Teaching Students About the 2015 Film, Pan: A Guide for K-12 Educators

“Pan” (2015) is a captivating film that reimagines the classic Peter Pan story, offering a fresh perspective for K-12 students. While the narrative remains familiar, the film delves deeper into character development and explores themes that resonate with young viewers. This guide provides teachers with insights and strategies for incorporating “Pan” into their curriculum, fostering meaningful discussions and learning experiences.

Themes and Character Development:

  • Identity and self-discovery: Peter, an adventurous but lost orphan, grapples with his origins and yearns for a purpose. Examining his journey from orphanage life to Neverland encourages students to reflect on their own identities and aspirations.
  • Friendship and loyalty: Peter’s bond with Tiger Lily, a strong and courageous Native American girl, highlights the importance of friendship and loyalty in overcoming obstacles. Analyzing their interactions can inspire students to value these qualities in their own relationships.
  • Finding courage and facing fear: Peter’s journey is fraught with challenges, requiring him to confront his fears and embrace courage. Discussing his choices and the consequences can help students develop their own courage and resilience.
  • The power of imagination and belief: Neverland thrives on imagination and belief. Examining the film’s fantastical elements and their impact on the characters encourages students to embrace their own creativity and imagination.

Teaching Strategies:

  • Pre-viewing discussion: Before watching the film, engage students in a discussion about Peter Pan stories they are familiar with. This will provide a context for exploring the film’s unique interpretation.
  • Character analysis: Assign students to analyze specific characters, focusing on their motivations, actions, and relationships. This can be done through written assignments, group discussions, or creative projects like character portraits or dialogues.
  • Thematic analysis: Lead students in identifying and discussing the film’s key themes. Encourage them to connect these themes to their own lives and experiences, promoting critical thinking and self-reflection.
  • Creative writing: Have students write their own stories inspired by the film. This can involve crafting prequel or sequel narratives, fictional diaries from a character’s perspective, or creative interpretations of Neverland.
  • Movie comparison: Compare and contrast “Pan” with other Peter Pan adaptations. Analyzing the different portrayals of characters and themes can enhance students’ understanding of the story and its evolution over time.


“Pan” offers a valuable opportunity for K-12 educators to engage students in discussions about identity, friendship, courage, imagination, and belief. By incorporating the film into their curriculum and using the suggested strategies, teachers can create a stimulating learning environment that fosters critical thinking, creativity, and self-discovery among young minds.

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