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Science Fiction Selections: Connecting Film to Literature for First and Second Graders, by Kathleen L. Ayr


Guide Entry to 95.02.01:

By increasing the coordination of literature themes and films, the first or second grade teacher can expand the literary and language skills of her students. An appreciation of film art in a literature program can promote writing, thinking and reading skills.

The genre of science fiction provides an historical perspective in the film I chose, “Frankenstein.” The history of moving pictures is covered through several hands-on experiences. This 1931 film is then easily contrasted with “The Wizard of Oz.” Each movie has a familiar literature selection connected to it. “Henny Penny” makes an interesting comparison to Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” and for Frankenstein I chose “How Joe Bear and Sam Mouse Got Together.” A theme of family disruption also runs in all three movies. The third movie, “E.T.,” features an alien who is left behind by his family. The book “Jamaica’s Find” also features this theme through a lost stuffed toy.

The goal of planning a meaningful media time requires many activities that structure the theme, literary connections and the actual viewing. The science fiction genre seems to capture the imagination and interest of young students. Movies can be an active and effective learning tool if connected to strategies that promote learning.

(Recommended for Literature, Film Study and Reading, grades 1-2)

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