U.S. high school students will have free digital access to the New York Times through September 1, 2021.

“An Ode to the Past” is a three-minute animated film that explores topics such as loss, nostalgia, hope, and our heroic struggle for health in our terrifying present reality. In the video, Tala Schlossberg, a producer and animator, remembers ruefully all the little things she missed in normal life before the pandemic – hugging friends, dancing in crowded places, not being afraid of being around someone with dry Standing cough.

What do you miss from before? Are there moments of normalcy that you feel nostalgic about? Is there anything in your life a year ago that you took for granted? Do you think that one day in the future you might miss this strange and difficult year?


1. Check out the short film above. As you watch, you can use our Film Club Double-Entry Journal (PDF) to take notes to remember specific moments.

2. After watching, think about the following questions:

  • What other questions do you have?

  • What connections can you make between this film and your own life or experience? Why? Does this film remind you of something else that you have read or seen? If so, how and why?

3. An Additional Challenge Answer the essential question at the top of this post: What do you miss most in your pre-Covid life?

4th Next, join the conversation by clicking the Comment button and posting in the box on the right. (Students 13 and older are welcome to comment, although teachers of younger students are welcome to post what their students have to say.)

5. After posting, try reading back to see what others have said, then respond to another person by posting another comment. Use the Reply button or the @ symbol to address this student directly.


• • See all films in this series.

• • Check out our list of hands-on lesson ideas, along with responses from students and teachers on how to use this documentation in the classroom.


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