The Third Wave (now known simply as The Wave), was the infamous 1967 California classroom experiment in fascism by high school history teacher Ron Jones. As both he and the students were carried away, it quickly got out of control in a matter of days. This story has been portrayed in two previous movies – “The Wave” on ABC-TV in 1981 by Norman Lear which received an Emmy, and in 2008 the award-winning German film “Die Welle.” The novelization of the 1981 movie by Todd Strasser has sold 8 million copies in classrooms all around the world. There are also theater plays and even musicals about the story.
Now, here in the documentary film “Lesson Plan,” the original students and teacher share their experience and the lessons they learned in the true story of The Third Wave. The Wave story is widely used to show students the elements of extremism, with its demanding charismatic leaders and intolerant group-think masses. Timely lessons for all of us in today’s world.