To begin today's lesson, I hand out the graphic organizer that students will fill out as they watch the 1938 filmed version of "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer."
Before I begin the movie, I take a moment to go over that they need to do to complete this assignment. The goal is to find about 10 similarities and differences throughout the film. I tell them that it is possible to fill out the entire sheet in the first 30 minutes of the film; however, I want them to focus on big ideas and details, not the small insignificant ones.
And now it's time to start the show!
In today's class, we watch the first half of the 1938 version of the film. It is available on YouTube or Amazon. The Amazon version says it is a Korean Import. Never fear, it is in English (though the packaging is in Korean); all you have to do is turn off the Korean subtitles, and you're good to go!
It is such great fun to watch the students watch the film. Even though it's not as in-your-face as today's movies, it always amuses them.
A fun twist on this lesson is to add in two more films. This year, in addition to the 1938 version, we watched the 1973 musical and Disney's "Tom and Huck" from 1995. I did this in the same amount of time (2 class periods) and I broke the movies up as follows:
Day 1: 1938 film, as much as we could squeeze in. We ended up getting to the boys running away in most of my classes.
Day 2: Disney's "Tom & Huck" from "Tom's Funeral" through the end of the courtroom scene. Then, I switched to the musical. We watched the musical from "It's a Miracle" through the end.
Students still need to do the writing, but they can use evidence from all three films. For this assignment, the writing prompt can be changed to ask students which film was their favorite and why.
Tomorrow, students will complete the graphic organizer. I also hand out an at-home writing assignment based on the film(s).