Fifth Grade Students Feature “Agents of Change” in Documentary Films

June 2, 2021

Amanda Gorman. Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Cesar Chavez. Banksy. Rachel Carson. The Dalai Lama.

This spring, fifth graders produced Ken Burns-style documentary films on "agents of change": people who brought about change in society or their fields. Some were activists, others revolutionaries, while some simply made choices that changed others' perspectives. 


Students researched their chosen changemakers using the library databases, composed musical scores, and wrote scripts, before putting it all together in a storyboard and then their films.

Their works were featured during the grade's "Agents of Change Film Festival" at the end of May. Teachers rolled out the red carpet for students to celebrate their hard work and accomplishments. Each student nominated their favorite film for their homeroom. From the four finalists, students voted for the winning film.

Please enjoy this selection of students' documentary films!


Amanda Gorman (filmmaker: Lyla)



Geronimo (filmmaker: Jack)


Ida B. Wells (filmmaker: Julia)


Ruth Bader Ginsburg (filmmaker: Paul)


Honorable Mentions:

Banksy (filmmaker: Jed)


Rachel Carson (filmmaker: Maitea)


Cesar Chavez (filmmaker: Duncan)


Dalai Lama (filmmaker: Lily)


Wangari Maathai (filmmaker: Willa)


Bayard Rustin (filmmaker: Hadley)

We're always enrolling! Get started »
+ +