Posted in Food for Thought

Comparing Books and Movies

There are people in the world who like books. There are people in the world who like movies. And there are people in the world who like both. I’m the kind of person who likes both.

It’s great to like both if you can understand that books and movies are not the same. They are never going to be the same. It simply isn’t possible. But people who like books and who like movies often struggle because they do not always like movie adaptations. It can be hard to separate a beloved book from its big screen counterpart. People who love books and movies claim that plot lines are altered, characters vanish, it just wasn’t as good as the book. These opinions are not always wrong. I just think there’s more to it than those simple opinions.

Let’s remember that movies aren’t claiming to be books. They’re interpretations of the books. They’re reimaginings of the story the book told. Sometimes they give viewers a fresh perspective or a scene not in the book because it didn’t quite fit. It’s a new way for readers to understand the story; readers should embrace and appreciate that.

Sometimes the beauty lies in comparing books and movies. Were the story lines the same? Was the point of view the same? Were there new characters or different twists and turns? Compare and analyze the two versions of the story and see what the results are.

Remember to be open to change, to different interpretations, to reimaginations of stories. A book and a movie not matching perfectly isn’t the end of the world. It’s an opportunity to embrace a new perspective, learn something new, and see a familiar story in a new life.

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Posted in Classroom Ideas, Teaching Techniques

Showing Movies in Class

I love movies. And I love comparing books to their movie counterparts. I find it really interesting to make comparisons between books and movies, and I want to share that with my students. I think that doing so could lead to a lot of discussion and great analysis. I also think it’s important to know why you are showing a movie in class and what you want the end result to be.

Let’s take a minute to be honest. In my experience, there are two main reasons to show a movie. The first is because it’s right before a vacation and students are too hyped up to focus and get work done. The second is for a comparison or another educational activity.

If you’re showing a movie before a vacation, your goal is probably to show a movie and keep students mildly entertained. And that’s OK. That’s what will happen, and everything will work out the way it’s supposed to.

However, if you’re showing a movie to students so they can make a comparison or learn something, they need to have a reason to pay attention. There needs to be buy in, or students aren’t going to give the movie their full attention. They’ll find something more interesting or something they feel is more important to give part of their attention to.

Create some buy in. It can be simple. It can be a comparison chart they need to fill out. It can be questions they need to answer. It can be a big overview question they need to be prepared to answer. But give students a reason to pay attention. Set some expectations. Then everyone is on the same page, and no one needs to be fighting with anyone else.

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