Unit 2 – October Sky

January 21, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Arts & Humanities, Performing Arts, Drama
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October Sky is a 1999 film produced by Charles Gordon and it stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper and Laura Dern. It is based on the true story of Homer Hickam who was a coal miner's son living in Virginia. As a result of the first Sputnik launch, Hickam was inspired to take up rocketry against his father's wishes.

Sputnik Launch 

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The Sputnik launch took place on October 4th, 1957. The Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I. It was the first satellite to orbit the earth (taking about 98 minutes to do so). The Sputnik was the approximate size of a large beach ball. The Sputnik launch marked the start of the space age and the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The Sputnik… The Sputnik entered the atmosphere on October 4th, 1957 and circled the earth for 92 days. It re-entered the earth’s atmosphere on January 4th where it burned on impact.

Movie Title "October Sky" is an alternate title for “Rocket Boys”, the title of the book on which the movie is based. Homer Hickam stated that in research done by Universal Pictures, women over 30 would not go to see a movie titled "Rocket Boys", so Universal Pictures changed the title to be more inviting to a wider audience. The title may also be a reference to the satellite Sputnik which was launched in October.

Movie Awards… 

The film was nominated for 11 awards, of which it won three, including the 2000 Critics Choice Award for Best Family Film. Jake Gyllenhaal was nominated in1999 for the Teen Choice Award for Breakout Performance, and the film itself was nominated for Teen Choice Drama

YouTube 

Homer Hickam: From “Rocket Boys” to “October Sky” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M0i25oRXX8

Unit 2, Lesson 5 

Before watching the movie, read ‘Background to October Sky” Assignment – Answer the following questions:

What was "Sputnik"? Why did it shake the United States "to its roots"?

Explain what life in a coal mining town was like.

Identify three things that make underground mining so dangerous?

What is the setting of October Sky - where and when does it take place?

Is this movie inspirational in any way? If so, explain using examples from the story line.

***Watch the movie and begin Lesson 6***

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