Inside: Teaching A Million Miles Away in Spanish class. Resources for the Amazon Prime movie A Millones De Kilómetros to use in Spanish class. A Millones De Kilómetros en la clase de español
If you are looking for a new movie for Hispanic Heritage Month 2023, A Million Miles Away is perfect. A Mexican-American migrant farm worker becomes a NASA astronaut in an appropriate PG film. This Amazon Prime film starts streaming on September 15th. Here are some resources that you can use to discuss the film A Million Miles Away in Spanish class today. + The new A Million Miles Away Movie Guide in Spanish & English.
What is A Million Miles Away about?
The biopic A Million Miles Away or A Millones De Kilómetros is based on the autobiography of Mexican-American astronaut José Hernández Moreno. He goes from a migrant farm worker in California to achieving his dream of being a NASA astronaut.
The movie A Millones De Kilómetros is perfect for Spanish class, especially for Hispanic Heritage Month. It would pair perfectly with the book or short story Cajas de Cartón for upper-level Spanish class.
A Million Miles Away is a positive and appropriate PG film with themes of Mexican-American identity, humility in managing discrimination, not giving up in the face of rejection, migrant farming, and STEM. José goes from trying to hide his culture, adapting White music and eating sandwiches rather than enchiladas at work, to being proud of what he represents as a person of color and migrant worker going into space. It is a feel-good film, with a positive representation of a successful Mexican-American astronaut.
A millones de kilómetros es la historia real del trayecto de José Hernández, ingeniero de la NASA, y su familia de campesinos migrantes. Iniciando en un pueblo de Michoacán, pasando por los campos de San Joaquin Valley y llegando a más de 300 kilómetros sobre la Tierra en la Estación Espacial Internacional. Su familia y su determinación llevan a José a alcanzar lo que parecía una meta imposible.Amazon sinopsis
What ages is A Million Miles Away for?
A Million Miles Away is rated PG with a runtime of 2 hours available on Amazon Prime on September 15, 2023.
According to Common Sense Media A Million Miles Away is appropriate for ages ten and up. **Spoilers** A beloved relative is killed, and a shoot-out is mentioned. A rocket explodes on launch, killing all those on board. Astronaut training includes some scary situations, mostly underwater. Adults drink beer and tequila regularly, and there’s some flirting and kissing.
As a teacher, I would use the PG film A Million Miles Away with ages middle school on up.
Where to watch A Million Miles Away
A Million Miles Away is an Amazon Prime exclusive film. Starting September 15, 2023, it is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video. If you do not have Amazon Prime, a 30-day free trial is available. There are many audio and subtitle options on Amazon Video. Watch A Million Miles Away with Amazon Prime*
After starting the film, pause and click the speech bubble icon to change the audio and subtitles. See below for more details.
How to change the audio & subtitles on Prime Video & which to pick for Spanish class
Depending on your goals and the level of your class, you could watch it in Spanish or English. For upper-level students, I prefer to use Spanish audio & Spanish subtitles. For lower levels, I usually use Spanish audio and English subtitles. There is quite a bit of Spanish in the film, as well as a lot of culture, so you might choose to watch it in English.
On Prime Video if you want to change the audio &/or subtitles, the key is you have to press play on the movie, and THEN you can change the audio & subtitles, not before starting it. During playback of the movie, press up on your remote control, or pause on your computer. Then select Audio & Languages. It is a little speech bubble icon.
The audio/subtitle icon is in the upper right-hand corner of my computer and the bottom left-hand corner of my smart TV. Select the audio track that you want from the available list. The example image below is from Amazon Prime Video on my computer.
A Million Miles Away Trailers to Use in Spanish Class
Here are multiple trailers you could use to introduce the film. Since there is not a trailer with Spanish audio, you could choose to describe it in basic Spanish. Or take screenshots of the video and project them. Then have students write or discuss what they see and what they wonder. Finally, you could have students find cultural elements and then research to make predictions as well.
A Million Miles Away Official Trailer in English
A Millones De Kilómetros Trailer with English Audio & subtitles in español
More Videos for A Millones De Kilómetros in Spanish class
For upper-level classes, you could use some of these videos in Spanish. Many are focused on the real man the film is based on José Hernández Moreno. These videos would be great for authentic listening comprehension related to the film. You could show them before watching as background, or use them after the film to compare and see how accurately the film portrays his real life.
De campesino a astronauta de la NASA: la vida de José Hernández llega al cine
A very recent 3-minute video in Spanish from CNN en español about both José Hernández Moreno and the new film A Million Miles Away. This would be great to show before watching the film.
José M. Hernández Profile in English from the Weather Channel
This 3 minute video in English would work well for novice level students to gain background knowledge about José Hernández Moreno.
José Hernández Moreno, el mexicano que tocó las estrellas
A 4 minute news segment in Spanish from a few years ago about the real man the movie A Million Miles Away is based on. This could be used for an authentic listening comprehension activity related to the film.
El niño que tocó las estrellas. | José Hernández Moreno. | TEDxParqueLaLoma
El niño que tocó las estrellas is a 20-minute Ted Talk with José Hernández Moreno to pair with the film for upper-level or heritage learners. Students could then compare the real-life story with the actor portrayal in the film.
A Million Miles Away YouTube Short
Sometimes students’ attention is very minimal and it can work well to use short videos that they are used to watching on their phones. This could be used as authentic listening practice.
A millones de kilómetros la película sobre un sueño hecho realidad
A short video in Spanish about the upcoming film A Million Miles Away.
Authentic Readings About a Million Miles Away in Spanish
Novice reading for Million Miles Away in Spanish class – Authentic Tweets
Interpretive reading practice in Spanish that relates to the film.
More advanced authentic readings for A Millones De Kilómetros in Spanish class
- ‘A millones de kilómetros’ la cinta que demuestra que los sueños se cumplen – Forbes
- SINOPSIS A millones de kilómetros narrará una historia real basada en José Hernández, un ingeniero de vuelo de la NASA de orígenes mexicanos, quien con el apoyo de sus seres queridos alcanzó uno de sus más grandes sueños, aquél que parecía imposible: convertirse en un astronauta.
- Así trabajó Amazon y la NASA en la película del granjero de origen mexicano que se convirtió en astronauta – For upper level classes
**NEW Movie Guide for A Million Miles Away on TPT or the same guide in the Mis Clases Locas Shop
There are 2 separate A millones de kilómetros movie guides, 1 in Spanish, and 1 in English for a Spanish class sub plan for any level for Hispanic Heritage Month. See below as to specifically what is included.
English A Million Miles Away Movie Guide – 3 pages all Google Editable
- ✅ Page 1 – characters chart in English + draw the characters
- ✅ Page 2 – 20 A Million Miles Away movies questions in ENGLISH + 2 post-viewing in Spanish
- ✅ Page 3 – 8 character identification in English – 2 versions (could be an assessment)
Spanish Movie Guide A millones de kilómetros – 3 pages Google Editable
- ✅ Page 1 – characters chart in Spanish + draw the characters
- ✅ Page 2 – 20 A millones de kilómetros comprehension questions in SPANISH
- ✅ Page 3 – 8 character identification in Spanish – 2 versions (could be assessment)
Keys for all six pages of the movie guides are included as well.
Save yourself time & get the Spanish class Movie Guide in my website store or the same Movie Guide for A Million Miles Away on TPT
Books about or written by José Hernández
The movie was actually based on his autobiography below. The Spanish version would be great for a heritage class. Plus the picture book would be great for all levels of Spanish, including elementary.
- From Farmworker to Astronaut: My Path to the Stars (2019) – by Jose M. Hernandez
- Reaching for the Stars: The Inspiring Story of a Migrant Farmworker Turned Astronaut (2012) – by Jose M. Hernandez
- El Cosechador De Estrellas: La inspiradora historia de un labrador itinerante convertido en astronauta (Spanish Edition) (2012) – by Jose M. Hernandez
- The Boy Who Touched the Stars / El niño que alcanzó las estrellas (English and Spanish Edition) Hardcover – Picture Book – by Jose M. Hernandez
Other Hispanic Heritage Month resources
- Hispanic Heritage Month in Spanish class
- Hispanic Heritage Month Music Bracket
- Hispanic Heritage Month Spanish Music Bracket #8 NEW for 2023
Other Film Resources for Spanish Class
If you want another film to use in your Spanish classes here are some resources to save you time.
- Hispanic Heritage Month Movies for Spanish Class
- My top 15 appropriate movies for Spanish class Blog post
- Spanish Class Documentaries (see below for freebie for any documentary)
More Real People Movies for Spanish class
If you have more resources for A Million Miles Away in Spanish class, please share them in the comments and I will add them!
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