The Day The Earth Stood Still: Historical and Cultural Context

Watch the Skies! Duck and Cover! Project Blue Book! Film, as a reflection of historical, cultural, and social issues, are the focus of the final lessons in a film unit that uses primary source documents and Robert Wise's 1951 version of The Day the Earth Stood Still to gain insight into the climate of the United States in the 1950s.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Create a DVD of the referenced film clips to use with the lessons
  • The series may be used as an introduction to a film as literature class, as a film unit, or as an introduction to science fiction films
  • Show the same scene from the 1951 Robert Wise film and from the 2008 Scott Derrickson version and have kids contrast the two 
Classroom Considerations

  • The final packet in a series of four resources that use The Day The Earth Stood Still as a core text
  • The four linked resources in the series are designed to be used together and in order
  • Although the DVD containing the film clips referenced in the lessons is no longer available, instructors can still use most of the materials
  • Adobe Acrobat is required to download worksheets and guides
  • The file is huge and requires extensive downloading time
Pros

  • The 34-page packet includes detailed lesson plans, links to additional materials, discussion questions, and assessments
Cons

  • The DVD containing the referenced film clips is no longer available