Tom

Age Range: 9 - 11
By: Sam Collins

Genre(s): Science Fiction

An astronaut is about to return to earth after a long space mission when he makes a decision that has profound and unexpected consequences.

Don't forget to explore our Space resources too!

Teaching Ideas and Resources:

English

  • Compare the two spaceship settings.
  • Write the other side of the postcard.
  • Stop the film at various points (for example 01:28, 03:01 and 04:48). What is Tom thinking? How can you tell?
  • Interview Tom on his return to Earth.
  • Write a newspaper report of Tom’s return to Earth.
  • Watch the section where Tom chooses the moon rocks. (02:10 - 02:30). Why does he choose the shiny rock? 
  • Make a comic strip of the story.
  • Use “hot seating” where a member of the class plays the part of Tom and the rest of the class ask him questions about his experiences.

Maths

  • Find out the distance between Earth and the moon. How long would it take Tom to make the journey if he were travelling at 500 miles an hour? What about at 1000 miles an hour?

Science

  • Create a fact file about the moon.
  • Research what it would be like to live on a spaceship. What would you need to survive?
  • Find out how a torch works.

Computing

  • Look at the effect of the torch through the gloom, for example at 03:47, when Tom shines his torch on a lever. In a darkened room, take photographs using a torch, with one item picked out by the torch beam. Can you use a filter or edit them in a graphics package to make them look gloomy?

Design Technology

  • Design the inside of a spaceship.
  • Could you create a model of Tom's spaceship?

Art

  • Create a textured moon picture with this idea.
  • Paint a picture of Earth as seen from space.

Music

  • Music is used to create a change in atmosphere in the film. Discuss how it contributes at different points (for example at 0:59, 01:34, 02:33, 05:20 and 05:57).

Geography

  • Look at the earth from space using Google Earth. Explore the planet and find places that are significant in space flight, for example the launch pads at Cape Canaveral. Look at the photos attached to the sites.

History

  • Research the history of spaceflight.

Physical education

  • How would it feel to move in zero gravity? Create a space walk dance.

PSHE

  • How does Tom feel about going home? Think about when you return from a journey, how do you feel?
  • How do you think Tom has been feeling during his space flight? Have you ever felt lonely?
  • Sometimes, decisions can have unexpected consequences, like Tom’s. When have you made a decision that turned out to have unexpected consequences?
  • What does it feel like when you are really looking forward to an event? 
  • How do you think Tom feels at the beginning of the film? How does he feel at the end?
  • Can you explain what happens in the film? Do you think it could really happen?

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