Tuesday, May 6, 2008

More Resources for Exploring Movies and Literature

The English Journal article “Literature into Film (and Back Again): Another Look at an Old Dog,” written by NCTE Consulting Network member and NCTE author John Golden, describes ways to explore movies based on short stories and novels in the literature classroom. While the examples in the article are targeted at secondary students, the techniques can be applied at any level. All you have to do is change the texts. The general questions remain the same.

The key is to focus on analysis of the director’s choices, rather than on general review or comparison of the choices. Try asking students questions such as “Why did the director delete this scene? What difference does this choice make?” rather than “Which version is better and why?” ReadWriteThink has lists of films and texts that can be used in the elementary classroom and at the middle level that you can use to supplement the lists in the English Journal article.

Further, ReadWriteThink includes these lesson plans that explore literary elements in films and other videos:

Finally, in the EJ Extension “Who Wants to Be a Director?” Golden shares additional creative writing activities that students can complete to consider the ways that print texts are turned into movies. Golden suggests, for instance, that students choose songs for a movie soundtrack version of a print text that they have read. The ReadWriteThink lesson plan On a Musical Note: Exploring Reading Strategies by Creating a Soundtrack includes additional resources teachers can use as they try this creative writing technique.

The ReadWriteThink lesson Literature Circle Roles Reframed: Reading as a Film Crew offers a creative reading approach, by substituting film production roles for the traditional literature circle roles. After reviewing film production roles—such as director, casting director, and set designer—students work together in cooperative groups to read and discuss a piece of literature, each assuming a film production role.


Teacherninja said...

I love the "film crew" jobs as opposed to lit. circle jobs idea. I've been reading Korman's On The Run series and we've been casting it and printing out actor photos from the web to help the kids keep track of everyone. Next I'll get them to try brainstorming more for a film version (it's like "24" for kids).

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