Project Title: Novel Character to Hollywood Star
Software Used: Internet, sometimes Power Point, sometimes Word
Subject and Grade Level: appropriat for any, but I teach 9-12 English
Standards: 12.1.8, 12.2.4, 12.3.1, 12.3.2
Suggestions: I usually break the cast into groups or pairs and give each pair a different character to cast. I like to have students work together on casting the role so they can discuss why a certain actor would be good for a part; however, each student usually has his or her own poster so they don’t necessarily have to agree on which actor to cast.
Materials needed: paper, some students like to add creative touches to make it 3-D so they may have other minor supplies
Lesson Plans/Directions: Whenever I begin a novel or some sort of difficult reading, I like to make sure students can picture what is going on as they read. One of the most effective mini-lessons involves casting actors in roles before we start reading the novel. I usually have them look up character descriptions on sparknotes.com or give them a brief one-paragraph summary of a character. Students then cast the role. They must include the character’s name, the actor’s name, 3 adjectives to describe the character, and a picture of the actor. Before they cast the role, we discuss why Hollywood would choose certain actors for certain parts. For example, Tom Cruise won’t play a minor role because they don’t want to pay him big bucks for such a small part (the exception to that would be a cameo where the small part is so similar to a role that he made famous). Some other factors may include: age, sex (but not always), race (but not always), previous roles, etc.
I want this to be a quick mini-lesson because it’s more effective use of time that way. To ensure students get it done quickly, I assign it on a Thursday towards the end of class and allow them to use the time that they have after their quiz on Friday to make the poster. We also spend just a few minutes discussing who students cast for parts and why on Monday before we read chapter one. It tends to be pretty productive having three seperate 15 minutes allotted rather than one 45 minute block because students like to spruce their work up at home to impress their classmates.