Anatomy Of A Scene Literacy Analysis Assignment

One of my favorite New York Times series is Anatomy of a Scene, “A video series where directors comment on the craft of movie-making.”

Julie Hodgson of the The Learning Network at The New York Times writes “In these short clips, film directors narrate a scene from one of their movies, walking viewers through the decisions they made and the effects they intended them to have. These videos demonstrate to students how to step outside of their personal reader-to-text experiences and examine literature from a wider lens — to see a story, memoir, essay or poem from the perspective of its creator.” 

As my students finish reading graphic novels and I thought it would be awesome to have students create their own scene analysis video break down for readers. I first introduced students to the film series and we watched about four in one period – each episode is no more than three minutes. Then, we used a window notes template to record things we learned about the scene, details the director shared, and how this illuminated our understanding about characterization and theme.

As a class we brainstormed the process of making our own Anatomy of a Scene:

  1. Choose a key scene in the text.
  2. Complete the graphic organizer to analyze and deconstruct the scene.
  3. Use the script template to help write our the key ideas to be presented.
  4. Curate the images and types of shots to help visually understand the literary analysis.
  5. Record Anatomy of a Scene using Screencastify.
  6. Post completed video project on class Padlet.

The New York Times Learning Network has made this worksheet to help students analyze a scene in literature or movie.

Below is the assignment I posted for students on their playlist.

Here are some of my favorite Anatomy of a Scene (Note there are more than 300 of them):

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