General Science and Teaching

Movies for Science in Elementary Grades

Hello, Besides the movie The Lorax, does anyone have any movie suggestions for students that are in elementary grade levels about different science topics? Does not need to be one topic in particular, just want to create a movie list with different movies for different topics!

Lauren Santiso
Lauren Santiso
1430 Activity Points

I was looking for the same information and I did a search on Amazon instant video and found Popular Mechanics for Kids. They are 20 to 23 minutes long and address a specific topic that is primarily STEM based. It seems to be for elementary and middle school. I also found Sid the Science Kid for younger kids (early elementary). PBS online has NOVA and Nature, programs that are at least 50 minutes in length. Both stunning in their visual imagery I would same it fits older elementary to high school.

Margaret Stout
Margaret Stout
3400 Activity Points

Hi Lauren!

That is a good question. Might I suggest you do three things and then if you have additional questions, please, post them here so we can help.


    1. Use the search box above that says "Find Topics and Users" and do a search for "movies" and one for "videos". Some of these will be for secondary, but a lot have been suggested by elementary teachers.

    2. Use the search box above and to the right that says "Search the Learning Center". This search will present you with a list of resources, I would then use the Filter on the left for Elementary and the one at the top for journal articles and you will have a list of articles by elementary teachers on how they use videos in their classes and lesson ideas, too!

    3. Check out Blick on Flicks on the NSTA homepage. Mind you, he is a physics person, so a lot of his suggestions will address middle and high school topics, but sometimes he hits an elementary topic right where you are having problems thinking "what should I do here?"


There will undoubtedly be topics you would like to include in your list that no one else has thought of, so be sure to come back here and let us know and we will put our collective brainpower together to see if we can help!

Tina Harris
Tina Harris
65560 Activity Points

I suggest watching the movie Fern Gully it is an old film from the 1980's that is a cartoon. It details the devastating effects of pollution on the environment.

Ashley Menendez
Ashley Menendez
1405 Activity Points

I watched Wall-E with my famiy last night, and kept thinking about how well it fit with our study of plants and the environment in 4th grade!

Andrea Brucker
Andrea Brucker
590 Activity Points

I love the movie Wall-E, and we watch it every year right after our climate change science unit. It is also a great movie to teach symbolism and argumentative writing. I have my students watch for symbolism throughout the movie - such as Eve's name and her shape in consideration of her mission. For argumentative writing or discussion, I like to have the students argue whether is more human-like or robot-like using evidence from the movie. It is a great movie!

Susanne Hokkanen
Susanne Hokkanen
79060 Activity Points

I would show "The March of the Penguins" as well as 'October Sky" (which has a few curse words but not many and not harsh ones.) My all time favorite is an very old movie called "Medicine Man" with Sean Connery and Lorraine Bracco. It addresses the fact that if we destroy the rainforest then new medicines will no longer be found. I am not sure if it would be go for young elementary children but it does show some native brests though. With a little editing it would be just as good a message as the Lorax. I had one middle school group that didn't understand the message of the Lorax to my surprise. Every time I watch the 'Medicine Man' I enjoy it even more. Adah

Adah Stock
Adah Stock
101490 Activity Points

When I was in elementary school, I recall watching mostly Bill Nye the Science Guy in science class. I am not sure how popular these would be with students today as they are quite outdated. I do remember watching October Sky when I was in school though. It can be tied to space science, history, mining, forest fires, and even character development. When we watched it, we also built rockets and got to all go outside and set them off. This movie is a great addition to any lesson to get them interested in space science, or even math and engineering. I found this really helpful website that ties movies with lessons. It gives well thought out discussion ideas as well as lesson ideas. I hope it is helpful for you! http://www.teachwithmovies.org/guides/october-sky.html

Kelsie Rodman
Kelsie Rodman
585 Activity Points

I just purchased "Making North America" from PBS after watching it on NOVA. It works well for 4th grade Earth Sciences. It could probably be used for Earth Science for other grade levels. Very well done with many awesome graphics.

Heidi Wolff
Heidi Wolff
615 Activity Points

Try arctic tale and ferngully.

Sawsan Ismaiel
Sawsan Ismaiel
125 Activity Points

When I was in grade school my teacher always stuck with the classics such as The Magic School Bus series or Bill Nye the Science Guy. I also think that Charlottes Web, March of the Penguins, Finding Nemo (a lot of Disney/Pixar movies), the options are endless.

Amanda Arling
Amanda Arling
170 Activity Points

Although these are not full length movies, here are some of my all time favorite YouTube and PBS clips to engage learners before and during a lesson. http://www.shareitscience.com/2015/03/science-teaching-toolbox-10-tried-and.html

Sarah Benton Feitlinger
Sarah Benton
1740 Activity Points

The movie "Osmosis Jones" can be used to teach about the human body, and viruses. It gives a great visual of the inner workings of the body like a busy city.

Jade Mears
Jade Mears
80 Activity Points

Osmosis Jones, any episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy (he now has a new show on Netflix called Bill Nye Saves the World), any episode of The Magic School Bus, and Big Hero 6 are some options.

Vincent DeJesus
Vincent DeJesus
20 Activity Points

I think The Magic School Bus would be a great option because each episode is about something different. This gives you something to show your students that covers various science concepts. I always enjoyed watching The Magic School Bus in elementary school.

Chelsea Cook
Chelsea Cook
875 Activity Points

The Bee Movie could be a good movie to watch to introduce ecosystems, how different organisms interact with each other to sustain it, and what happens when a part of the ecosystem is suddenly removed.

Corbin Hatterman
Corbin Hatterman
4845 Activity Points

I feel like you are able to incorporate movies (especially kids movies) into science much more often than most people realize! For example, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (for engineering), Finding Nemo/Dory (for oceans unit), A Bugs life (for bug unit). Students are also much more knowledgeable on the most interesting and popular kids movies than adults are, so it would be a great idea to introduce topic options to them, and ask them for suggestions.

Haley Wiebenga
Haley Wiebenga
1343 Activity Points

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