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Beat the Drum

Beat the Drum is a contemporary South African film about the devastation of HIV/AIDS. It follows a young boy, Musa, who is orphaned after his parents die of the disease. To help his grandmother, he leaves his village to find his uncle in Johannesburg. As Musa makes the journey from his remote village to the city, the film follows his emotional quest for survival, understanding, and community.


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Product Description

Appropriate for High School students, Beat the Drum, with our corresponding curriculum, offers an opportunity to explore pandemics and epidemics with students. Additionally, it builds global competency.

Curriculum Guide

Lesson 1: Apartheid and South African History (Social Studies)
Lesson 2: Pandemics and Epidemics (Social Studies)
Lesson 3: HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa (World History)
Lesson 4: Viewing the Film Beat the Drum (Media Literacy)
Lesson 5: Musa’s Heroic Journey (Language Arts)
Post-Viewing Lessons:
Lesson 6: Affirmative Action in South Africa (Cross-Cultural Understanding)
Lesson 7: Zulu Cultural Traditions (Cultural Studies)
Lesson 8: Beat the Drum in Your Community (Media Literacy/Service Learning)

Preview Curriculum Guide

To download your free curriculum resources, simply:

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Journeys in Film supports the Sustainable Development Goals.

This curriculum guide connects to the following United Nations SDGs. Learn more about teaching with SDGs:

Red background. Number 1 in white in the upper left hand corner. Beside it text reads: No Poverty. Icons, in white clip art style, of adults and children are below the text. Kelly green. White number 3 in the upper left hand side. Text beside it reads Good Health and Well-Being. White art below showing a jagged line and a heart.

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