From Text to Film: Of Mice and Men

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SWBAT to view a portion of the film version of Of Mice and Men, to check their imaginations against Hollywood's.

Big Idea

Teasing students along with excerpts of a film.

Review Character Chart

35 minutes

We begin today by reviewing the activity my students completed in the previous lesson.  I ask for student volunteers to share the information they have recorded for each character, which tends to produce a lot of student engagement, as I find they are eager to share the application of their newly acquired skill of identifying archetypes.

As we address each character, I offer any final clarity as necessary, in terms of the entirety of each character as an archetype.  My contributions are indicated in the parenthetical notations in the Student Character Chart samples (Student Character Chart).

I caution my students about "forcing" an archetype, reminding them that while some characters will easily fill their roles as archetypes, others will be less pronounced, merely suggesting traits that that echo an archetype, but not entirely possessing the role.  I believe it is important to add this caveat whenever introducing students to new concepts, in order to curb the "one concept fits all" tendency that some eager students are prone to embrace.

Film Clip

30 minutes

The remaining time left in class is devoted to showing my students the 1992 film version of Of Mice and Men. Though we are only halfway through the text, I like to use film in this way, for reasons stated here, as well as elaborated upon in my reflection. 

Now that we have reached the end of chapter three, which is a critical turning point in the book (ending where Lennie crushes Curley's hand), this is a fine juncture to pause and allow the film to bring to life what most of my students are already overwhelmingly engaged in.  At this point, most have developed a genuine affinity for Lennie and George, and I anticipate that this version of the film will only solidify that tendency in them.

The film is also a good way for my students to see archetypes in action.  Through the delivery and mannerisms of the actors in their respective roles, the concept of archetypical roles should become even more clear to my students.

Assign Homework

5 minutes

I stop the film with around five minutes left of class to ask for student feedback on the film.  My experience with using this film in the past has been largely positive, and I anticipate the same reaction from my current crop of students (when they have had the opportunity to view the entire film, we will have a more thorough discussion on comparing the two mediums).

Before dismissal, I review the homework assignment, which is for them to read chapter four of Of Mice and Men by Monday and to complete their dialectic journal entries for the chapter.

I will continue showing the film at intervals such as this throughout the remainder of the unit.