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Best Movies Set in Ohio

Every state is known for something. As you work your way through the list, don’t miss the best movies set in Ohio. While you're at it, check out the best books set in Ohio, too.

Ohio, officially referred to as the State of Ohio, is a state in the Midwestern United States. Of the fifty U.S. states, it is the 34th-largest by area. With a population of nearly 11.8 million, Ohio is the seventh-most populous and tenth-most densely populated state.

What themes are in Movies Set in Ohio?

Movies set in Ohio, like films set in any location, explore a wide range of themes. Ohio's diverse landscapes, history, and culture provide fertile ground for various storytelling themes. Some common themes in movies set in Ohio include:

1. Blue-Collar Life: Ohio is known for its strong working-class communities, and many films set in the state explore themes related to the challenges and values of blue-collar workers, including factory workers, miners, and labor unions.

2. Rust Belt Struggles: Ohio is part of the Rust Belt, an area that experienced significant deindustrialization. Some films set in the state delve into the economic challenges, unemployment, and changing landscapes that resulted from the decline of manufacturing.

3. Sports and Competition: Ohio has a rich sports culture, with a strong presence in football, baseball, and basketball. Movies set in the state often explore themes of competition, teamwork, and the passion surrounding sports.

4. Small-Town Life: Ohio is home to numerous small towns and rural communities, making it a common setting for films that explore the dynamics, traditions, and challenges of small-town life.

5. College Life: Ohio boasts several prominent universities and colleges, and movies set on college campuses often deal with themes of education, personal growth, and the college experience.

6. Family and Relationships: Many films set in Ohio emphasize themes of family dynamics, relationships, and coming-of-age stories. The state's diverse population allows for exploration of various family structures and backgrounds.

7. Historical Events: Ohio has played a significant role in American history, including the Underground Railroad, the Civil War, and the aviation achievements of the Wright brothers. Some films set in the state focus on historical events and figures.

8. The Great Outdoors: Ohio offers diverse natural landscapes, including forests, rivers, and Lake Erie. Movies set in Ohio's outdoor settings often explore themes related to adventure, conservation, and the beauty of the natural world.

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9. Arts and Culture: Ohio has a vibrant arts and cultural scene, and some films set in the state examine themes related to music, theater, and the creative process.

10. Social Issues: Like any state, Ohio faces various social issues, including racial tension, economic disparities, and political challenges. Some movies set in Ohio address these themes.

11. Coming of Age: Films set in Ohio often focus on young characters as they navigate the challenges and experiences of adolescence, self-discovery, and personal growth.

12. Politics and Elections: Ohio is a key battleground state in American politics, and some films set in the state explore themes related to elections, political campaigns, and the impact of political decisions on people's lives.

These themes are not exclusive to Ohio and can be found in movies set in many locations. The specific themes explored in any given movie depend on the storyline, genre, and creative choices of the filmmakers.

How to Create a State Unit Study for Ohio

Creating a state unit study for Ohio is an excellent way to explore the state's history, geography, culture, and more. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you design a comprehensive and educational unit study:

1. Define Learning Objectives:
Start by establishing clear learning objectives and goals for your Ohio unit study. Determine what you want students to learn and take away from the study.

2. Select Age-Appropriate Materials:
Choose educational materials, books, websites, videos, maps, and other resources that are suitable for the age and grade level of your students. Ensure the materials are both engaging and informative.

3. Explore Geography:
Begin with Ohio's geography. Study its physical features, such as the Ohio River, the Great Lakes, the Appalachian Plateau, and the Western Reserve. Learn about the climate, ecosystems, and different regions within the state.

4. Historical Timeline:
Create a timeline of Ohio's history, starting with the indigenous peoples and progressing through exploration, early settlements, statehood, significant historical events, and influential figures.

5. Notable Figures:
Highlight important historical figures from Ohio, such as presidents (e.g., William Henry Harrison, Ulysses S. Grant), inventors (e.g., Thomas Edison), and astronauts (e.g., John Glenn). Explore their contributions and impact on history.

6. State Symbols:
Discover and study Ohio's official state symbols, including the state bird, flower, tree, and motto. Explain the significance and history behind these symbols.

7. Cultural Aspects:
Delve into Ohio's culture, including its music, arts, cuisine, and annual festivals. Explore themes like rock ‘n' roll music (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), regional cuisine (e.g., Cincinnati chili), and events like the Ohio State Fair.

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8. Literature and Authors:
Explore literature by Ohio authors, such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Toni Morrison, and Sherwood Anderson. Discuss their works and contributions to literature.

9. Local Industries:
Investigate Ohio's major industries and economy, including manufacturing, agriculture, technology, and healthcare. Discuss how these industries have shaped the state's economy.

10. Natural Resources:
Study Ohio's natural resources, including agriculture, coal, and the importance of the Great Lakes. Examine the state's role in environmental conservation and sustainability.

11. State Government:
Learn about Ohio's government structure, including the roles of the governor, state legislature, and judiciary. Explore the state's unique role in presidential elections.

12. Field Trips and Virtual Tours:
Plan field trips to historical sites, museums, and cultural centers in Ohio when possible. If in-person visits are not feasible, consider virtual tours and online resources.

13. Hands-On Activities:
Include hands-on activities like preparing Ohio-inspired dishes, creating art influenced by local artists, or conducting science experiments related to the state's geography and ecosystems.

14. Multimedia Resources:
Utilize videos, documentaries, and multimedia resources to supplement your unit study. Many online platforms and educational websites offer valuable information about Ohio.

15. Assessments:
Develop assessments and activities to evaluate students' understanding and retention of the material. These may include quizzes, research projects, presentations, and creative assignments.

16. Culminating Project:
Conclude the unit study with a culminating project, such as a research paper, a multimedia presentation, or a cultural fair where students showcase what they've learned about Ohio.

17. Reflection:
Encourage students to reflect on their learning experiences, their favorite aspects of the unit study, and any questions they still have about Ohio.

18. Sharing Experiences:
Have students share their experiences and findings with their classmates, parents, or the school community to showcase their knowledge of Ohio.

Adapt the unit study to meet the specific needs and interests of your students, and be flexible in adjusting the curriculum as necessary. A well-rounded unit study can make learning about Ohio an enriching and memorable experience.

Best Movies Set in Ohio

Little Man Tate
  • Jodie Foster, Dianne Wiest, Adam Hann-Byrd (Actors)
  • Jodie Foster (Director) - Scott Frank (Writer)

Little Man Tate

Year: 1991

Fred Tate (Adam Hann-Byrd) is a 7-year-old with a genius IQ. Single mother Dede (Jodie Foster) worries Fred might have an easier time fitting in around other child prodigies. Despite reservations, she allows Fred to go to a smart summer camp run by child psychologist Jane Grierson (Dianne Wiest), a former child prodigy.

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Fred's studies advance, but, as he prepares for a national TV competition, he is torn between following through with his advanced education or building a normal life.

The Ides Of March
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman (Actors)

The Ides Of March

Year: 2011

As Ohio's Democratic primary nears, charming Gov. Mike Morris (George Clooney) seems a shoo-in for the nomination over his opponent, Sen. Pullman (Michael Mantell). Morris' idealistic press secretary, Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling), believes in his candidate's integrity and the democratic process.

But Meyers' meeting with Pullman's campaign manager (Paul Giamatti) and a dalliance with a young intern (Evan Rachel Wood) set in motion events that threaten Morris' election chances.

Detroit Rock City
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Giuseppe Andrews, James DeBello, Edward Furlong (Actors)

Detroit Rock City

Year: 1999

Rock-loving teens and aspiring musicians Hawk (Edward Furlong), Lex (Giuseppe Andrews), Trip (James DeBello) and Jam (Sam Huntington) can't wait to see their favorite band, KISS, perform at an upcoming concert.

However, when Jam's pious mother (Lin Shaye) finds the tickets to the event, she incinerates them, leaving the boys desperate for a way to see the show. In their attempts to see KISS, the lads endure misunderstandings, humiliation and violence, all just to see their beloved idols.

The Mighty
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Sharon Stone, Gillian Anderson, Gena Rowlands (Actors)

The Mighty

Year: 1998

Two outcasts try to find a place for themselves in the cruel world of eighth-grade children. It stars Sharon Stone, Kieran Culkin and James Gandolfini.

Now that you’ve completed the list of best movies set in this state, why not check out some others? Here are the Best Movies Set in All 50 States.


Click here to download this printable. It has a list of movies in all 50 states, including the Best Movies Set in Ohio.

printable mock-up image of Movies Set in all 50 states

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