Unit Plan

The Day The Earth Stood Still: The Filmmaking Process

Curated and Reviewed by Lesson Planet

How are films made? As part of their study of film, middle schoolers investigate the pre-production, production, and post-production process and consider the role of the director, the screenwriter, production designer, cinematographer, film editor, and the actors. Robert Wise's 1952 The Day the Earth Stood Still provides the core text for the unit.

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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 second 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 33-page packet includes detailed lesson plans, links to additional materials, discussion questions, and assessments
  • The DVD containing the referenced film clips is no longer available