Comparing Artistic Decisions: Director vs. Dickens

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SWBAT analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment by compared and evaluating the director's decisions as compared to Dickens.

Big Idea

Actively watching the film can encourage students to think about the novel in new ways.

Getting Started

5 minutes

Collecting the essays! In the first few minutes of class, I will collect their long compositions based on their choice reads.

Comparing the Film to the Text

50 minutes

Today, we are going to watch the first episode of the 2012 version of The BBC's Great Expectations in order to compare the director's portrayal of characters and plot with Dickens' novel (RL.9-10.7). I have never shown this version before, but since it is new, I decided that it was worth a try, especially since there are major plot and character changes which should provide many places for comparison and evaluation in the students' written responses which they will complete for homework. As students view the film, they are going to complete the attached worksheet. By the end of the class, they will have a full list of what they expected to see and what came as a surprise (RL.9-10.7). This worksheet will act as a springboard for their homework and a follow-up discussion. Here is the front and back of a student's completed worksheet (W.9-10.1).

I think it's important to show films. It's the medium of our time and can help clarify any confusing details. As long as students are actively watching, a movie can be as educational and engaging as any other class, and is a text just as a novel or a play is. Worksheets, such as the one I provide in this lesson, can help students actively watch, since they provide a focus and goal for the students' viewing.


Wrapping Up

5 minutes

The movie is 58 minutes, so there won't be much time at the end, but I will make sure to leave some time to describe their homework to them. Students should pick one difference they noticed in the movie and in a page of writing, explain if it was a good change or not and why (W.9-10.1). Students should use the worksheet they completed while watching to help them with the homework.