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October Sky Movie Lesson Plan


  • This resource is a downloadable PDF
  • Ideal for Grades 6-12
  • Perfect for Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Life Skills, Character Education, or Leadership classes
  • Aligned to Common Core State Standards
  • Activities designed to help students meet Social & Emotional Learning Competencies

October Sky Movie Lesson Plan helps teachers use the story of Homer Hickam to show their students how they can pursue their dreams even if their home, school, or community environment is holding them back.

After completing October Sky Movie Lesson Plan, students will increase their understanding of having a vision, seeking excellence, and overcoming obstacles.

Homer Hickam had a dream. He wanted to build and launch rockets. But he had to overcome many obstacles from his family, his school, and his community of Coalwood, West Virginia to make his dream become a reality. The movie October Sky chronicles the story of Homer Hickam and his triumph of defying the odds and eventually winning a national science competition with his rocket inventions. Along the way, Homer discovers the power of relationships and how they can give us the strength to go on.

October Sky Movie Lesson Plan teaches students leadership lessons to help them discover how they can overcome factors that provide resistance to pursuing their dreams.

In order to complete these activities, students will need to watch the movie October Sky, which has a rating of PG and a run time of 1 hour and 48 minutes.


Each of our Leadership at the Movies lesson plans includes the following activities:

✅ Reflection: allows students to journal about one of the movie’s themes prior to watching.

✅ Analysis: questions and prompts to analyze the characters, plot, and climax of the movie.

✅ Practice & Discussion: a partner/group activity that takes the principles of the movie and asks students to take action and grow in their own lives.

✅ Extension: a RAFT (Role-Audience-Format-Topic) writing prompt to help students apply their new knowledge.

✅ Lead for Impact: challenges students to pinpoint how the hero of the story exhibited The 12 Fundamentals of Impact and then synthesize how they can apply the lessons to writing their own story.


WARNING: This is a DEEP LEARNING lesson plan to help students employ a LEADERSHIP approach to SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL LEARNING.

These activities are designed to help students meet the following Social & Emotional Learning Competencies as outlined by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL):

⭐ Develop SELF-AWARENESS and SELF-MANAGEMENT skills to achieve school and life success.

⭐ Use SOCIAL-AWARENESS and interpersonal skills to establish and maintain POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS.

⭐ Demonstrate DECISION-MAKING skills and responsible behaviors in personal, school, and community contexts.


The activities in October Sky Movie Lesson Plan will challenge students to move closer to mastery in the following skills: leadership, cooperation with others, creativity, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, problem solving, and judgment and decision making.

Related Products

Leadership at the Movies Bundle

With school-wide access to lesson plans and teaching resources for over 75 movies, you can help your students strive to reach their full potential!