Tarzan: Everyone's a Critic

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SWBAT research movie reviews to identify authors' viewpoints and then recommend or not recommend a movie of their choice.

Big Idea

Students become movie critics in this lesson! They will have the opportunity to use real world skills to find their voice and compose an opinion.


Two Thumbs Up?...You Decide

20 minutes

We just had the privilege of attending our local high school's rendition of "Tarzan." I thought this would be a great opportunity for us to compare different media forms of the same story. This unit is based on the story "Tarzan" because that is the play we got to go see.  This unit could very easily be adapted to fit another story.  In the previous lessons in this unit, we read the story and we watched the movie version of "Tarzan." Today the students will get to write a review for the movie.  But first we will learn a little more about movie reviews.

Today we will become Critics!  To start our lesson out, I will show a cartoon clip, hopefully one that the students have not seen previously.  Tom and Jerry, Road Runner, or Under Dog may be good choices.  After viewing the video clip, we will do a "think-pair-share" about our opinions on the video clip.  Here is the video clip I chose for our review.


Here is a link for instructions on "think-pair-share" if you are unfamiliar with this activity:


Researching Reviews

20 minutes

In this part of the lesson I will have the students research movie reviews of a movie of their choice.  They will then use a T-chart to track the positives and negatives about the movie they chose.  I will instruct the students to record their initial thoughts on the graphic organizer.  Movie reviews are an excellent real world application for students to use reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text (or movie in this case.) I have included the graphic organizer in the resources.

Tarzan Critics

30 minutes

After the students compose their initial thoughts on the T chart, I will hand out the graphic organizer for them to plan their opinion paragraph.  I explain to the students that their job is to compose their own movie review for the movie "Tarzan."  We watched the Disney version because our school owns the rights to show it.  I will have the students recommend or not recommend the movie to others.  After they write their paragraph, they need to be sure to include the number of stars they give the movie so others will know at first glance their opinion.  The words they write should support the number of stars they give the movie.

Ideally, the students' paragraphs should include topic sentence and three reasons to support their opinion with a concluding sentence.

I will give students time to work and then prepare for a gallery walk.


Arnold, B. (Producer), Buck, C. (Director) & Lima, K. (Director). (1999). Tarzan [Motion picture]. USA: Walt Disney Feature Animation.