Friday, October 19, 2012

Which Did You Prefer?

 "I think the movie was amazing and I liked how in some parts they had things word for word from the book."

"If I had just watched the movie, I would have missed out on all that detail in the end." 

"The book was more vivid than the movie in the way that it described and had better examples of the characters' feelings" 

"Another reason I liked the book is because it made me feel like I was living in the moment and it was really happening." 

Those were just some of the many arguments that students wrote in defense of their favorite version of The Outsiders.  After critically viewing the movie this week, they had to decide on the version they preferred.  Not surprisingly, many advocated for the novel and its ability to engross the reader.  Over and over again, those in favor of the book cited their deep connections with the characters as the main reason for its superiority.  The feeling was not unanimous, however.  Many believed that the movie held the edge.  Those in that camp loved its intensity.  From its dramatic music to its visual appeal, the film adaptation of The Outsiders certainly earned its accolades.

After reading the novel and viewing the movie, there's just one thing left - assessment. Wrapping up The Outsiders Unit, students will develop projects based on the following ideas:
  • The Outsiders was published nearly 30 years ago, yet students still seem to relate to it today. What ideas in the novel do you find to be timeless? Explain.
  • Do you think reading The Outsiders would positively influence someone who is prejudiced against another class of people? Why or why not?
  • Do you agree with Cherry that “things are rough all over”? Provide examples from your own life.
  • What have you learned from this book that would be important enough to share with others?  Explain.
It will be exciting to guide them through this learning journey!

Making the Choice - Click to view photo gallery
Did you know that one dictionary lists 14 definitions for the word love? And those are just the nouns!  What exactly is love? Mr. Dunning loves his children and he loves chocolate ice cream, but it's not the same. As the sixth grade composition students quickly discovered, abstract ideas are complex and difficult to define.  Nuances are the name of the game when it comes to defining family, friendship, bravery, courage, strength, weakness, and love.  Students will be tackling these abstract ideas and others from The Outsiders as they work on their last expository writing piece - the definition essay.  After choosing a term, students started by looking at it from a variety of angles.  How could it be described?  What examples would best illustrate it?  What metaphor could be used with the term?  What conditions might cause the term?  What is the denotation (dictionary definition) of the word?  What are some synonyms for the idea?  How could the idea be sketched?  What is it not? With their peers as their audience, students will draft their extended definition essays next week.  Inevitably, we will all learn how complicated abstract ideas can be!

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