Activities for Teaching Hidden Figures

If you are anything like me, you saw “Hidden Figures” and FELL IN LOVE! I was so excited to see the way Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson revolutionized their field and paved the way for women in science. My daughter’s school is taking a field trip to see the movie for Black History Month. I shared these ideas for teaching the movie with her teacher, and now I wanted to share them with you.


Before you watch the movie, do a Character Quotes activity. What can you tell about Katherine Johnson’s character based on her own words? Project a few quotes and have your student brainstorm what these quotes reveal about Katherine.

“Math. It’s just there… You’re either right or you’re wrong. That’s what I like about it.”



After the movie, challenge your students to share what they have learned in various ways. You can ask them to create a desk for Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn or Mary Jackson. What would they have on their desk? What would that reveal about who they are? What they have done? What they are planning to do? You can always show your students this example to help them brainstorm ideas.



Another idea is to have Katherine tweet her thoughts during the movie. What would she have said at different points? What would Dorothy have said? What would a conversation between the two have looked like? Here is an example you can use.


Poetry remains one of my favorite activities for students to show what they know – and it is a great way to incorporate Language Arts into Social Studies! Maybe you can have your students write an “I am Poem” or a “Bio Poem”



If you are looking for more great ideas – you can find them here. I hope you enjoy watching the movie with your kids!


  • Great ideas! Thank you for sharing! Do you have any game ideas to help women to find their “hidden figure” and or an icebreaker? Looking for fun and meaningful activities to women to not allow their accomplishments define them, by tap into who they are at the core. All should tie to the movie.

    Thank you in advance!

    • I don’t have anything specific – but I students really respond to “Think Alouds” – if you modeled your own “hidden figure” – how you have accomplished certain tasks, they would love it!


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