A Place in the Middle


A PLACE IN THE MIDDLE is the true story of a young girl in Hawaiʻi who dreams of leading the boys-only hula group at her school, and a teacher who empowers her through traditional culture. This kid-friendly educational film is a great way to get students thinking and talking about the values of diversity and inclusion, the power of knowing your heritage, and how to prevent bullying by creating a school climate of aloha – from their own point of view!

Learning Goals:

A Place in the Middle can be used to engage students in thinking, writing and talking about

  • The power that comes from understanding one’s own culture and respecting the cultures of others
  • The Hawaiian concept of mahu and how it relates to being “in the middle” in other cultures
  • The benefits of diversity to individuals, schools, and the broader community
  • Hawaiian polyculturalism as a model for a diverse world
  • The value of becoming comfortable with and connected to all types of people, including those who are different from you
  • The consequence of colonial attempts to suppress Native Hawaiian culture and the benefits of reclaiming one’s heritage
  • The true meaning of aloha and its core concept of love, honor, and respect


Website & Movie:

Lesson Plans:

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