The animated short film Coin Operated shows students what a little determination can do. When the coin-operated rocket doesn’t take off as the young boy thinks it should, the boy works and works to make his dream come true.
- Video Links
A page with links for finding the film
- Two Activities
- Students summarize the actions of the young boy in the film and then explain what they would have done differently.
- On the next organizer, students compare the stories Coin Operated and One Small Step.
- Answer Keys
- Google Slides Version
You will also find a link to the Google Slides version of the organizers.
This film tells the story of a boy who is determined to fly into outer space. [5:15]
A young boy wearing an astronaut’s helmet and jet pack on his back plays with his toy rocket ship as he and his mother walk down the street. The boy spots a coin-operated rocket ship ride in front of the grocery store. The boy’s eyes widen with anticipation. His mother tries to pull him away, but the boy pulls out his own nickel, and his mom relents.
The boy imagines a ride to the moon. Instead, he is rocked back and forth. The boy figures he didn’t put enough money in the machine. The boy sees an ad for lemons and gets an idea. He builds a lemonade stand. The film shows 70 years going by as the boy becomes a man and continues to run the successful lemonade stand.
One day the old man looks over at his bag of nickels that is as tall as he is and decides he has enough for the trip. The man closes the lemonade stand and hauls the bag of coins on his wagon to the coin-operated rocket ride. He pours the coins into the money slot, puts on his helmet, and pushes the ignition button. At first, the rocket doesn’t work. Finally, two more coins fall into the slot, and the rocket takes off into space. The film ends with a close-up of the old man looking as he did as a young boy. After the credits, the coin-operated rocket ride stand is shown without the rocket.
Get the printable activities plus links to the Google Slides version by clicking on this button.
More Samples from the Teaching Writing with Animated Shorts Series
- Comparing Two Shorts with the Animated Short Distracted and Dear Alice
- Literature Skills with Crow: The Legend
- Problems and Solutions + Inference with the Animated Short On the Same Page
- Setting and Comparing a Short Film to the Novel Refugee with the Short The Box
- Character Change and Mood with the Animated Short One Small Step
- Details from the Story with the Animated Short Broken: Rock, Scissors, Paper
- Problem and Solution Chain and Theme with the Animated Short The Catch
- Your Course of Action + Comparing Two Films with the Animated Short Coin Operated
- Summarizing and Comparing Two Films with Miyako and The Monster Under My Bed
Check out all six products in the Reading and Writing Series. Units are also available as bundles.