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Use: Book Connections

From Harry Potter to Hunger Games, there are dozens of books that have been made into movies. Whether it's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory versus the Willy Wonka movie or the merits of Clint Eastwood as the lead in The Bridges of Madison County, everyone has an opinion about which is better.

smallAnnette's Reflections
I'm a big fan of both books and movies. I enjoy reading the book first, then seeing if the movie lives up to my expectations. In some cases, I'm happy with the film, but in others I'm very disappointed. What about you? Books, movies, both?

I particularly enjoyed Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Ready Player One.

Popular books such as Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief have been made into movies. In most cases, a website accompanies the movie. Some authors such as Rick Riordan also have a website that connects to the book and movie.

try itTry It!
Have some fun! Brainstorm all the book-movie combinations you've read and seen.
Are they movies for kids or adults?
Which were better, the books or the movies?
What book do you think should be made into a movie?
Who would you cast as the lead actors?
Who should direct?
Where should it be filmed?

Read a book, then watch the movie on the same story. Ideas are provided at the bottom of this page.
Do you have a general opinion about books made into movies or movies made into books? If not, what are your specific experiences?

Book-Movie Combinations

Many of the book-movie combinations you hear about are feature films like Lord of the Rings. Others are created for television such as Sarah Plain and Tall and Lonesome Dove. However, some educational publishers specialize in movies based on books such as Space Case based on the book by Edward Marshall by Weston Woods and Scholastic. My Louisiana Sky is based on Kimberly Willis Holt's novel. The movie has won a series of awards including an Emmy and Carnegie Medal.

Stand By MeMany books have been made into movies a number of times. For example, there's a 1973 and a 1995 version of From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

In addition to movies based on novels, you'll also find films from comic books, fairy tales, and short stories. For example, X-Men and The Avengers are popular examples of movies based on comic books. Stephen King is famous for turning short stories into movies. A personal favorite is Stand By Me.

Are you looking for a good book - movie combination? Use the following links for ideas:

Below you'll find a list of some book-movie combinations for different ages. If you're looking for lessons based on these book/movies, go to Google and do a search for the title and add the word lesson or webquest such as Jumanji lesson.


Cross Over

Teens and Adults

Looking for more? Check out Wikipedia: Children's Books Made Into Feature Films or Wikipedia: Films Based on Books.

Lesson Ideas

Audio and video can be integrated into activities across the curriculum. Why reinvent the wheel? You can find lots of units, lessons, and webquests on the Internet to explore and adapt.

Explore lesson plans at Get the Reel Scoop: Comparing Books to Movies at Read-Write-Think. These lessons are designed to help students compare and contrast different forms of media by examining books and their movie counterparts. Useful information includes book lists for grades 3-5 and 6-8, forms to help the comparison/contrast process, and a resource bibliography.

Some educators and publishers have created viewing guides to accompany films. Evaluate the following guides. What kinds of things do you look for in a good film guide for viewers?

Film Education

Turner Movies

Design an interdisciplinary unit that explores a book-movie combination. Be sure to focus on a number of standards that cross subjects.

Or, start a book/movie club in your library. Create a series of activities for a book/movie club that focus on making comparisons between the two medium.

WebQuests provide an authentic, technology-rich environment for problem solving, information processing, and collaboration. This inquiry-based approach to learning involves students in a wide range of activities that make good use of Internet-based resources. 

Read about ways to use the movie The King's Speech in teaching and learning.

Read about connecting Maths and the Movies.

Consider building movie connections into reading maps. Go to Reading Maps for Book-Movie Connections.

Teach with Movies is a movie guide with learning connections such as The Right Stuff. Many movies are listed in the index. However, learning guides are now fee-based service.

try itTry It!
Explore the FilmSpace website. Choose one of the following areas to explore:
How to Train Your Dragon
Life of Pi
Nanny McPhee and Big Bang 
The Princess and the Frog
Shakespeare on Film
War Horse
Index of Films

Librarians and Books in the Movies

Librarians love to connect libraries with films.

try itTry It!
Go to Libraries and Librarians on Film.
Explore your favorites just for fun.

Books and Music

Beyond movies, consider ways to connect books with music.

try itRead!
Graff, Keir (May 21, 2015). Three songs that sound like YA Novels. The Book List Reader. Available through IUPUI.

Storytelling through Books and Movies

Use both books and videos to tell stories. While some people will enjoy the books, others will prefer the movies. Come together to share the storytelling experiences.

try itRead!
Read Yenika-Agbaw, Vivian (July 2011). Folk literature and the preservation of culture: new approaches to african storytelling. Bookbird: A Journal of International Children’s Literature, 49(3), 25-32. Available through IUPUI.

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