Teaching with Film


 Wadjda - THE FILM

A young girl who desperately wants a bicycle of her own and tries to earn the money to buy it. A wife and mother who worries about losing her husband to another woman. These two story lines intertwine in the film Wadjda against the backdrop of conservative society in contemporary Saudi Arabia and the cultural pressures that this society exerts on women.

Ten-year-old Wadjda’s friend Abdullah has a bicycle and to Wadjda his bike represents the speed and freedom that only boys seem to have in this gender-conscious society. Having found the bike of her dreams in a local shop, Wadjda makes and sells bracelets and runs errands to earn enough money to buy it, which sometimes gets her in trouble with her school principal. When she hears about prize money for the winner of a contest that tests knowledge about the Quran and the ability to recite the sacred text, she decides that, in spite of her previously lackluster effort in learning the verses, she is going to win this prize.


Lesson 1: Wadjda’s Story: Understanding Wadjda’s World (English Language Arts)
Lesson 2: The Country of Saudi Arabia (Geography, World History)
Lesson 3: Saudi Arabia Confronts Modernity (Social Studies)
Lesson 4: The Women of Saudi Arabia (Social Studies, Film Literacy)
Lesson 5: An Introduction to the Quran (World History, World Literature)
Lesson 6: Introducing Wadjda Filmmaker Haifaa Al Mansour (Film Literacy, English Language Arts)