Scrolling through twitter tonight I came across The Guardian Newspaper's tweet about this 'teaser trailer' for the new Disney film 'The BFG.' It made me very excited, The BFG is my favourite Dahl book and the 1989 film was a big part of my childhood, seeing the giant (briefly) in this trailer did remind me of the original.
I have quickly outlined below some ways in which the film could be used in the classroom.
Ideas for use in the classroom.
Watch the film without sound. Can the children guess what the film is? What book it is from? Could they write a narrative to go with it?
Write a short narrative beginning with the the lines from the trailer
'Never get out of bed. Never go to the window. Never look behind the curtain."
Or even end with them.
Pause the film on the 6 short scenes at the beginning showing the settings; view of the city, empty street, the front of the orphanage, the corridor, the grand hall way, the dormitory. Ask students to create a short description for each capturing the mood, the silence, the atmosphere. You could allocate the setting to groups of pupils then work as a class to develop a finished piece linking all of the settings.
Focus on using these settings as story openings alongside work on prepositional phrases to help explore openings. e.g. Under the cover of darkness, along the darkened alleyway, just beyond the old Stephen Street Orphanage, an almost undetectable figure crept in the shadows, out of sight of the sleeping city.
Children could change the narrative from a 'giant' to a different mythical beast, a unicorn, a boggart, a wizard.
Create an internal monologue for The BFG, what does he think/say when he knocks over the bins, when he sees the cats; when he sees Lucy.
Create news reports about the strange events that have been happenings, children going missing etc.
Show not tell work on fear. Think of all the different elements, hiding under the covers, heavy breathing etc. Some tips on 'Show not tell' here
Write an explanation about 'The Witching Hour' what is it? When is it? Can you describe your school, your house or your street during the witching hour?
What happens next? Ask children to make predictions. Many of them will already know the story, can they change it? Perhaps the BFG can't find her when he reaches in, maybe she bites his finger and he leaves her alone, children may be able to parody the story quite well.
Create an advert to help prevent kidnapping by Giants - e.g. Are you bothered by Giants in the night? Buy our new, anti-giant windows.
Choose another of Dahl's books and create a trailer for that, use drama, photos, film and iMovie on the iPads to create an actual trailer.
This is by no way an exhaustive list and if you have any more ideas please share them in the comments below.
If you like these ideas and would like to have Rob (Literacy Shed Creator) in your school to share these ideas and many others please visit www.literacyshed.com/CPD
Rob from Literacy Shed