Curriculum for youth leaders, educators, and families to accompany
the movie and book The Secret Life of Bees
Ages 13 - 17
The Secret Life of Bees official website:
Dear Group Facilitator:
The Secret Life of Bees is a moving story from Fox Searchlight Pictures based on the novel by
Sue Monk Kidd.
Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the touching story of Lily Owens as she leaves
her troubled life in pursuit of her deceased mother’s past. Accompanied by her caretaker, Rosaleen, the
two seek shelter in the Boatwright home, a family of three intelligent, talented, African-American sisters
who manage their own honey business.
In this new home, Lily begins to confront her guilt and pain over the loss of her real mother, whom she
accidentally killed as a small child. Yet troubles continue as the harsh realities of a still racially segregated
South confront Lily and her new friend, Zach. In spite of numerous challenges that face Lily and the
Boatwright sisters, Lily realizes that love and happiness are possible, even if it requires leaving home.
The Secret Life of Bees touches on many powerful themes including the importance of love and home,
the consequences of secrets, finding courage, learning about the Civil Rights Movement, and valuing
This FILM curriculum, The Secret Life of Bees: Discussion and Activity Guide, is structured for use after
youth have read the story and viewed the movie. It offers discussion topics, activities, and service project
ideas for youth ages 13 - 17 based on the central themes.
The FILM Project is made possible through the partnership of Heartland Truly Moving Pictures and the National Collaboration for
Youth. Heartland is a nonprofit organization that seeks to recognize and honor filmmakers whose work explores the human journey.
The National Collaboration for Youth is a nonprofit organization providing a unified voice for its coalition of more