Celebrate Awards Season with a WRITING PROJECT

One of my favorite seasons is upon us: Awards Show Season! The entertainment gods gave us awards shows like The Oscars, Golden Globes, Grammys (my personal fave) and more right smack in the dead of winter to keep our souls alive as we wait for spring. I mean. I have literally no other plans on any Sunday night in January or February, so it’s the PERFECT time to snuggle in with some popcorn and watch 3 hours of people being fancy.

I love to extend the excitement surrounding the Oscars into my classroom, because it’s the biggest of the awards shows, and often the students know a thing or two about at least one movie star who is up for an award. Because we’re also really in crunch time right now with academics, I don’t like to pause my normal standards or do anything too fluffy.

Therefore, my “Write Your Own Movie Script” project is the perfect thing to keep the rigor going, but have fun at the same time!

When I print this for my students, I copy it as a packet. There’s a cover page where students can name their movies, and write their name in as the ‘director’. Students are walked through the steps of casting characters, designing the plot, mapping out the setting, and eventually writing the script. (An example script is included in the packet).

My FAVORITE part of the project is that students must choose two elements of literature that we have studied this year to work into their scripts. So, they must include a clear example of something like cause and effect, or main idea, or point of view…something that we have learned in class that one of their peers will be able to find.

After all of the writing is done, students then give their packets to another student. That student writes the EVIDENCE of those two elements that the author said that they were bringing into the script. I mean…the level of critical thinking this all takes is just so good. I love it all.

After the kiddos have gotten a peer to review their script, they turn it in for final grading by yours truly. This means that I’m not overseeing the entire process. But I am there at the end to help guide students to a great finished product. Of course, you could do this whole group and be more involved with the process. I organized this as one of my writing centers. ( I have a video that tours that whole process. Click the picture below to see it!) It worked really well as a center, but I definitely want to come back and showcase the finished scripts when each of my students has had a chance to finish!

And there you have it! A super fun, super simple to prep project that gets your class in the Oscars mood! It’s great for any time of year, but it would be super fun to introduce this week. I have visions of setting up a popcorn bar for my class when everyone has finished and polished their scripts! I might even make a “red carpet” with some butcher paper and really give my students that Hollywood-level treatment for some really great writing!

If you use this project in your room, be sure to connect with me on Instagram and let me know how it went!

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Stephanie Sutherland