Slice of Life: When (the) Lightning (Thief) Strikes

Slice of Life(This is part of the Slice of Life project at Two Writing Teachers)

We finally got around to our field trip (it had been snowed out on us last week) to see the Lightning Thief movie yesterday (known as Percy Jackson and the Olympians to those folks in the movie business). We read the book as a class novel and I already blogged my own thoughts on the movie version of the book. So, when we got back from the theater, I was curious to know what they thought but I resisted offering my own thoughts until the end of our talk, which ranged more than 30 minutes of engaged conversations. Hands were up all around the room. Heads were nodding to the points made by others, particularly about how the movie did not quite intersect as neatly with the book as my students would have expected.

Like me, they were baffled by a number of main events left out of the movie, and they were just so thoughtful about dissecting the flick that I was felt so proud of them.

First of all, I was proud that they knew the book so deeply that they could see the flaws of the movie (OK, so the flaws were big enough to drive a truck through but still …). Second, I was proud because they saw Hollywood gloss for what it is (sell the tickets!), with one student even noting the change in ages of characters “so that they could flirt and get away with it, and reach older kids.”

We all admitted that if you had not read the book, you would view the movie as a fun adventure flick full of  Greek mythology. But reading the book made us all critical viewers and who can argue with that? I’m now glad that the movie was so different.

And it was fun sitting in the theater with my 80 kids, munching on popcorn, a bit of candy and some fruit punch. So I just laughed when, on the bus ride home, one student asked,  “Can’t we just make every Monday a trip to the movies, Mr. H?”

Yeah. I wish.

Peace (in the dark),

  1. Wow, sounds like a wonderful Monday with your kids. I love it when kids rise to the occasion and show us what they have!

  2. I love that critical thinking piece of comparing movie to book. I did the same thing with my students when the City of Ember movie came out. Great conversations and compare/contrast afterward.

  3. Authentic experiences really do bring out the best in kids! Going to the movies may sound frivolous but the richness of your class conversations and the high engagement/participation are proof they can be great learning opportunities.

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