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Monday Morning Ready02.22.2019
Jumpstart Your Week!

The plot of the much-loved 2017 film, Paddington 2, revolves around a one-of-a-kind, pop-up book. The volume is for sale in the Notting Hill antique store of the Hungarian refugee Mr. Gruber. After opening the covers to the movable parts within, the good-souled, marmalade-loving bear is transported into a dreamlike world of a London cityscape...... < read more >
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Grade 3-4

What is your favorite book that has been made into a movie? What were the biggest differences between the book and the movie?

Grade 5-6

Think about your favorite character from a book. If you could turn that book into a series, where would your character go? What would your character do?

Grade 7-8

What was your favorite bedtime story when you were younger? What did you like most about that book? Why was it your favorite?

Grade 9-10

Many children's books have pop-up or sliding pages. What do you think this type of "paper engineering" adds to the story? Do you think the stories would be just as good without this type of construction? Why or why not?

LESSON PLAN
Write a Movie Pitch

PROCESS:

  1. Tell students that before any movie can be made, one thing has to be done: Someone has to pitch the idea to those who will make the movie. They have to sell their idea and convince the buyers it will be a success. And they don't have much time to do this.
  2. Explain that the first thing you have to do when writing a pitch is to grab people's attention. Write one or two sentences, or a logline, that captures the big idea by summarizing the core conflict and leaves buyers wanting to learn more.
  3. Then, you must write a brief outline of your idea. Don't tell the whole story, but do introduce the main characters and summarize the plot. Emphasize key details or moments that make your story unique and worth watching.
  4. The final step is presentation. Remember, you are selling your idea. Be confident. Be enthusiastic. Present your idea and answer any questions the buyers have with brief, accurate answers.
  5. Have students choose their favorite book. Instruct them to write a pitch-both logline and outline-to turn that book into a movie.
  6. Invite students to pitch their ideas to the class. Encourage classmates to ask questions about each idea. Challenge presenters to give brief, accurate answers.

ASSESSMENT:

After all ideas have been presented, have the class vote to select the one book most students would like to see made into a movie. Discuss reasons why students think this movie would be a success.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
As a class, select one book that all students like. Divide the class into small groups. Give groups time to write a pitch to turn that book into a movie. Compare and contrast the results.
Grades 5-6:
Divide the class into small groups. Instruct each group to select one book that all group members like. Give them time to write a pitch to turn that book into a movie.
Grades 7-8:
Divide the class into pairs. Have each pair select a book that both group members like. Give partners time to write a pitch to turn that book into a movie. Remind students that movie executives have very busy schedules. Challenge them to present their ideas in less than three minutes.
Grades 9-10:
Instruct each student to select his or her favorite book. Give them time to write a pitch to turn that book into a movie. Challenge students to write a strong one-sentence logline and a brief outline that takes no more than three minutes to present.
SMITHSONIAN RESOURCES
History on Stage Pop-Up Lesson
This National Museum of American History lesson plan, developed with support of the exhibition Paper Engineering: Fold, Pull, Pop, and Turn, introduces students to the variety of mechanisms included in moveable books and encourages them to build their own pop-up in support of a social studies lesson.

The Ten Best Children’s books of 2018
Read this Smithsonian magazine article to discover our picks for last year, which deliver feminist history, folklore reimagined and an adventurous romp through awe-inspiring destinations.

Judging a Book by Its Cover
In this Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum lesson, elementary students will explore the relationship between the form of books and the content inside. Using a piece of creative writing as inspiration, students will design and produce a book that reflects a theme in writing.

Proving the Purpose of Punctuation
In this Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum lesson, middle school students will become engaged in the design process as they use group work, individual thinking and teacher prompting to discover just how important punctuation is to oral and written language.

Children’s Book Creations
In this Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum lesson, high school students will read the Japanese folk tale, Momotaro: Boy of the Peach. Students will review elements of the plot, analyze the short story and prepare their own children’s version of the story including cover, binding and illustrations.

Learning to Read May Reshape Adult Brains
Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn how literacy changed the bodies of a group of Indian adults.

How Children’s Books Reveal Our Evolving Relationship With Whales
Storybooks feature a fair amount of factual errors—and those errors can be revealing. Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn why.
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