As an educator, it is always interesting to read a novel with your students and then watch the corresponding film that was made from the book. Besides helping the students visualize what they read better, it also is fun to compare and contrast the book against the movie. It’s intriguing to hear the students discuss afterwards which one was better. It does my educator’s heart good when usually about 90 percent of the class enjoyed the book way better than the movie.
One tip, though, is to give them their test on the book before watching the movie. If you wait until after, they can often get the two confused. We all know books and movies aren’t exactly alike and can have differences. Below are a few possible novels to read with your students whether you are teaching 3rd grade or high school. They each all have had movies made about them, so be prepared to cover both in the classroom. Besides, all students and teachers love a good movie in the classroom at the end of a long day.
Bridge to Terabithia
Originally published in 1977, Bridge to Terabithia was made into a movie by Disney in 2007. While the book does have a bit of swearing in it, the movie is definitely PG. This would probably be a suitable junior high book. It is a story that kids can relate to as two outcasts become friends and form a strong bond between them. Be sure to have some tissues on hand when reading the book and watching the movie.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
This classic about Narnia is sure to be a hit with students in 3rd or 4th grade. The movie is pretty great as well. And if the students really love the books, there is a whole series of them that they can keep reading as well. There is nothing better than inspiring a student to read a whole book’s series.
The Lord of the Rings
The world is a much different place in The Lord of the Rings. There is a bit of magic and mystery around every corner. Civilization is at risk if a magical ring does not get destroyed. Will Frodo Baggins be the one to save the world? There are a series of both the books and the movies that kids will love.
To Kill a Mockingbird
Published in 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird won a Pulitzer prize for its author Harper Lee. It’s interesting to note that this was the author’s only published work until in 2015 she released an earlier draft of the beloved book. The novel deals with social injustice through children’s eyes. It also has one of the best characters ever created in any book: Boo Radley. The black and white film came out in 1962 and starred Gregory Peck as Atticus. This novel is definitely one that can be read and understood by high school students.
As a teacher, I always found pleasure in reading actual novels with my students instead of the short five page stories that are in most Reading textbooks. Besides generally being better stories, it also develops attention spans and improves their comprehension skills much better than short texts.
In addition, it seems that reading actual books in the classroom promotes reading at home as well. One of the main difficulties students have with reading is that they just do not read often enough. Their literacy skills may be lacking because of this. If you know of children that could use a reading achievement boost, iAchieve can help. We offer tutoring in all subjects. The summer is the perfect time to start strengthening these skills even more.
Written by Ryan Crawley