Today we are going to talk about one of my favorite subjects, children’s books with movies! My house is screen-friendly, my kids play video games and have screen time, but I am always trying to make the screen time connect to learning. In our homeschool day, they have “learning screen time” and “choice screen time.”
Many children’s books and young adult books have been made into movies and this provides a unique and fun way to engage children in literacy!
Which one was better? The book or the movie? Reading the book and then watching the movie can start great conversations about which one your child liked better and why. You’ll be comparing, analyzing, and defending your position. You can talk about things that are the same or different about each one. Try to focus on story elements – characters, events, plot, and setting. You can then go even further and discuss WHY you think the filmmakers made the changes that they did.
Visualizing is “making a movie in your head” and often watching the actual movie can help with this! Movies can draw kids’ attention to details and help kids visualize the plot. Lots of children need help learning to visualize what they are reading. When children can visualize what they are reading it helps them to maintain focus and will increase their comprehension of what they’ve read. If you’re reading a book at home, pause after a page, and ask your child, “What did you visualize or see in your mind while we were reading that?”
After you’ve read the book and watched the movie and reflected on both, you can have your child draw their favorite part of the book and their favorite scene from the movie. Is it the same part or different? Then have your child design a new book or movie cover. This is a great activity for creative expression! How would they make the cover better?
When it comes to children’s books with movies, you might be wondering if you should read the books or watch the movie first. I don’t think there is a “right” answer here, but there are pros and cons to either decision.
If you read the book first it can prep children and develop their background knowledge around the plot, so they are better able to connect with the movie.
Planning to watch movies after reading the book can be a reward to motivate and encourage readers. Especially if you make it a super fun celebration of learning! If there is a new movie being released that can often encourage children to read the book!
Using Books vs. Movies in your learning is a great way to encourage reluctant readers and writers and it is also a great way to work on comprehension and analysis skills with strong readers. Plus, it’s fun for the whole family!