Shawshank Redemption Unit Plan

Shawshank Redemption Unit Plan by Suzanne A. McGee

 

 

The Shawshank Redemption – Film Unit

 

Grade Level – This lesson is intended for Grade 12 because of the film’s content.

Class Periods – The class period is 50 minutes in length.

Class Size – There are 25 students in this class. 

 

Overall Objectives – The students will be instructed to view this film as a literary work.  They are expected to critically analyze this film but looking at some of the major themes of the movie, such as;

o   What makes viewing a film different from reading a written text?

o   To become versed in film technique in order to understand how concepts are conveyed through this type of text.

o   Literary elements;

o   Irony

o   Theme

o   Conflict

o   Foreshadowing

o   Juxtaposition

o   Plot

o   Metaphor

o   Mood/Tone

o   Setting

o   Characterization

o   Symbolism/Allegory

o   Climax

  • How the bible is juxtaposed with evil
  • The power of hope
  • Friendship
  • Power dynamics within the film

The daily worksheets are intended to keep them actively involved in the process, so they are doing more than just watching.

 

Group Assignments – On the day prior to viewing the film, students will be given an assignment that is comprised of a number and a color.  The numerical assignment will determine which group they are in for the activities of Day 4.  The color will determine the grouping for Day 5.  Students will be told which technical aspect they are to pay specific attention to on the day prior to viewing the film and will be reminded on Day 1 of the lesson.

 

Viewing the Film - Students will be advised that the film will begin within the first few minutes of the next class and that should they miss any part of the viewing, they are responsible to make sure they make-up the time in order to not fall behind the rest of the class.  They will be reminded of the expectation that when they come to class, and they are to be seated and ready immediately.


PRIOR KNOWLEDGE & PREPARATION

 

Permission slips - Students will have already been given permission slips in order to obtain parental permission to watch this film during class time.  This is important because the film is rated R because of violence, profane language and sexual content.  I will advise the parents of the literary merit to watching this film and should any of them have any questions or concerns they can contact me.

 

Film Terminology - Students will have prior knowledge of this terminology.  They will receive a list containing many terms that they will be expected to use in their culminating activity.  This will be distributed on the day prior to viewing the film and the teacher and the class will review these terms together.  They will learn how these techniques are used and what a director might be trying to convey by using them.

 


NYS Learning Standards for English Language Arts

 

STANDARD 1

Students will read, write, listen, and speak for information and understanding.

As listeners and readers, students will collect data, facts, and ideas discover relationships, concepts, and generalizations; and use knowledge generated from oral, written, and electronically produced texts. As speakers and writers, they will use oral and written language to acquire, interpret, apply, and transmit information.

 

STANDARD 2

Students will read, write, listen, and speak for literary response and expression.

Students will read and listen to oral, written and electronically produced texts and performances, relate texts and performances to their own lives, and develop an understanding of the diverse social, historical, and cultural dimensions the texts and performances represent. As speakers and writers, students will use oral and written language for self-expression and artistic creation.

   

STANDARD 3

Students will read, write, listen, and speak for critical analysis and evaluation.

As listeners and readers, students will analyze experiences, ideas, information, and issues presented by others using a variety of established criteria. As speakers and writers, they will present, in oral and written language and from a variety of perspectives, their opinions and judgments on experiences, ideas, information and issues.

 

 


NCTE / IRA Standards for the English Language Arts

 

3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).

 

6. Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and non-print texts.

 

7. Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and non-print texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.

 

8. Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.

 

11. Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


DAY 1 (Scenes 1-9)

What’s on for today and why? (The summary and the rationale)

·        Today the class will begin a film unit, where we will be watching Shawshank Redemption.

·        The unit’s objective is to teach a film as a piece of literature and this unit will last 5 days.

 

What to do (The specific details, step by step)

·        Upon the arrival of students will be given their viewing questions for the day.

·        They will also be reminded about their group assignment regarding the film elements discussed the day before. 

·        They will need to pay specific attention to them, in addition to writing down their responses to the daily viewing questions.  The groups are as follows:

§  Costumes & Clothing

§  Scenery

§  Music & Lighting

§  Character Development

§  Shot Selection

·        The class will watch scenes 1-9, which will take approximately 40 minutes. 

·        The class will be asked to examine literary elements such as; foreshadowing, theme, plot, setting mood, plot and characterization.  They will also be asked to analyze the impact of specific film techniques used in the scenes that are viewed such as; music, voiceover, shot selection, lighting and costumes.

·        The class will watch the opening scenes up through the end of the courtroom scenes with the closed caption on.  The lyrics to the song at the opening of the movie foreshadow many events in the movie and I would like them to be aware of the lyrics.

 

How did it go? (Your own basis for the lesson’s effectiveness)

·        This will be determined by the discussion that takes place during the last 10 minutes of the class.

 

A grading rubric for any major projects

·        The first 3 days assessment will be based on the class discussion that ensues for the 10 minutes after watching the film.  The discussion questions will be collected at the end of each class.

 


DAY 2 (Scenes 10 – 21)

What’s on for today and why? (The summary and the rationale)

·        Today the class will continue the film unit, watching Shawshank Redemption

·        The unit’s objective is to teach a film as a piece of literature and this unit will last 5 days.

 

What to do (The specific details, step by step)

·        Upon the arrival of students will be given their viewing questions for the day.

·        The class will watch scenes 10-21, which will take approximately 40 minutes.

·        The class will be asked to examine literary elements such as; conflict, characterization, irony, juxtaposition and theme.  They will also be asked to analyze the impact of specific film techniques used in the scenes that are viewed such as; audio analysis, lighting, setting, costumes and music.

·        The class will participate in a listening exercise during Scene 14.

·        The teacher will put the film on pause just before the scene where the guards toss Andy’s cell and ask the class to turn away from the movie to answer the two questions for this section. 

·        Once this scene has passed the film will be put on pause again and until the students complete the answers to this section.  This is because some of the dialogue afterwards gives away the answer to one of the questions.

 

How did it go? (Your own basis for the lesson’s effectiveness)

·        This will be determined by the discussion that takes place during the last 10 minutes of the class.

 

A grading rubric for any major projects

·        The first 3 days assessment will be based on the class discussion that ensues for the 10 minutes after watching the film.  The discussion questions will be collected at the end of each class.

 


DAY 3 (Scenes 22 –32)

What’s on for today and why? (The summary and the rationale)

·        Today the class will continue the film unit, watching Shawshank Redemption.

·        The unit’s objective is to teach a film as a piece of literature and this unit will last 5 days.  They will be asked to examine both literary and film elements.

 

What to do (The specific details, step by step)

·        Upon the arrival of students will be given their viewing questions for the day.

·        The class will watch scenes 22 - 32, which will take approximately 40 minutes. 

·        The class will be asked to examine literary elements such as irony, theme, symbolism and climax.  The will also be asked to analyze the impact of specific film techniques used in the scenes that are viewed such as; shot selection, music, expression and lighting.

 

How did it go? (Your own basis for the lesson’s effectiveness)

·        This will be determined by the discussion that takes place during the last 10 minutes of the class.  At this point I would expect that most of the class has been involved in these discussions and making contributions to the classroom conversation.

 

A grading rubric for any major projects

·        The first 3 days assessment will be based on the class discussion that ensues for the 10 minutes after watching the film.  The discussion questions will be collected at the end of each class.

 


DAY 4 (Scenes 32 –40)

What’s on for today and why? (The summary and the rationale)

v The class will watch the remainder of the film for the first 20 minutes of class.  The remainder of the class will be devoted to the 1st group activity. 

 

What to do (The specific details, step by step)

v Upon arrival to the class the students will see that desks have been arranged in groups of five.  They will be asked to sit with the rest of the students with a similar group number which will be clearly visible on a piece of paper taped to each grouping of desks, displaying a numbers 1 through 5.

v The students will be given the last set of viewing questions and then watch the remainder of the film, scenes 33 - 40.  (Approximately 20 minutes)

v The class will be asked to examine literary elements such as plot, theme, allegory and symbolism.  The will also be asked to analyze the impact of specific film techniques used in the scenes that are viewed such as; shot selection, sound effects and lighting.

v Afterwards, the class will participate as we briefly review the discussion questions. 

v Each group will then be advised that this is the time to discuss with their groups.  The teacher will provide each student with a worksheet, titled Things to Consider, to help get the discussion started about the details of the features of the film they were told to pay close attention to listed below:

§  Group #1 - Costumes & Clothing

§  Group #2 - Scenery

§  Group #3 - Music & Lighting

§  Group #4 - Character Development

§  Group #5 - Shot Selection

v The class will have the remaining 30 minutes of the class to discuss and take notes on their aspect of the film in preparation for the next day’s activity.

 

How did it go? (Your own basis for the lesson’s effectiveness)

v As the teacher walks around the room he or she will be able to assess the progress of the groups.

v For those groups having difficulty getting the discussion going, the teacher will assist in sparking the discussion.

v Once groups can function independently, the teacher will let them do so with little interruption.

 

A grading rubric for any major projects

v At this point there is no rubric.  The days assessment will be made based on the quality of the group discussions.  All worksheets will be collected at the end of class in order for the teacher to review.


DAY 5

What’s on for today and why? (The summary and the rationale)

v Students will now be asked to participate in a Jigsawing activity in which they will be asked to utilize the information from the unit in order to produce a group project to be presented to the class.

 

What to do (The specific details, step by step)

v Students will be placed in groups that will include one representative from each of the specialty groups that met the day before.  

v Together, they will be asked to expand upon the skills they used to analyze the film from their assigned perspective in order to create a storyboard. 

v This new group will be asked to extend a specific scene in the movie and asked to create a story board for each.  Each story board must contain between 4-6 slides and there will be no more than 5 students to a group.  The following are the scene assignments based on each group:

§  White – Where Brooks holds the knife on Haywood and eventually lets him go.

§  Black – When Andy receives his sentence from the judge, ordering him to serve 2 life sentences.

§  Blue – When Andy is pleading with the warden to look into the claims that Tommy made about Andy’s innocence

§  Red -

§  Yellow – Andy and Red are reunited on the Mexican beach.

v Students will be given a copy of the rubric, so they know what they will be measured against

v They will also be given a copy of the story board draft sheet

 

How did it go? (Your own basis for the lesson’s effectiveness)

v Students will have the remainder of the period to work on the activity.  The presentations will take place during the next class period.  If students either need more guidance than anticipated or they are doing extremely detailed work, the teacher will let them have an additional class period to complete the activity.

v Teacher will walk around the room while groups are working in order to answer any questions and make sure groups stay on task.

 

A grading rubric for any major projects

v Students will be given a copy of the rubric when they are placed into groups, so they know how they will be assessed and can plan accordingly.

v They will also be given a copy of the story board draft sheet to help get them started.

 

 

Resources Used

 

Film Terminology and Cinematic Effects Sheet

o   http://www.readwritethink.org/lesson_images/lesson854/FilmTerms.pdf

o   http://www.geocities.com/the7thart/film-terms.html

 

Image

o   http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://bokunosekai.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/the_shawshank_redemption.jpg&imgrefurl=http://boards.ign.com/anime_community_board/b5147/178897138/r178951829/&usg=__Rc_byZcpElH4e_ks_ZhuDzef3lE=&h=755&w=515&sz=105&hl=en&start=4&sig2=wcXC6H184dDNLF3mwNK7pw&tbnid=nCE20acvYK5scM:&tbnh=142&tbnw=97&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dshawshank%2Bredemption%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den&ei=zV7vSaasHJDglQeiyuT9Dw

 

Lesson Plan Document

o   NYS Learning Standards for English Language Arts http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/ciai/ela/elastandards/elamap.html

o   Literary Elements - http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/lit_terms_C.html

o   NCTE / IRA Standards for the English Language Arts - http://www.ncte.org/standards

 

Rubric

o   http://www.ewyl.net/dcross/assessment.html

o   IFC Film School Unit 1

 

Storyboard Sheet

o   http://www.schoolhousevideo.org/Pages/Storyboard.pdf

 

Youtube

o   http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=0877AEACD45519B4

o   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0haeBZNmoGw&feature=PlayList&p=0877AEACD45519B4&index=0

o   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOmMpKN5mQ0&feature=PlayList&p=0877AEACD45519B4&index=1

 

Comments