The Movies For Families streaming service features the best of MacGillivray Freeman’s educational films for families and students. For educators looking to extend the learning from each film, here are links to lesson plans, hands-on activities, bonus videos and other educational resources.

To license the film for a classroom or group screening, please contact


Amazon will take you on a magnificent journey of discovery of the river’s wonders with an in-depth view of the indigenous people, the interesting wildlife, and the unique healing powers of the region’s plants.

Educator Guide
The guide contains 8 lesson plans covering the geography, ecology, biology and cultural history of the Amazon river and region.

America’s Musical Journey

A jubilant cross-country journey celebrating the unique diversity of America’s musical heritage, from the birth of jazz and the blues to rock and roll and hip hop.

Educator Guide
The guide contains 10 humanities STEM lessons for K-8th grade. The lessons are designed to teach key language, social studies, and science standards using the STEM instructional techniques of experiential learning, investigative thinking, and model testing.

Educator Trailer
Specifically targeting teachers, the video highlights how America’s Musical Journey aligns with curriculum standards.

Watch Behind the Scenes and Fun Fact Videos from America’s Musical Journey


Arabia takes viewers deep into the heart of an extraordinary country for a surprising look at the history, culture and religion of the Arabian Peninsula. Steeped in ancient history and unique customs not found anywhere else in the world, Arabia mystifies us, shimmering like a desert mirage. 

Educator Guide
The educator’s resource and activity guide includes a background of Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea, fact sheets about the geography, history and culture of the region with five youth and four high school activities designed to meet curriculum standards.

Coral Reef Adventure

Two celebrated ocean explorers and filmmakers travel the world documenting the planet’s coral reefs and the fascinating creatures that call them home.

Educator Guide
Explore the beauty and mystery of the coral reef environment with a film that both celebrates this vital ecosystem and warns of its imminent decline. Download the guide to expand the learning beyond the film.


A playful, up-close look at the dolphins of Alaska, Patagonia and the Bahamas, and the researchers working to unlock the secrets of their communication.

Educator Guide
This guide contains much more information about dolphins as well as a wide variety of educational activities for the classroom and the home.

Dream Big: Engineering Our World

This inspiring celebration of innovations big and small and the amazing engineers behind them will transform how you think about engineering.

Hands-On Engineering Activities
Fifty hands-on engineering activities that support STEM learning for kids in grades K – 12.

Educational Videos
Take a deeper dive into the engineering stories featured in the film with this series of short videos (5 min each).

Educator Guide
These multidisciplinary activities are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), as well as common state science objectives, for students in grades K – 12.

Educator Trailer
Specifically targeting teachers, this video highlights how Dream Big matches up with school curriculum.

Watch Behind the Scenes and Fun Fact Videos from Dream Big: Engineering Our World


Everest takes audiences across creaking icefalls and gaping chasms, up dangerous, towering cliffs, through a harrowing rescue, and into the danger zone of oxygen-thin altitude. The 40-minute film also reveals how this tallest mountain was formed and continues to evolve, how high altitude challenges a climber’s physical and mental capabilities, and how Sherpa culture permeates the Mount Everest experience.

Educator Guide
The guide includes nine activities along with vocabulary and resources for grades 4-8th that cover topics including plate tectonics, geography, physiology and culture of the Tibetan people.

Map Poster
Download and print the educational map poster of mount Everest. The map follows the rout of climbers to the summit and includes facts about the mountain and climbing expeditions.

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef captures the natural beauty and exquisite strangeness of the world’s largest living wonder and introduces us to the visionaries and citizen scientists who are helping us better understand and protect this awesome, bizarre, and vibrant living world. 

Educator Guide
Activities in this guide are designed for use in 3rd-8th grade. Content in the research projects described in Great Barrier Reef is also suitable for incorporation into high school Geography, Earth & Environmental Science and Biology courses. Students are asked to gain key scientific knowledge while developing their understanding of geography and language arts.

Watch behind the scenes and fun fact videos from Great Barrier Reef

Greece: Secrets of the Past

Greece: Secrets of the Past transports audiences back in time to the dawn of democracy and the birthplace of Western Civilization on a quest to uncover the buried secrets of one of the world’s most enlightened societies—ancient Greece.  At once a modern detective story and a sweeping journey to the distant past, Greece: Secrets of the Past offers a new and exciting perspective on an age of universal importance to us all.

Educator Guide
The guide includes nine actives for grades 4-8 that cover topics including anthropology, classical Greece and mythology, data science, creative writing, geology, geography and even early principles of democracy.

Humpback Whales

An immersive, uplifting journey into the mysterious world of one of nature’s most awe-inspiring and acrobatic marine mammals.

Educational Webisodes
Six videos that cover the biology, ecology and historical impact of Humpback Whales.

Family Activity Book
Activity pages including fun facts, a word search, a maze, a coloring page and more.

Three informational images about whale migration, anatomy and fun facts, that make learning about humpbacks that much more fun!

Educator Guide
 Created for grades 3 to 8 as a companion to the film with activities developed to support Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Ocean Literacy Principles, National Geography Standards and Common Core Language Arts.

Oceanography Learning Lab
A 20 to 60-minute, customizable workshop that provides hands-on science activities to excite students about science content aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for grades 3 to 8.

Educator Trailer
Specifically targeting teacher, the video highlights how Humpback Whales aligns with curriculum standards.

Watch Behind the Scenes and Fun Fact Videos from Humpback Whales

Hurricane on the Bayou

Hurricane on the Bayou is both a haunting giant screen document of Katrina’s powerful effects, a profound musical celebration of the city that has been called the “soul of America,” and a compelling call to restore New Orleans and protect the vital wetlands from which the city’s unique identity first arose.

Educator Guide 
The guide explores the science of hurricanes and wetlands along with the cultural and geographical uniqueness of New Orleans and the gulf. Activities are suitable for 4th-8ths grades and align with the Next Generation Science Standards.

Mystery of the Nile

Mystery of the Nile documents one of the greatest expeditions in modern times—the first complete descent of the world’s greatest and deadliest river from source to sea. The film also reveals a wondrous region that is host to abundant historical, cultural and natural treasures. 

Educator Guide 
The guide covers material relevant for students studying environmental and ecological subjects including conservation, geography and geology, history, social students, civics and even art and literature. In addition to national standards based lessons for students in grades 6-8, there are enrichment activities, extensive background information, reference sources, directions for group activities and enough variety in the content to appeal to students with a wide range of abilities.

Additional Resources
A Brief history of Nile Exploration
The Future of the Nile

National Parks Adventure

The ultimate off-trail adventure into the nation’s untamed wilderness in places like Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and many more.

Educator Guide
Created for students in grades K–8 and guide focuses on the natural sciences highlighted by the film in addition to geography, history, and language arts. Activities support Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Printable Map
Family activity pages including fun facts about the parks visited in the film, and includes amazing activities to extend your adventure.

Hands On Activity Guide
Four short activities that are themed to subject matter found in the film and will help educators or families extend the film’s learning with audiences of all ages.

Educator Trailer 
Specifically targeting teachers, the video highlights how National Parks Adventure aligns with curriculum standards.

Watch Behind the Scenes and Fun Fact Videos from National Parks Adventure

The Living Sea

A timeless celebration of the beauty and wonder of the ocean as it explores our relationship with this complex and fragile environment.

Educator Guide 
The Living Sea
 celebrates the beauty and power of the ocean as it explores our relationship with this complex and fragile environment. Using the guide dive into an ocean of educational activities and lesson plans.

The Search for Life in Space

The Search for Life in Space ventures from the surface of Mars and the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn, to the extreme lava fields of Hawaii and thermal vents deep beneath the sea on a quest to find something that changes everything…signs of life, somewhere else in the universe.

Educator Guide 
The contemporary topics in the guide are excellent to incorporate critical and creative thinking, ethics, English, science as a field of human endeavor (SHE) and concepts from biology, chemistry, physics and space science into science projects.

Top Speed

Top Speed enters the lives of uncommonly fast individuals who take daring risks, go to new extremes and push the science of speed in the never-ending pursuit of human excellence and ultimate velocity. 

Educator Guide
In seven activities for grades 4-8, explore the science of speed and physics while using the scientific method and creative critical thinking skills.


Van Gogh: Brush with Genius

A moving look at the artist’s journey from the time of his first canvases at age 27 to his death 9 years later—a period during which he painted more than 900 paintings.

Activity Guide 
Van Gogh’s extraordinary colors and passionate brushwork take on new life in this experiential journey. Download the guide and learn to paint like the master himself.