proposes that success is not about being rich and famous but rather connected with more mundane and unheralded things such as listening to a child, filling your mind with interesting things, and knowing when to put your arm around someone.

You can watch the film below and find a full lesson plan here.





The Notebook

The Notebook is a a beautiful short film by Greg Gray which tells the story of how a young boy “saves” time for his busy mother so she can go and see him perform in his school play. The film helps parents examine what is really important and valuable in their lives.

You can watch the film below and find a full lesson plan here.



Mary’s Meals

Mary’s Meals is a short film called Saving Grace by Toad’s Caravan commissioned by the charity Mary’s Meals which provides 860,000 free meals every school day to hungry children. Saving Grace tells the story of 10-year old orphan Grace, who lives in poverty in Malawi. Grace has to forage and beg for food for her and her siblings, and as a result, can’t go to school. The animated film explains how by providing a free meal at school, Mary’s Meals can enable more children to go to school, eat, learn, and break the poverty cycle for future generations.

You can watch the film below and find a full lesson plan here.



I hope you enjoy the films and find the lesson plans useful. Are there any short films related to values  that have worked well with your students? Let me know in the comments below!



Photo credit London Scout

18 comments on “Seven Best Short Films to Introduce Values

  1. Samia Tanabene says:

    Thanks. It is very useful for me i will use them in my classes

    1. Kieran Donaghy says:

      Hi Samia,
      I’m happy you like the films and I hope your students enjoy the films too.
      All the best,

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  3. Thank you for these amazing films .I love them and i am going to apply them in my class.

    1. Kieran Donaghy says:

      Hi Ghada,
      I hope your students enjoy the films.
      All the best,

  4. Here are a couple that I am sure are well-known:


    1. Kieran Donaghy says:

      Hi Diarmuid,
      Thanks for sharing the films. I’d already seen the first one but the second one is new for me and very touching.
      All the best,

    2. Dilshad Chinoy says:

      Kindness and sensitivity , truly emotional. Truly human. Worthy for human value. Thanks ever so much.

      1. Kieran Donaghy says:

        A pleasure. Glad you like the films, Dilshad.

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  6. Not later then two weeks ago we created a short film about buiding values ‘with” and “by” our kindergarteners. It`s not easy to talk about values in a very young age, but with teachers` help and children`s imagination we did a very special message to the world: You can see that on:

    1. Kieran Donaghy says:

      Hi Anna,
      Thanks for sharing the film. What are the messages the children hold up in the film?

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  8. Incoming link: Film | Pearltrees

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