Watching a movie after reading the book is a wonderful way to encourage students to think critically about how each medium presented roughly the same information.
Here are some questions to ask:
- Think about the setting of the book. Did the setting in the movie look like you had imagined it? (Good ones for this are the Harry Potter series, Holes, The Chronicles of Narnia series, and Where the Wild Things Are.) If not, how was it different?
- Think about the main character. How was he/she different than you had imagined? How was he/she the same?
- Were there any changes in characters between the book and the movie? Why do you think the people who made the movie would leave out or add a character?
- What parts were in the book but were not in the movie? Why do you think the people who made the movie left out those parts?
- Were there any parts that were in the movie that were not in the book? Why do you think the people that made the movie added those parts?
- Do you think the people who made the movie did a good job of portraying the book? Why or why not?
- Which did you enjoy more: the book or the movie? Why?
You could also:
- Brainstorm all the ways the movie was different from the book.
- Make a Venn diagram using one circle for the book and one for the movie.
- Discuss a book that has not been made into a movie – what are the challenges? What would you need to leave out? Who would you cast for each character?
- For fun (and fluency), list all the books that you can think of that have been made into movies.
Fun Fact: Roald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, hated the 1971 movie version of his book so much that he refused to allow the studio to make a sequel. His widow (Dahl died in 1990) allowed Warner Bros. to make the 2005 version. She not only loved the movie but was sure that her late husband would have, too.
What has your experience been reading a book and then watching the movie?