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Here’s a Project idea for making a Book into a Movie

Subject:

Language Arts  

Grades:

9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – Make A Book Into A Movie Project
By – Tina Marie Tedeschi
Subject – Language Arts
Grade Level – 9 – 12
I assigned this project after my students finished reading Billy Budd. It could be applied to almost any short story or novel. Additionally, this could be done individually or in groups.
Billy Budd Project
Part 1:
You are the casting team for a new film to be made on Billy Budd. You need to present your well-thought decisions, in writing, to the director. You need to choose 3 current actors to play the parts of Billy, Claggart, and Captain Vere. In your written rationale, you need to describe the character you are casting and then explain why the actor you chose is the best for that part (be specific: for example, think of past roles the actor may have played).
note: I allowed the students to go outside the perimeters of the book, as long as they stuck to the basic ideas of the plot and kept the personalities and relationships of the characters the same. Some groups changed the gender, others the race, and one groups even cast the parts as all Simpsons characters.
Part 2:
Choose one of the following projects:
A. Movie poster: Make a movie poster for the new film, Billy Budd. This project should be on poster board and have a picture that pertains to the story. In addition, include the rating of the film (PG, PG-13, or R), 2 reviews (for example, “Two thumbs up” – Bob Smith, Courier Post), and a listing of the main characters with the actors playing the roles (based on part 1 of this project).
B. Movie Reviews: Write 2 movie reviews for the new film, Billy Budd – one good/positive and one bad/negative (at least 250 words/1 typed page each). Give each review a star rating (out of 4). Your reviews should comment on the elements of plot, character, and setting, in addition to criticizing/praising the actors’ portrayals in their respective roles (based on part 1 of this project).
C. Script: Write a script for one scene of the new film, Billy Budd (at least 500 words/2 typed pages). Include dialog and stage directions along with any necessary commentary in correct format (remember how The Crucible is written).

Part 1 I assigned as group work and part 2 as individual; however, some groups became enthusiastic and asked if they could do all 3 projects in part two together. They also surprised me by supplying videotapes to share with the class of their scripts being enacted!

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