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  Movies/documentaries to show a class of 10-year-olds?

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Author Topic:   Movies/documentaries to show a class of 10-year-olds?
stsmithva
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Posts: 1319
From: Centreville, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 09-18-2007 06:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've mentioned in another thread that this year I am teaching 4th grade, and I get to teach about the space program as part of our study of the solar system. Could you please suggest movies or documentaries I might be able to show my class? For example, I'm thinking of some of "Apollo 13." Here are the criteria:

Readily available, preferably on Netflix or less than $20 for me to buy;

Profanity and adult situation-FREE (can't show all of "Apollo 13" because of the one word "horseshit");

Interesting to children who have a reasonably good attention span and are eager to learn, but are still children and won't be able to handle anything TOO technical and dry;

Well under two hours long.

I haven't seen "From the Earth to the Moon" since it aired. (I know! I know!) Is the Apollo 11 episode, or any of the others, particularly good for 4th graders?

Thank you very much for your suggestions.

mjanovec
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From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 09-18-2007 06:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wouldn't show the Apollo 11 episode from FTETTM, simply because the episode is more about the men who made the journey and less about the moon landing itself. The storyline might not interest young children.

Perhaps consider the IMAX film Magnificent Desolation, which is now out on DVD. Amazon has it for $14.99. It's less than 2 hours, plus has enough visual appeal to keep kids interested. While you won't have the IMAX screen or the 3D aspect, I think it is still a good choice for children.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 09-18-2007 06:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another good DVD selection might be Walt Disney Treasures's Tomorrowland: Disney in Space and Beyond, which includes the three 50-minute animated TV specials that originally aired in the 1950s about mankind's future in space (based on the ideas and designs of none other than Wernher von Braun). You could then have your students discuss what came true and what did not, and maybe have them offer their own ideas for the next 50 years of spaceflight.

Rizz
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From: Upcountry, Maui, Hawaii
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 09-18-2007 07:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rizz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mjanovec:
Perhaps consider the IMAX film Magnificent Desolation
If I'm not mistaken, I think it's due to be released in November.

FTETTM Apollo 12 might be a good short episode. I think it would be entertaining for that age group.

You'd have to "bleep" Conrads comments made during a tour of young school kids, but 10 year olds might enjoy how Bean got asked to be part of the crew, the launch experience itself, the landing and walk on the moon.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 09-18-2007 07:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rizz:
FTETTM Apollo 12 might be a good short episode. I think it would be entertaining for that age group.
And if not the Apollo 12 episode, the Apollo 9 episode "Spider" would give them a real appreciation for the engineers behind the scenes...

mjanovec
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From: Midwest, USA
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posted 09-18-2007 07:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rizz:
If I'm not mistaken, I think it's due to be released in November.

Oops, I didn't see that. You're right.

Whatever film is chosen, I think it should be visually appealing, because it will capture more kids attention. The film "For All Mankind" might be a good selection too. While I have a few problems with the way things are edited in that film, it gives a great sense of what a lunar voyage was like. Plus, the footage is unmistakably captivating.

I specifically feel it should show both the power of a Saturn V launch and footage of men walking on the moon. Any film that shows both will stand a better chance of being a crowd-pleaser.

stsmithva
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Posts: 1319
From: Centreville, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 09-18-2007 07:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, five replies in an hour. Please keep them coming! In the meantime, thanks for the reminder about "For All Mankind"- it is now at the top of my Netflix queue.

BobbyA
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From: Northern Virginia
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posted 09-18-2007 10:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BobbyA   Click Here to Email BobbyA     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I showed the 1st episode of FTETTM to my 10th graders a few years back, they seemed to like it. The Apollo 12 episode would not be appropriate for 4th graders (some language, naked photos on their checklists, and Conrad and Bean naked in the CM).

Race to Space with James Woods would be good for that age group, but not really historically accurate.

Rizz
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From: Upcountry, Maui, Hawaii
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 09-18-2007 10:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rizz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BobbyA:
The Apollo 12 episode would not be appropriate for 4th graders (some language, naked photos on their checklists, and Conrad and Bean naked in the CM).

Good point BobbyA. I forgot about those scenes.

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 09-19-2007 04:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you get the deluxe version of Apollo 13, I think the IMAX version of the film is a little cleaner (can't recall for certain) and under 90 minutes for IMAX use. For unmanned exploration, Roving Mars is an excellent documentary and it includes an old disney short film about the perceptions of Mars way back when.

PBS did the 90 minute documentary "Astronauts" about a decade ago. If they still have it (they usually do have old videos for sale still), get it as it is a full behind the scenes look at astronaut training during the shuttle program. Bill Nye narrates on a level that is easy to understand even for a young kid. As I recall, there might be one ever tiny explative (**** ) uttered during sim training (I am surprised it made it past the censors), but that is it and a well placed sneeze can obscure that in the classroom.

For FTETTM, The Apollo 15 episode would be my nomination as although it can be potentially a little bit tough to follow for a young kid, it does help stamp home what geology can do on the Moon when astronauts are trained in it. Such a theme could then be carried into Roving Mars. And for a class about the solar system, geology can be a big part of the discussion (and lead into another science discussion for later). It may leave them with questions, but if they follow though and try to get those questions answered, it can be a great learning experience. They may even get a chuckle out of the opening classroom scene where the astronauts are fighting bordom. And to my knowledge, it is profanity and adult situation free.

WAWalsh
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From: Cortlandt Manor, NY
Registered: May 2000

posted 09-19-2007 08:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for WAWalsh   Click Here to Email WAWalsh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I will chime in here with Jay and suggest that the Apollo 15 episode would be the best one to show. The episode's focus on exploration and the art of observation would be perfect for fourth graders. After that, the Apollo 9 episode would be the next best. As to the Apollo 12 episode, it includes Pete Conrad using a word that you do not want some nine year old girl going home to her mother and asking what it means after she heard it in the movie that you showed.

"For All Mankind" would be another recommendation.

I need to go back and watch it, but as I recall it Story Musgrave's DVD might be worth watching in the classroom.

I am drawing a blank on the title, but NOVA (the PBS program) did a two-hour show on the Apollo program that was very good as well.

mjanovec
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Posts: 3593
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 09-19-2007 01:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by WAWalsh:
I am drawing a blank on the title, but NOVA (the PBS program) did a two-hour show on the Apollo program that was very good as well.

The Nova program was called "To the Moon" and is available on DVD. In fact, it's one of my favorite Apollo documentaries. However, I can't help but think it would be best appreciated by a somewhat older crowd.

I still favor For All Mankind for this effort, just because it's the closest to showing the kids what it was like to fly an actual mission, front beginning to end. The footage and narration puts them in the astronaut's shoes. I think that will ultimately grab and hold their attention more than a more technical documentary would.

FFrench
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From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 09-19-2007 01:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe that NASA educational outlets still provide the "Toys In Space" educational videos for teachers - a lot of fun to show parts of those - everyday kids' toys being used in weightlessness usually gets them rolling on the floor laughing - but also really interested.

MarylandSpace
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posted 09-19-2007 02:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What about "The Dream is Alive"?

stsmithva
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Posts: 1319
From: Centreville, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 09-19-2007 05:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you, I will look into getting from NASA the toys video. By the way, happily enough it turns out my school's library had "For All Mankind." But it's on ten-year-old videotape, so I'm still going to use the Netflix DVD. For two days next week we'll turn down the lights, crank up the speakers, and show it on a nice big video projector. My goal is to have the second-grade teacher two classrooms down the hall ask me later "What was THAT?!?"

(She might ask me later at home- we got married in July!)

I will also look into "The Dream is Alive", and please suggest others. But since I think I will be showing most of "Apollo 13" from liftoff to splashdown, I think I'm set. Oh wait, then there's "FTETTM"'s Apollo 15 episode. I think I'll rent that later and show it later in the year.

Thanks very much!

P.S. In case you're interested, here's a sheet I made up that students work on when we watch videos in class. It ensures rapt attention as opposed to dozing:

When we watch a video in class, you must fill in AT LEAST THREE of these:
  1. A new fact you learned in the video which you think is fascinating:

  2. A fact you already knew that you heard in the video:

  3. Your opinion about some facts in the video:

  4. A new word you heard in the video and what you think it means:

    (You heard it in the part... with...)

  5. A question you have about something in the video:

  6. Something in the video that you think you could easily act out by yourself or with someone else:

  7. Something in the video that reminds you of something else you have done or read about:

    Reminds you of:

All times are CT (US)

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