Get the Reel Scoop: Comparing Books to Movies

With more and more books being adapted to the silver screen (and the DVD player) nowadays, this lesson engages students to think critically about the same or similar content in book and film.  It prompts students to identify literary elements in the book, then watch the film and analyze its adaptations, both good and bad.  The lesson ends with reading theatre, and students providing their own adapation of a passage in the book. This lesson encourages students to identify theme and literary elements in a written work, then explain how effectively they are translated into film.  The lesson could certainly incorporate cross-comparisons of the same body work in other formats, such as stage and radio plays, film reviews and literary criticism.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CLE 3001.7.1
Evaluate the aural, visual, and written images and other special effects used in television, radio, film, and the Internet for their ability to inform, persuade,...
CLE 3001.7.2
Examine the agreements and conflicts between the visual (e.g., media images, painting, film, graphic arts) and the verbal.
CLE 3001.7.3
Recognize how visual and sound techniques or design (e.g., special effects, camera angles, music) carry or influence messages in various media.
CLE 3001.7.4
Apply and adapt the principles of written composition to create coherent media productions.
CLE 3002.7.1
Evaluate the aural, visual, and written images and other special effects used in television, radio, film, and the Internet for their ability to inform, persuade,...
CLE 3002.7.2
Examine the agreements and conflicts between the visual (e.g., media images, painting, film, graphic arts) and the verbal.
CLE 3002.7.3
Recognize how visual and sound techniques or design (e.g., special effects, camera angles, music) carry or influence messages in various media.
CLE 3002.7.4
Apply and adapt the principles of written composition to create coherent media productions.
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

Students will:

  • identify the characters, setting, plot, and resolution in a book and in the movie based upon the book. 
  • describe similarities and differences between elements of the book and the movie.
  • discuss the effects of and state preferences toward these similarities and differences. 
  • hypothesize why movie makers might have decided to alter characteristics in the book. 
  • adapt and perform a scene from the book in readers theater format.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Understanding

Helpful Hints

Materials and Technology:

  • Book(s) and film you plan to share with students (see Grade 3–5 Book and Film List)
  • Television and VCR or DVD player 
  • Writer’s Notebook 
  • Photocopies of selected scenes from the book OR additional copies of the book.

References

Contributors: