Lesson plan; If anything happens I love you

When Will McCormack and Michael Govier set out to write and direct a short animated film about a couple mourning their child, they had no idea it would become a viral hit and win an Academy Award. But they did know they also wanted to turn it into a book. Source: latimes


  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.2: Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.3: Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.7: Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment (e.g., Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts” and Breughel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus).
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.2: Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.3: Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.7: Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text.

Lesson plan

  • Before watching the movie, introduce the topic of gun violence and school shootings in the U.S. and how they affect families and communities. See the links below.
  • Watch the movie If Anything Happens I Love You on Netflix. You can either show the whole movie or select some scenes that illustrate the main themes and messages. You can also pause the movie at certain points to ask the students some questions or check their comprehension.
  • After watching the movie, have a class discussion about the movie. You can use some of these questions to guide the conversation:
    • How did the movie make you feel? What emotions did you experience while watching it?
    • What do you think the movie is trying to say about gun violence and school shootings? What is the main message or lesson of the movie?
    • How did the movie portray the parents’ grief and coping process? How did they express their emotions and communicate with each other?
    • How did the movie use animation, color, music, and sound to create an impact on the viewers? What are some examples of film techniques that the director used to enhance the message?
    • How did the movie relate to what we learned before watching it? Did it change your perspective or understanding of the issue?
    • What are some actions that we can take as individuals or as a class to prevent or reduce gun violence and school shootings in our society?
  • Follow-up activity, ask the students to write a reflection paper, a review, or a letter to the filmmakers or the characters of the movie. You can also ask them to create their artwork, poem, song, or story inspired by the movie.

Articles on gun violence and school shootings in the USA

  1. School shootings in the US: Fast facts: This article from CNN provides fast facts about school shootings in the U.S. It includes statistics about the number of school shootings, the number of people killed and injured, and the impact on different types of schools. Source: CNN.
  2. Surviving a school shooting: Impacts on the mental health, education, and earnings of American youth: This research paper from Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research discusses the impacts of school shootings on the mental health, education, and earnings of American youth. Source, Standford , Stanford edu. .
  3. Gun Violence Is Having a Devastating Impact on Young People: This article from American Progress discusses the devastating impact of gun violence on young people. Source: American progress.3

I would love to hear from you