While students on the coasts can expect another six weeks or so of school—kind of like our six weeks of winter that always result from the groundhog’s shadow sighting on February 2—school is winding down here in the farmland of the Midwest. During the next few weeks, you may find yourself searching for a film as an end-of-year class lesson for your students. There are films and there are films, of course, but maybe you’re looking for a good film made from a good book. Since many of the best books have been challenged, following are a few suggestions for good movies made from often-challenged or censored books.
But before the list, here’s the advice:
- Know your school’s policy on films for classroom use. Even though MPAA ratings are not curricular guidelines, most schools use the MPAA’s rating system to describe acceptable and unacceptable films.
- Check out some great film-teaching resources from NCTE, such as Great Films and How to Teach Them, Reading in the Dark: Using Film as a Tool in the English Classroom, Reading in the Reel World: Teaching Documentaries and Other Nonfiction Texts.
- Know that the films listed below are made from books that have been censored or challenged. So, have a rationale prepared for why you’re showing the film and how it ties to the curriculum.
Movies of challenged books featured in the blog The End of School Movie:
Films featured in the study guides of Great Films and How to Teach Them:
- Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet
- One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest
- The Shawshank Redemption (from Stephen King’s Different Seasons)
Film featured in Reading in the Dark:
- Smoke Signals (from Sherman Alexie’s The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. Might be used in conjunction with Alexie’s oft-challenged The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian featured in this blog.
Film featured in Reading in the Reel World:
Best films from often-taught and often-challenged books: