Lesson Title: In A Heartbeat
Topic(s): Relationships, Empathy
Grade Level(s): 6-8
Introduction: This lesson utilizes the film “In a Heartbeat” to introduce students to
a young queer relationship, and start discussions about empathy.
Students will: (examples)
Evaluate the film “In a Heartbeat” based on it’s themes and execution
Utilize the film as a springboard for discussions around media, relationships,
Teacher Background: The film “In A Heartbeat” is a 2017 film that was crowd
funded, and received much praise for it’s positive representation of a young, queer
relationship. Adolescents is a time where young people start to explore romantic
relationships, and begin to come into their sexuality. This can be a very stressful
time for all students, especially queer students who may not have schema for
relationships about theirs. Thusly, it is important to introduce students to materials
Intro: The teacher will show “In a Heartbeat”. The link is provided in the sources
portion of the plan.
Discussion: Use these questions to prompt a class discussion-
1. What happened in the film?
2. What purpose does the personification of the heart serve?
3. How do you think he felt when his classmates found out he was gay?
4. How do you think people feel when they are in the closet?
5. What are some challenges that LGBT people face in relationships that
straight people don’t?
6. What advice would you give a friend who was in this situation?
Documents used in the lesson: (Links to documents and worksheets)
Sources and suggestions for additional readings:
Author Information: Matthew Klein is an education intern at Our Family Coalition. He is currently working towards a Bachelor’s degree from The University of Alabama.
Standards: CCSS 3.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions
(one-on- one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade topics and
texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own