Science Fiction Selections: Connecting Film to Literature for First and Second Graders
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X. Section Two: A Lesson Plan for The Wizard of Oz.
The background information needed here can be located in several books by L. Frank Baum. In 1900, he wrote
The Wizard of Oz
and he produced twenty-two books about the land of Oz. A more modern illustrated version for young children is illustrated by Michael Hague.(Baum 1982). I would read the passage that begins when the cowardly lion enters the great throne room the ask for courage:
The Wizard of Oz
is a great ball of fire and the lion leaves in fear. I will ask students to predict how many songs they will hear in this 1939 musical.
I will present the following questions in order to set a purpose for viewing: a. Can you think of things that nature has done to scare you? For example, a tree branch tapping at your window, a thunderstorm, or a strange animal liking at you. b. Can you think of people who scared you? Which is scarier, an animal or a person? Bad weather or a monster? a bad dream of an amusement park ride? a fire or a robber in your house? 3. If people get a grouped together when scared, are they less scared or more scared? Would you be scared to go on a trip without your family? Have you ever been lost and alone?
I will tell students what I want them to understand in this film. This film was made during the first years of color movies and it has many caring viewers who watch it. The homework will be to interview their parents about when they might have seen this movie and what was their favorite part. I will talk about the fact that there are four characters that each have a goal. I will remind the class that during the response breaks, I will ask them to predict success or failure for the
The difficult parts of this movie occur when the musical production numbers extend beyond a first or second grader’s attention span. I will ideally show this movie over a two or three day span. A reviewers response form can be filled out after thirty minutes so that music, colors, setting and characters can be described. This is also a good time to check their comprehension of the story line. A final break can occur when the wicked witch is about to get melted. Children can predict a variety of endings if encouraged.
A discussion of the ending will also involve a final reviewer response. This musical is ideal for a hands-on practice of the yellow brick road dance at a recess. A simple prop will help all the children take a turn at role playing. After I read the story of
for a literature connection, I’ll remind the children that Dorothy and
can be compared. I’ll make two writers webs and have the children choose a character to write about. A graph can compare the good witch Glinda and the Wicked Witch of the West. These witches make this film an ideal lesson for October.
Classroom objectives for ‘
The Wizard of Oz
include the following: a. to increase student’s responses to characters who are handicapped. b. to teach comparison skills by contrasting it with
c. To introduce the theme of separation from families and possible reunions. d. to expand a reviewers role by commenting on music, color, setting, special effects and dance.
To assess the student’s progress, a teacher must carefully observe the children’s ability to discuss the film, to compare the film, and to develop sympathy for characters who have problems.