High School India

Smile Pinki

Objectives for High School Students

  • Share the story of Pinki Sonkar and the documentary Smile Pinki.
  • Learn about how hard it is for children to attend school when they suffer from cleft lip/palate.
  • Understand the power of films and documentaries to promote good causes.
  • Involve students in Indian cultural celebrations.

Materials:Online access, Smile Pinki documentary film, video recording abilities on phone or camera.

Build Background

(Duration: 30 min. - 1 hr.)

Before watching the documentary Smile Pinki, ask students to make a brief list of what they know about cleft lip/palate and India. Watch the film, then discuss its influence and how its success has contributed to more children receiving the cleft lip/palate surgery they desperately need.

Make Connections

(Duration: 1 - 2 hr.)

Brainstorm other documentaries that students have seen and ask them what they learned. (Some films they may be familiar with include An Inconvenient Truth, Supersize Me, Fahrenheit 911, Bowling for Columbine, or the Kony online video project.) How much did they know about that issue before viewing the documentary? Compare their knowledge about cleft lip/palate and poverty in India before and after watching the documentary Smile Pinki. In groups, write down or draw a storyboard for a short film about a child with cleft lip/palate, so that they can make a contribution to spreading the message in their own creative way.

Class Project

(Duration: 2 hrs.)

Stress the fact that establishing an emotional connection between the child suffering from cleft lip/palate and the audience is very important. Have the students finish their scripts (up to 5-10 minutes in length) and rehearse them. In groups, have them film and edit their ideas to convey the message effectively. Hold a film screening for the community and ask attendees to donate to Smile Train's efforts in India. (Track donations on an online fundraising page. Afterward, have the audience vote among the students' films for best acting, directing, photography, script, and film.