While watching the movie, Animal Farm, as an accompaniment to the book, how can I hold students accountable for the info in the movie? I don't want them to simply turn the brain off because it's a movie day.
My main reason for using any movie in middle school was as a vehicle to teach them some aspect of writing. For example,list on the board three-six obvious differences between the movie and the novel. Have each student choose one of the differences, and on a 6X8 card on their desk, list why this is the funniest difference or the dumbest difference--whatever viewpoint they want to choose. They must write at least 2-3 examples or reasons why their viewpoint was chosen. Then, on the back, have them write a quick paragraph explaining why this is the funniest difference etc. Have them compare with other students at their table or choose to put the 4 nearest students together. They can show each other their "papers" and choose the clearest example paper. They must each write a specific comment on the comment sheet for their table on what each person did correctly. Then the best ones are read aloud either by someone elected at the table, the one with the black socks or whomever,not necessarily the author. You can easily see which students understand the "prove" part of an essay without having to write and grade an entire essay. The students can soon see which papers are done correctly because if the papers simply tell the story without the why to prove a theme statement for a paragraph, it becomes recognizable to even the students for whom writing is difficult. Since the comment paper holds only what the students did correctly, they can soon build on what they did right, change what they need to, and have the assignment done correctly. I found this worked much better in middle school 8th grade than having them fill out a worksheet or answer specific questions. I hope this gives you some ideas about how you can change this to fit what you want to achieve with a movie.
Wow. This is very good stuff. I can see the solid benefit of using this writing opportunity. Excellent response. Thanks!!!