Apollo 13 (1995, PG-13) is the real-life story of heroism, courage, and survival onboard the doomed flight of Apollo 13. This movie guide worksheet examines the storyline of the movie, while asking higher-order thinking questions about the plot, character development, situational dilemmas, and the meaning behind the symbolism as the movie unfolds. At its core, the film tells a story about faith in technology and faith in the strength of human willpower needed to overcome technological malfunctions in a life-or-death fight for survival. Only 3 of the 46 questions directly related to the physics shown in the movie, so being familiar with Newton’s laws will be necessary to answer those. One of those physics questions hits on a violation of Newton’s Laws shown in the movie. Topics alluded to include the space race, American history, engineering and design, spaceflight, course trajectories, course corrections, inertial properties, Newton’s Laws of Motion, and Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation.
This movie is appropriate for the following classes: physics, astronomy, physical science, general science, and American history.
The runtime for the movie is 2:14 minutes, designed to be shown over 3 days of class. The movie will play for roughly 45 minutes each day, allowing time at the end of class for a teacher-facilitated discussion or individual student answers. The movie guide worksheet is 5 pages long, with a total of 46 questions.
Reading guides (or sometimes called guided readings) are designed to get students to open a textbook. They are an excellent means to improve student reading comprehension skills, fluency, and word recognition. They force the students to actively interact with the text in a quantifiable manner. And once the students are done with the reading guides, they have a ready-made study guide to look over for the quiz! To keep the kids honest when putting down answers, I typically cut and paste some of the answers to a weekly quiz.
Reading guides also make good sub-lesson plans. They are self-directed activities which the majority of students should be able to independently finish.
The reading guides I offer were designed for use with the Paul Hewitt Conceptual Physics book with the white roller coaster on the cover (2009). The ISBN number is 9780133647495. If you do not have this edition of the book, many of the questions and page numbers will not align correctly. The reading guides are typically 45 to 50 questions in length, with a good mix of higher- and lower-level questions in the mix. There are also some questions where graphs must be drawn, or sketches need to be made.
The reading guides are numbered about 25 questions per sheet of paper (roughly 50 questions total), so that if students are working in pairs, they can split the work evenly between them with no arguments of who will be doing more work. This is also an exercise in teamwork and peer communication skills!