Hi everyone!

I'm hoping that some of you may have already heard about futurestates.tv.  If you haven't, I would encourage you to visit the website and learn about their powerful indie films that are science fiction but can be geared for use in our Language, Theater or Science classrooms.

I am mostly interested in this film:

I wanted to get some opinions if this may be too strong or offensive for a high-school physical science class.  Is my target audience too young for this?  I am so moved by this film that I am hoping that my students would be too.  I'm hoping to tap their affection button then lead them into a unit on environmental science. 

What do you think?

I'm hoping to get your feedback before I prepare the legwork on the unit plan.

Thank you everyone!

Tags: films, language, motivation, multimedia, science, theater

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Hi Paul:
This video is approximately 20 minutes in length, so I suggest that it be viewed twice -- first for content and second for responding to your assignment activities. There needs to be some pre-viewing activities, discussions and interactions. So, I assume that this might be a semester-long project.




I think I will obviously rethink ever using plastic bags again. Thank you for this resource. Did you do your unit?

I hope all went well. Did any classroom or school initiatives develop?



Dear Paul,

I just tried to view the movie and received a "video stream not found message". Any updates.

Even without viewing the movie, I can predict the content. Billions of bags, lasting almost forever...
We should have banned these in the early 70's but they are here to stay....eons...JJC


Try going directly to the website www.futurestates.tv

There are many other high quality videos which depict science fictional predictions of the future state of our planet.  Really high quality content.  From there you can find pre-made lesson plans on each short movie. 


Hopefully you can view the plastic bag video because it sends a powerful message.

Thanks for your comment!

Dear Paul,

I took a glance and will play a few, the plastic bag still has no stream. Interesting, when I was a kid, way back in the B+W TV days there was a program that ran furureistic moral plots of personal moral conflict. This pre-dates the Twilight Zone by a few years. In one episode, a couple waiting for their monthly allocation of food from a government agency, were denied due to having the wrong paperwork. They faced starvation and suffered through the month. When they returned the next month, everything went along smoothly. As the man turned to leave, the camera zoomed in on his missing arm. I was less than 10 years old when I saw that show, and I still remember it today, some 50 odd years hence.
Great future fiction always has human conflict and a moral.

Thanks   JJC

The video has no stream. So I cannot comment on the quality of this particular short. I can however tell you I've always loved the clip from the Animaniacs about the scrap of wrapping paper.


At ISP, we've been committed to using film to support learning since we opened our doors. One of the most effective tools we use is what we all a media guide. We've developed several for mainstream films that we've posted at www.popgoestheclassroom.com.


Media integration is so important to use in classrooms with digital natives. It's such a natural part of their lives. And there are so many independent film makers out there doing really great age appropriate shorts that you can and should be using in your classroom.


On the topic of this piece in particular. If you do determine you are going to use it. I recommend you look at photographer Chris Jordan's work as well.

I like the video and  you can definetly kick start a unit with the video and even have the students create their own issue video as a summative grade.  I teach middle school that uses the Paideia model (Seminar) and I would have the kids watch the video once and then give them important lines to focus on, with time stamps, as they watch a second time.  Then using the lines and their reflection begin the unit with a seminar.


Dear Paul,

I finally have revisited the link and really enjoyed the film...What is most amazing is that in 1968, the problem of plastic longevity was a topic discussed during the introduction of this new fangled science curriculum called "Ecology"...a mere 53 years ago.

I do not find any offense in this work, the humanization and need for human contact reminded me of the android David in  A.I.(Artificial Intelligence, 2001) In fact, there may have been some influence, David was on a quest to find his human mother after she discarded him.

A great film....I hope that no plastic bags were injured in the making of this film....


The issues addressed in the film are real and deserve accurate coverage.  These students will be adults soon enough and if they realize the consequences of our actions they may consider alternatives.  I recentely did a prezi on "blood minerals", one of the minerals covered was coltan which is mined in The Congo. The Congo is in a state of turmoil spurred on by the quest for this mineral that is almost exclusivly found there.  It is used as a capacitor in computers and cell phones.  The images I choose were disturbing, but I wanted to show how our actions as a collective can create suffering in another part of the world.   

Dear David,

I fully agree and have for the past 40 years that our waste products are a significant threat to the enviromental balance.

However, you do directly imply that industrial demand is a direct cause of human suffering in Africa, specifically in the Republic of Congo. The inhuman treatment of the peoples in the Congo is a direct result of the disregard for human life by the leaders and rebels involved in their violent political conflict.

Granted that industrial demand for minerals or diamonds does provide a financial incentive to brutalize the population, but the brutality exists within the hearts and minds of the leaders. It is not caused by our "collective" needs.

I am sorry to post such a politically oriented statement, but the cruel mis-treatment of man against man is prevalent  throughout recorded history and throughtout our evolutionary history. Unfortunately, it is our nature. It is not an honorable legacy.

I will not comment further on this topic. It is not within the intent of this website.




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