Normally I am very much the proponent of reading the book before watching the movie, so let me say that from the outset. 🙂 The girls have watched the movie Mary Poppins countless times, starting back last year when I masqueraded as Mary Poppins herself. Last week the novel was Lulu’s required reading. (Actually, we first had Mary Poppins a long time ago as a read-aloud when my girls were still very young, but they don’t really remember it.) She had read Mary Poppins Comes Back the week before and enjoyed it, but last week she was really resistant to finishing her book. When she finally finished it on Friday, I decided that rather than have her do her usual sort of book report (which I’ve actually gotten rather lax with), I’d give her the option of simply contrasting the book and the movie. I thought this would cause her to perk up a bit about it, and I was right. She enjoyed thinking about things that happen or appear only in the book and only in the movie. She elaborated on the list orally: that Bert actually makes only a brief appearance in the book, and he’s definitely not the same sort of Bert who’s in the movie; that Admiral Boom doesn’t live in a ship in the book; etc. Narrations are such a valuable learning tool, but I think this sort of narration in particular helps me see where we’re going: this list contains the seeds of an essay for an older student.
Do your children write book reports? What kind?