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Teaching Literature Using Film
Transcript of Teaching Literature Using Film
BY THE MOTION PICTURE ASSOCIAT Pre-reading Strategies Teach Using Digital Analogy:
Previews and Cover Studies Cover studies are an important pre-reading strategy, but not all students grasp the purpose or value intuitively.
We have natural weaknesses when it comes to learning new concepts and skills.
We rely on metaphorical thinking to (imperfectly) grasp new ideas
In other words, to compensate, we relate new ideas to things we already understand
To help students understand the purpose, increase their willingness and engagement, and maximize effectiveness, teach using previews. Preview is to movie as _________ is to book. What is this movie about? What elements helped you determine that? Judging a Book By Its Cover During Reading Strategies Bring it back as a project for independent reading!
View many examples, discuss purpose and intent
Discuss role of music, text
Discuss images and how to choose them
Create a coverflow (like iTunes) for your class website or a "catalog" using student created book trailers
great way to entice students; great student-generated supplements for book talks First: What is the purpose of a preview?
Don't worry, students will impress you with their insight. Thinking Like a Director: Getting started:
Provide students with the terminology to discuss what they already know
Often can't explain themselves because they lack the vocabulary to articulate things they actually understand Everything that directors do, authors did it first. But, students are more familiar and comfortable with digital media. Teach by analogy.
Simple to complex:
from visualization and sequencing to analysis and evaluation
Differentiation made simple Why might a director use a wide shot? Or an extreme close up? Use Storyboards, and use them often.
Forces student engagement, visualization, active reading
Select specific paragraphs for specific purposes. Build up from the basics.
Suggestion: Always provide students with a question to answer after they have completed the storyboard.
Say it in a Sentence works well here.
Example 1: Visualization
Example 2: Getting through dense paragraphs Example 1: Visualization
Model, help students to find the action. Look for the verbs. "You can stop counting," she said. She opened the fingers of one hand slightly and in the palm of the hand was a single slender object.
An ordinary kitchen match.
The sight of it rushed the men out and down away from the house. Captain Beatty, keeping his dignity, backed slowly through the front door, his pink face burnt and shiny from a thousand fires and night excitements. God, thought Montag, how true! Always at night the alarm comes. Never by day! Is it because the fire is prettier by night? More spectacle, a better show? The pink face of Beatty now showed the faintest panic in the door. The woman's hand twitched on the single matchstick. The fumes of kerosene bloomed up about her. Montag felt the hidden book pound like a heart against his chest.
"Go on," said the woman, and Montag felt himself back away and away out of the door, after Beatty, down the steps, across the lawn, where the path of kerosene lay like the track of some evil snail.
On the front porch where she had come to weigh them quietly with her eyes, her quietness a condemnation, the woman stood motionless.
Beatty flicked his fingers to spark the kerosene.
He was too late. Montag gasped.
The woman on the porch reached out with contempt for them all, and struck the kitchen match against the railing.
People ran out of houses all down the street. Example 2: Getting Through Dense Paragraphs. Model, help students find the action! Build up from the basics!
Choose paragraphs that require students to
focus on a particular technique. For example, choose sections of text in which authors use
color, repetition (focus on objects that could be symbols), scene juxtaposition, match-on-idea,
anything you can think of! But never do it
without providing real-life video examples
and discussing them first. Getting More Complex: Analysis, Interpretation
Example: When author use of color is important, try clips like these... Discuss how the director uses color. What could the director be trying to do in each case?
Then have students create storyboards after reading a passage from the desired text or from their independent reading books using color to convey mood or emotion or meaning. Once students are thinking like directors
regularly, once they see the parallels between
how an author directs your vision and how a
director controls what you see, when you see it,
and how you see it, then try having them make
directorial decisions of their own.
No-Budget Film Festivals for all!
Suggestion for No Budget Film Festivals:
Always make students justify their
directorial decisions in writing! Jack was bent double. He was down like a sprinter, his nose only a few inches from
the humid earth. The tree trunks and the creepers that festooned them lost
themselves in a green dusk thirty feet above him, and all about was the undergrowth.
There was only the faintest indication of a trail here; a cracked twig and what might
be the impression of one side of a hoof. He lowered his chin and stared at the traces
as though he would force them to speak to him. Then dog-like, uncomfortably on
all fours yet unheeding his discomfort, he stole forward five yards and stopped.
Here was loop of creeper with a tendril pendant from a node. The tendril was
polished on the underside; pigs, passing through the loop, brushed it with their bristly
Jack crouched with his face a few inches away from this clue, then stared forward
into the semi-darkness of the undergrowth. His sandy hair, considerably longer than
it had been when they dropped in, was lighter now; and his bare back was a mass of
dark freckles and peeling sunburn. A sharpened stick about five feet long trailed
from his right hand, and except for a pair of tattered shorts held up by his
knife-belt he was naked. He closed his eyes, raised his head and breathed in
gently with flared nostrils, assessing the current of warm air for information.
The forest and he were very still. No Budget Film Festival