This is the first assignment I use for my Film as Literature class. In a personal narrative, students identify their favorite movie and recount the experience of watching the movie for the first time. It’s a great way to get students to focus on narrative elements (our first unit of study) in their writing, as well as refamiliarizing them with the reasons they love to watch movies (the main focus of our course).
Grade Level/Age: 11-12th grade (16-18 years)
Curriculum Addressed: The assignment focuses on analytical reasoning, detail, and personal narrative writing.
Process Goals: Students will create a personal narrative around the viewing experience of their favorite movie.
Materials: Something to write with and an open mind.
Desired Understandings: Students will utilize analytical reasoning, detail, and personal narrative writing as they argue for the best freakin’ movie ever.
- Students pick their best freakin’ movie ever. As a prewriting exercise, students write down notes or descriptions of the initial experience of viewing the movie, what they love about the movie, what they feel when watching the movie multiple times, detail specific scenes, lines, action, etc. that they remember or say.
- Next, students focus on specific details and examples they feel demonstrate how the movie is the best freakin’ movie ever and create a draft of their personal narrative.
- Via a peer workshop, students receive feedback on their drafts. Students then revise, edit, and rewrite their drafts.
- Students submit their final drafts line to present to the class.
Standard 3: Writing and Composition
- Literary or narrative genres feature a variety of stylistic devices to engage or entertain an audience.
- Organizational writing patterns inform or persuade an audience.
Assessment: I use our department’s AP extended composition rubric to assess student writing.
Adaptions/Accommodations: I will change the length of the final draft to suit students’ needs.