I am reading the novel 'Holes' (Paahde, in Finnish) by Louis Sacher in the yr 6 Finnish (mother tongue) class this autumn. When we've finished reading the book, we'll watch the film of the novel. It will probably be January before I can carry out the plan roughly described below, and I'll have 6 lessons at the most to spend on it.

Overall aims: Content: to make the pupils aware of the differences between different media (book and film), and to help them to understand how the plot of a book and filmscript can be put together in different ways and told in different ways and styles. Reading and writing practice.

Thinking aims:The overall thinking aim is to help them to see things from different points of view in different situations and for different purposes. In the process they will become familiar with the ENV model and perhaps the multiscreen model and will reflect on how to improve their own work.

- The challenge is for them to make a film of Holes which will last 15 minutes and the intended audience will be pupils of their own age who haven't read the book. The setting wiil will be in their home town, Eura. The plot and characters should stay the same.

- I intend to first tell them we are going to make a short film of Holes and then I'll divide them into groups of four. Each person in the group will have a job, the director, the producer, the scriptwriter and the cameraman.

- They will have to find out in their groups exactly what each of these people is responsible for in real life. The whole class will then put together what they found out about each and we can make a general description of each person's responsibilities.

- I will then give them the details of the challenge, with its limitations - it must be 15 minutes long, it must be set in Eura, they can't change the main characters or plot, the audience will be their age and won't have seen the film or read the book.

- I'll then tell them to make a plan in groups of how they're going to do it and who's doing what. When / if they get stuck (I'm expecting they will), we'll think together about what might be the most important events for the storyline. What's the basic plot? Who are the main characters and what are they like? (ENV? multiscreen?) The information they have about each person's task will be one tool they can use and the ENV we make should be another one.

- They will then try again to make a plan for their film, write a basic script and decide who's doing what. This will also be a teamwork challenge!

- We will listen to each group's suggestions and plans then reflect on their results. Which is the best and why? What was difficult? How could they make it better? Is their anything importnant missing?

- Later, if there's time, I'd like to ask them to change their plans to make the film suitable for a younger audience, or to make a new challenge - make a board game based on the plot and characters of the book.

- Also, if there's time, they will adapt their plans and scripts to make them suitable for an English-speaking audience (in the English class).

- In the English class excerpts from the book in English will be used as banks for work on grammar, vocabulary and culture (the next unit is on the USA).



# Alexander Sokol 2011-12-11 13:15

I generally like your plan and am really interested in how it works. It'd be great to have a series of posts from you on this.

A few thoughts / ideas:
- the jobs you've listed are not really of equal importance at the stage of 'planning the film'. For example, the director defintely has most to do while the producer won't have much to discuss with the rest. I don't know how deep into film-making you want to do, but it may be useful to divide people not so much according to the job as to the aspect of making the film they are responsible for (there may be several for one person if they are small). And then the director would just be the 'boss' in the group;

- when giving the task, I'd say 'as few changes as possible' rather than 'the same'. Things won't be exactly the same, will they?

- is there any reason why the film will last exactly 15 min?

- you might consider allowing groups to work on different films based on 'Holes', eg one may be making a cartoon, another a documentary, etc.

- the key thing, it seems, is to plan small cycles of going through the Thinking Task Framework. The big cycle is sort of clear in your plan. However, there will probably be smaller ones (a lesson long?). For example, when the teams get stuck the first time, what are you planning to do? Which aspect(s) of the film-making are going to be used for building stairs? What outputs will you expect and how they are going to be evaluated? In other words, what I am suggesting is that you think about a series of sub-tasks you might offer students in the process of their work. I'd also plan outputs at each stage very carefully, so that both you and they can monitor hte process.

There are probably some more things but I guess I'd stop now and give you a chance to get back on this. We can then take it further if you'd like.
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