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Lesson Plan

Literature Circle Roles Reframed: Reading as a Film Crew

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Literature Circle Roles Reframed: Reading as a Film Crew

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three to Six 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Lisa Storm Fink

Lisa Storm Fink

Urbana, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Students interact with a range of different kinds of texts in the classroom, but for many, films and movies are the favorite. Because of their interest in the films, projects related to these movie texts often result in a higher level of engagement. Capture this enthusiasm, and transfer it to reading and literature by substituting film production roles for the traditional literature circle roles. After reviewing film production roles—such as director, casting director, and set designer—students work together in cooperative groups to read and discuss a piece of literature, each assuming a film production role.

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Self-Reflection: Taking Part in a Group: Students use this sheet to evaluate how well they interact in a group activity, including their role in the group, completion of task, listening, and more.

Roles of a Film Crew: This printable sheet offers definitions of 11 major roles on a film crew. The sheet can be used for a variety of lessons in which students participate in or explore filmmaking.

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Can students' genuine enthusiasm for film and movies extend into the classroom and literacy activities? John Golden, in Reading in the Dark: Using Film as a Tool in the English Classroom, thinks so. He writes, "[W]e know, or strongly suspect, that the skills [students] use to decode the visual image are the same skills they use for a written text, and our goal, therefore, is to use that immediate interest in and uncanny ability with film and make it work for us" (xiii).

This lesson plan invites students to think like filmmakers while reading a text, which in turn, makes the connection Golden refers to.

Further Reading

Golden, John. 2001. Reading in the Dark: Using Film as a Tool in the English Classroom. Urbana, IL: NCTE.

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