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Movie Review Assignment!

We have just finished our unit on storytelling and different story mediums. For our
next assignment we will be focusing on one of the most popular modern forms of
storytelling: movies! Instead of writing our own movies, like we wrote our own
stories, we will be writing reviews of movies. After we have all written our reviews,
we will have a class movie party where we will share our reviews and watch our
favorite clips from the movie together in class.

To begin this unit, we need to choose movies to watch. There is a list on the backside
of this handout of pre-approved movies. If none of them catch your eye, you are
encouraged to choose a movie you will like. However, if the movie is not on the pre-
approved list, you will need to talk to me about it first. In order to have someone to
be a peer review buddy, we will have groups. These groups can have 2-5 people in
them. Although students may watch the movie together, these reviews are
individual assignments. Each student should turn in a 2-3 page review.

The purpose of this assignment is to reflect on how different techniques are used to
create a story, to write with an audience in mind, and to form and articulate an
opinion that may be unpopular. Your movie review should include a summary of
the movie’s plot that doesn’t give away the ending. The review should have a
summary, but not be just a summary. Rather, the review should build an opinion
about how the movie succeeds and struggles to tell the story successfully.

Don’t be overwhelmed! We will work through this process together and hopefully
have fun in the process. 

Deadlines:
Movie & partner decided by: ___________________________
Movie watched by: ______________________________
Peer revision of first draft: __________________________________
Final draft: ___________________________________

Have fun!
Wonder
The Help
Enchanted
Inside Out
Rocky
Zootopia
The Chronicles of Narnia
The Sixth Sense
Singin’ in the Rain
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Black Panther
E.T. The Extraterrestrial
Remember the Titans
Selma
Juno
Rocky
The Hunger Games
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
Eragon
A Quiet Place
Legally Blonde
Casablanca
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Earth to Echo
12 Angry Men
The Lord of the Rings
The Philadelphia Story
The Greatest Showman
Mary Poppins
Harry Potter
Rationale

To some extent, everyone enjoys and watches movies. People have movie preferences
and often discuss with their friends why they liked/disliked a movie they watched.
Because students already enjoy and discuss movies, I think that teaching them
components of writing and thinking about movie reviews would capitalize on that interest
that is already there. Teaching students how to write movie reviews would help them
think about the different components of a story and what techniques a movie will use to
successfully convey a theme, message, or mood. By thinking about these components of
the movie and how they shape into the whole, students will be able to use that critical
thinking lens to determine why they liked or disliked a movie. They will be equipped to
form and explain their opinions based on evidence from the movie.

Movie reviews require the writer to summarize the plot. I think the skill of summarizing
is important for students to learn, and helps them develop cognitively as writers. By
summarizing, students learn how to highlight the most important ideas and how to ignore
irrelevant information. They learn how to quickly explain plot in a compelling way.
Another important part of writing summaries in a movie review is that it isn’t just a
simple plot description. The summary requires students to think about which aspects of
the story are important to their opinion and argument. This requires a lot of critical
thinking. The summary should support the theme the students wish to expand upon. Not
only the plot, but the other components of a movie (filmography, acting, character
development, etc.) should be discussed as evidence for the theme. Students should
already know how to identify and choose themes, but we will continue to discuss that
skill in this unit. Summarizing a skill movie reviews require that I think will be amongst
the most beneficial skills learned from this assignment. I also think it will be one of the
hardest parts to teach. Learning how to summarize in a way that is not too lengthy or too
concise will be difficult. Students will have to think in an objective way to not leave their
reader bored with every detail, or confused by the scarcity of detail.

Movie reviews also require that the writer knows their audience. The writer must
understand what the audience wants to hear and know about the movie. Movie reviews
include a rating and a recommendation to the audience of whether they should see the
movie or not. Understanding audience is an important part of writing anything, so this
skill will be very transferable.

This writing unit will be done during the second quarter of school, at the beginning of the
quarter. I think the movie aspect will make the assignment exciting for students and it
will allow students to feel comfortable disagreeing constructively with one another. This
unit could be adapted to any grade level, but I am planning on 8th graders. Because of the
intended student demographic, this lesson plan will include more scaffolding on ideas
such as the theme, components, summarizing, and analysis than would be necessary for
older students. I am planning on each class period being 60 minutes long. This plan can
be adapted for students of special needs: they could watch a simpler/shorter movie, write
a shorter review, receive more one-on-one attention, and possibly extend the due date if
necessary. This unit will fulfill several of Utah’s Common Core Standards including:

 Writing Standard 1
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
 Writing Standard 4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and
style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
 Writing Standard 5
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen
writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new
approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.
 Speaking and Listening Standard 1
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups,
and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues,
building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
 Language Standard 2
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization,
punctuation, and spelling when writing.

I was interested in teaching movie reviews for my unit plan because I think that it is
something students could be interested in and I think the skills learned will be beneficial
to students as they continue to become writers. The skills learned in summarizing will
help students identify themes and think critically of narratives in future papers (and in
life). The skill of developing and supporting an opinion will help students find evidence
and use it in a way to form an evidence-based opinion, this will help students in any form
of persuasive writing they will do in the future. The ability to understand audience is a
useful skill as well because for any form of writing, audience is an important aspect.
Students will learn how to speak effectively to their audience.
Strategies and Reflection Questions

Strategies for Inquiry

 Annotate
 Discuss with a partner
 Review mentor texts
 Asking questions
 Questioning purpose, tone, and audience
 Note taking

Strategies for Drafting

 Observe mentor texts


 Review product goals
 Organize/structure
 Imitating mentor text’s voice and word choice

Strategies for Product

 Peer revision
 Fat drafting
 Count words in sentences
 Read out loud

Reflection Questions

Which strategies did you use on this paper? How did they help or not help?
Did you have a favorite strategy? How could you use this strategy for a future writing
assignment?
Did you have a least favorite strategy? Why did that strategy not work for you?
How could you alter that strategy so that it would help you in your writing process?
You may not write many movie reviews in the future, what skills and strategies did you
learn from this assignment that you can use in the future?
Is there a strategy you did not try this time but would want to try next time?
Unit Timeline

Day 1-5: Inquiry


DAY 1
Writer’s Notebook Prompt: Write about a movie you wish you could live in
 Activity: Movie time! Watch some Pixar video shorts
 Discuss
o Students share favorite and least favorite movie
o What makes a movie good
 Introduce assignment
o Show list of movies I have
o Students can read about and choose a movie with 1-3 other people
Homework: watch the movie trailer for the movie they chose and make predictions
about plot, characters, etc.

DAY 2
Writer’s Notebook Prompt: What is your favorite smell? Does that smell remind you
of any memories?
 Mini-lesson: Components of a movie
o Make a list of the characteristics movies have but books don’t (i.e. actors,
we see colors, hear sounds, they are shorter usually, filming).
o Talk about different pros and cons of these.
 Inquiry Strategy: Annotate a movie by pausing it.
o Pause and analyze the still image: write thoughts/feelings on one side –
what is happening to create that feeling?
o Flip the images and see what the new tone would be. Did those things
(blocking, colors, angles, etc.) change the connotation of the image?
Homework: Bring three movie review mentor texts to class next time.

DAY 3
Writer’s Notebook Prompt: What is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you?
 Inquiry Strategy/Activity: Annotate mentor texts by note taking
 Skill mini-lesson: Identifying a theme
 Activity: Watch clips from a movie identifying how the angles of the filming add
different dynamics to the movie.
Homework: Watch the first half of the movie

DAY 4
Writer’s Notebook Prompt: Who is someone that inspires you?
 Inquiry Strategy: Discuss the movie with a partner
 Activity: Watch a clip from a movie with no sound. What does the sound add to
the movie? Freewrite in notebooks the difference the element of sound adds
 Skill Mini-lesson: intros and hooks
 Skill mini-lesson: titles
Homework: Finish watching the movie

DAY 5
Writer’s Notebook Prompt: Write about a pet peeve
 Quiz on movie they watched
 Inquiry strategy: free write about the movie (then discuss with partner)
 Skills mini-lesson: Thesis
 Skills mini-lesson: Audience and critic vocabulary (will need to know some slight
movie info, this leads into their homework assignment)
Homework: inquiry handout (discover movie background, awards, actors, movie
techniques, etc.)

Day 6-8: Drafting


DAY 6
Writer’s Notebook Prompt: If you could have dinner with a famous person, who
would you want to invite?
 Skills mini-lesson: Summarizing (recap)
o Consider a narrative that supports theme
o Activity: watch movie trailers, observing how they explain the essence of
the plot without giving away any spoilers
 Drafting mini-lesson: box plots
o (Can use box plots for the summary specifically and review overall)
 Drafting strategy: Revisit mentor texts looking specifically at summaries of
movies
 Time for drafting

DAY 7
Writer’s Notebook Prompt: Most embarrassing moment
 Skills mini-lesson: Use evidence from movie to support opinion
 Drafting strategy: Review product goals
 Drafting strategy: Outlining
 Time for drafting

DAY 8
Writer’s Notebook Prompt: Write the origin story of a weird law
 Drafting activity: Revisit mentor texts observing different structures with
highlighters
 Skill mini-lesson: ladder of abstraction / word choice
 Time for drafting

Day 9-11: Revising


DAY 9 * Draft due in class *
Writer’s Notebook Prompt: Your favorite place in the world
 Revision strategy: Peer Revisions
 Revision strategy: Highlight opinion to evidence ratio in mentor text then do the
same for own writing
 Skill mini-lesson: integrating quotes as evidence

DAY 10
Writer’s Notebook Prompt: What superpower would you want to have? What would
you do with that power?
 Revision strategy: Fat drafting
 Strategy mini-lesson: Sentence variety
o Revision strategy: Counting words in sentences to revise for sentence
fluency
 Skills mini-lesson: transitions

DAY 11
Writer’s Notebook Prompt: If you could win any award, which award would you
want to win?
 Revision strategy: Read out loud
 Revision strategy: Peer feedback

Day 12-13: Editing


DAY 12
Writer’s Notebook Prompt: What is the best thing that has happened to you all
month?
 Skill mini-lesson: Subject-verb agreement
 Small peer review groups to look at grammatical conventions

DAY 13
Writer’s Notebook Prompt: What is a lesson you have learned because of a mistake?
 Skill mini-lesson: Passive voice
 Skill mini-lesson: Objective and subjective voice
 Time to polish writing – meet with me for teacher conference

Day 14: Publishing


DAY 14 * Final draft due! Wahoo! *
Writer’s Notebook Prompt: What is the best compliment you have ever received?
Who gave it to you? Why did it mean so much?
 Movie Club: Meet with peers who haven’t seen the movie and share
 Movie day: Watch a favorite clip from each movie the students reviewed
 In-class reflection
Daily Plans

DAY 4 Class and Grade Level: 8th Grade English


Subject of Lesson: Intros, hooks, and titles oh my

Learning Goal: Students understand how to write an engaging introduction and title so
that readers feel a desire to continue reading their work.
Assessment: Students will work in groups for accountability and will show me their
index cards as they leave class.

Common Core Curriculum Standard:


 Writing Standard 5
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen
writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new
approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.
 Speaking and Listening Standard 1
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups,
and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues,
building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Concepts Taught:
 Intros
 Hooks
 Titles
 Genre-specific: components of a movie

Rationale:
If students cannot effectively and engagingly write the parts of a review that readers first
interact with (the intro, title, and opening line) then the reader will not read the work. As
students learn to make the intros of their writing better, it will allow them to start out
strong and make their writing more authentic as it draws a more compelled audience.

Materials needed:
 Movie clips (pulled up)

Strategies to be used:
 Class discussion
 Partner discussion
 Free writing

PERFORMING

Announcements: Remind students that they should have the first half of their movie
watched by now and the rest watched by tomorrow.

Continuation from previous lesson:


Ask students if they have noticed any themes so far from their movie. Discuss how
students are noticing different aspects of the movie medium we have talked about. Have a
discussion about the movies so far.

Lesson Presentation:
Preparing for Learning
 Writer’s Notebook: Who is someone that inspires you? Why?
 Share writing entries before transitioning to the lesson
Directing the Learning

Assignment/Strategy of Skill Development:

A) Inquiry Strategy: Discuss movie with a partner


 Have students get with their partner to discuss the movie so far
 What have you liked? Disliked?
 Questions you have? Predictions?
 What elements of the movie have you noticed? How do these elements affect the
tone of the movie?
 What themes are appearing in the movie? How have you observed those themes?
How do you think these themes will continue to show themselves?
B) Inquiry Strategy: Analyzing tone by annotating a movie
 Activity: Components of a movie – tone
o Watch the trailer for The Notebook (original) – discuss themes, characters,
tone
o Watch the trailer for the notebook “scary” – discuss how the same images
and storyline can be made to seem scary. What aspects change the tone of
the movie?
 Discuss different aspects: sound, editing (cut from one image to
another), words put in-between other images
 Strategy: Annotate a movie
o Have students get a piece of paper and fold it in half. On one half, students
should write down any feeling they have during the movie / on the other
half, the students should write down what aspect of the movie is making
them feel that way (from the aspects we’ve discussed: sound, editing,
cinematography, acting, dialogue, music, etc.)
o Guided practice (explained below)
o Discuss what students felt, why they felt that way during the movie
 Skill Mini-lesson: Titles
o Have eight different choices of Movie Review titles, have students look at
them and then stand by the one they most want to read. Have student
discuss why
o Students should go back to their seats and we talk about what makes a
good title: informative, interesting, and catchy
o Activity: Have students write down their favorite movie on an index card,
then pass the index card to another student who has also seen the movie.
The student must then try to create a new, interesting title for the same
movie. Have students share in partners and nominate their partners to
share for the whole class so we can hear what new title was chosen.
o Discuss why new titles were chosen and if they were interesting
 Skill Mini-lesson: Intros and hooks
o As a Segway into the intros and hooks section, we discuss how titles and
intros are the first things readers will read of our review – if we want them
to stay, we have to excite them right away by being interesting and to the
point.
o Have students write down on an index card the hook (first line or two) of
their mentor text. Have the students get into a group and discuss if the
hook was effective. In groups, students pair up briefly to discuss what an
introduction is, what makes a good intro? A bad intro?
o Have students revisit the mentor text and this time look at the first
paragraph as a whole. What does it say?
o As a class, make a list of the characteristics of the intro paragraph on the
whiteboard.
o Discuss why it is important to have a good intro.

B) Guided Practice
 Guided lesson: Annotate a movie for tone
o Fold a paper in half / on one half, students will write down emotions
evoked by the clip, in the other, students will write down what is
happening in the clip to make them feel that way.
o Watch the “circus scene” clip from Big Fish once just writing down
emotions, themes, or overall images (lovey dovey, exciting, chaotic, fun,
happy).
o Watch it a second time and write down what is happening to add to the
feeling (rounded edges, bright colors, happy music).
o Have students do one more clip on their own: Watch “Ellie and Carl’s
relationship” clip from “Up” and have students practice the activity on
their own

C) Reinforce the Learning


 Walk around while class is discussing introductions in a group
 Students need to show me their new title index card as an exit ticket

ATAWT
If we finish early, students can start brainstorming ideas for the title of their movie
review. Granted, they don’t know the theme so it will change, but they can begin to
think about it. If we have more time, we will do a whip-around where students can
share one thing they learned from class.

Post-instruction Reflection
Were there too many movie clips? Were they effective? Should I consider showing
them in different class times next year?
Did the students enjoy the clips, were they too scary? Not emotional enough?
Did students understand the concepts of the introduction?
Is this section too early in the unit? Do students have enough of their own work to
begin to think about introductions, hooks, and titles?
Was there too much group activity? Were students able to stay focused?

Sources
The Notebook trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4M7LIcH8C9U
The Notebook trailer (scary) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvfI8vUuJ04
Big Fish https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfDwQbxRoEo
Ellie & Carl https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2bk_9T482g
Daily Plans

DAY 6 Class and Grade Level: 8th Grade English


Subject of Lesson: Summarizing and box plots

Learning Goal: Students will understand how to effectively summarize the movie they
are watching so that readers understand the movie plot.
Assessment: Students will show me their notes and summaries before they leave class.

Common Core Curriculum Standard:


 Writing Standard 4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and
style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Concepts Taught:
 Summarizing
 Box plots
 Revisiting mentor texts

Rationale:
Summarizing a skill movie reviews require that I think will be amongst the most
beneficial skills learned from this assignment. Learning how to summarize in a way that
is not too lengthy or too concise will be difficult. This is a crucial part of the movie
review. Summaries take up a good portion of the review, and set the foundation for every
claim that follows.

Materials Needed:
 Short films (pulled up)
 Nursery rhyme handouts (printed)
 Paper to demonstrate box plots on overhead
 Each student will need their mentor texts (I’ll have some if they don’t),
pencil/pen, and paper

Strategies to be used:
 Class discussion
 Partner work
 Annotating/highlighting mentor texts

PERFORMING

Announcements: Turn back the quiz taken last time to students. If, based on quiz scores,
it looks like the students have not watched their movie, make a note to talk to them about
it individually during drafting time to help them plan a time to watch it. Also, have a
follow-up about the inquiry hand out.

Discuss how now is the time to begin drafting and help students plan out a schedule that
will help them to turn in the draft on time without feeling overwhelmed.
- My suggestion is that students plan have the theme and opinion of the review
decided on Day 6, the outline finished by Day 7, and they write the draft on
Day 8 to turn it in by Day 9 on time.
o Remind students we will have class time to work on these. To not get
overwhelmed because we will go over each part together more as we
draft together.

Continuation from previous lesson:


Discuss as a class overall quiz scores (for example, “It looks like you all have watched
your movie, good job!” or “Some of you are going to struggle being a little behind with
this assignment because you haven’t seemed to watch the movie.”).
Discuss assignment from last night (inquiry assignment). As students if they have learned
anything interesting about their movies; allow a couple of students to share. Ask how this
information will help them write their reviews (discuss critic vocabulary and audience).

Lesson Presentation:
Preparing for Learning [anticipatory set]
 Writer’s Notebook: If you could have dinner with any person, alive or dead,
who would you want to have dinner with and why?
 Share writing entries before transitioning to the lesson

Directing the Learning [see learning activities]

Assignment/Strategy of Skill Development:

A) Summarizing (part 2)
 Discuss what a summary is. What summaries do and do not include, times we
write summaries, and why summarizing is a necessary skill.
 Activity: Have students share a recent experience (some question prompts will
be on the board: most embarrassing moment, favorite trip, what they did over
the weekend, etc.). The students will share the story twice: the first time using
only relevant facts and the second time using all the details.
o Discuss: which story was more entertaining, easier to listen to. What
makes a fact relevant or irrelevant when summarizing? Did the partner
have any questions after the story was told, anything left unclear?
 Explain the three steps of summarizing:
o 1) Comprehending the text (in this case, movie),
o 2) Make a list of main points and key ideas,
o 3) Express this information in their own words
 Small group activity: we are going to summarize nursery rhymes in as few
words as possible while still including the key points
o (Itsy bitsy spider, humpty dumpty, old mother hubbard, jack & jill,
little miss muffet)
o We will share these summaries as a class. How did you decide what
information was important?
 Strategy: use box plots
o Explain that box plots can be a way to make sense of the main events
of a plot and story
o Show students how to use box plots in a guided practice
 Strategy: look at mentor texts
o Revisit mentor texts looking at how the authors summarize the movies
they review
o Use 2 colors of highlighters for the summary: highlight the (1) key plot
points and (2) summary details
 Have time for drafting their own summary of the movie using box plots

B) Guided Practice
o Guided lesson: watch the Pixar Short clip: “Boundin’” once through.
Discuss that now we are going to watch it to summarize it.
o Watch the short again and make box plots of a summary together
 The lamb had a lot of great fleece that made him so proud he
would dance. -- All the animals danced together. -- But then the
lamb’s fleece got shaved off and he was too sad to dance anymore.
– The American Jackelope gave the lamb a pep talk and they
danced happily together.
 Have the students do their own practice. Watch the Pixar Short
“For the Birds” and have students create their own box plots.
 Ask students to share.
 Discuss how we arrived to those conclusions.

C) Reinforce the Learning


 Walk around while students are explaining stories in pairs to ask them
how they are deciding which points to use. Walk around during the self-
done box plots to help. Walk around and be available for questions during
the drafting time.
 Students can use these strategies while writing the summary of their movie
review.
 Students need to show the classwork (Summaries of Pixar Shorts, etc.) as
an exit ticket

ATAWT
Students will be drafting their summaries. If they finish early, they can continue to work
on the rest of their draft. If they are finished with the draft can use paper and colors from
the classroom to create an alternate movie poster for the movie they watched.

Post-instruction Reflection
How did the students react to doing the summary on their own? Was the second Pixar
clip to difficult because it didn’t have any dialogue/names?
Did the students enjoy watching the clips?
Was telling personal stories effective? Were there enough prompts to help them to
discuss?
Did students have enough time to write the summaries?
Were students summaries effective, showing they understood the lesson? What can I alter
to help them be more effective summarizers?

Sources Used
Boudin’ - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WyR4AqRweY
For the Birds - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T63MCogI4sM
https://study.com/academy/popular/summarizing-lesson-plan.html
Peer Revision
Writer ________________________ Editor __________________________

Directions: Read through your partner’s movie review once without marking anything.
Read through again and write down what you think are the positive elements of the
review in the margins. Then, read through a third time. This time answer the following
questions. The answers should be more than a yes/no response. When you return it to
your partner, let them ask you questions about your comments.

Title/Introduction
 Is the title engaging? Does it represent the theme/opinion expressed in the review?
 What does the hook do to draw you into the movie review?
 Does the intro compel you to continue reading? Why? If not, what could be
included to increase interest?
 Can you find the thesis of the review? What is it?

Summary
 Does the summary follow a narrative that includes the themes represented in the
review?
 Is the summary a sufficient length? Too long? Does the summary include
spoilers?
 If you had never seen this movie, would the summary make sense?
 Is the summary concise? Does it drag on unnecessary details? Is it easy to follow?

Opinion/Evidence
 What is the author’s opinion of the book? Does the author include enough opinion
of the book?
 Is there sufficient evidence to support the opinion? (Are there quotes? Specific
details?)
 Is the evidence used in an effective way? How is the evidence incorporated into
the review?

Conclusion
 How does the conclusion restate the main opinion?
 What type of audience does the review recommend?

Organization/flow
 Does the organization of the review read easily? (How is the flow? Transitions?
Pacing?)
 How is the word choice? Does the author use a critic vocabulary? Are the words
too vague? What words impress you?
Movie Review Grade Sheet
IDEAS (40)
________
 Movie meets assignment criteria: is from pre-approved list or is approved by me
 Includes a carefully constructed and clear opinion/thesis that is a thoughtful reaction to
the themes, subject, content, and craft of the movie
 Provides sufficient evidence of attentive viewing: ideas move beyond what would be
recognizable after a first viewing and moves beyond a general explanation of if the author
liked or disliked the movie
 Evidence (in forms of examples, quotes, images, moments from the movie) support the
argument, convince the reader, and seem to be a proper and credible way to use that
evidence
 Both good and bad of the movie are fairly considered
 Fulfills expectations of a movie review: offers a recommendation to the reader, gives the
reader enough description of movie to make an informed decision about if they want to
see it, and engages the reader

ORGANIZATION (35)
________
 Includes organizational aspects of a movie review, including a personal rating (runtime,
MPAA rating, director, genre, run-time, and a picture)
 The title is creative, informative of the movie, and reflects the opinion that the review
will share
 The introduction is engaging with a captivating hook that encourages readers to continue
 The summary is concise (1-2 paragraphs) and identifies a narrative that is effective in
explaining the theme and key plots of story
 The summary does not include details that irrelevant to the main themes

VOICE (15)
________
 The review has an objective tone that adds to the credibility of the argument
 The tone is personable and enjoyable for the reader to engage with
 The review feels written with an audience in mind and can connect with that audience

SENTENCE FLUENCY (15)


________
 Sentence length varies in a way that adds to the readability, emphasis, and entertainment
of the review
 Transitions move the review along at an appropriate and clear pace

WORD CHOICE (12)


________
 Author uses a critics vocabulary that establishes confidence and credibility in their
ability to review the genre
 Abstract words are avoided

CONVENTIONS (8)
________
 Errors are not distracting – shows careful attention to revision process
 Quotations are integrated in a correct way
 Correct punctuation of movie titles

TOTAL REVIEW SCORE: (125) ________

PROCESS (25)
________
 Adequate draft turned in on time
 Thoughtful participation in peer feedback
 Thoughtful revision in response to feedback
 Thoughtful reflection on activities and strategies
 Shared final draft in class

TOTAL SCORE: (150) ___________


Cassie Wood

Ms. Wood

English

16 April 2018

Movie Review

Choosing (Whom) to Love in The Philadelphia Story

Rating: NR
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Director: George Cukor
In Theaters: Dec. 1, 1940
Runtime: 112 minutes

If you find love triangles delightful, prepare yourself for the complicated love

mess that takes place in The Philadelphia Story. The movie centers around a young

woman from a prestigious family named Tracy (Katharine Hepburn). Tracy is about to

get married to her fiancé, George (John Howard). However, Tracy’s ex-husband, Dexter

(Cary Grant), meddles with the wedding and invites Mike (Jimmy Stuart), a journalist, to

Tracy is about to get married to her fiancé, George, but her ex-husband, Dexter, meddles

and invites a journalist, Mike, to report about the wedding. Pretty soon, Tracy must

choose which of the three dashing suitors she loves and will marry.

The movie moves quickly. It takes place within a 24-hour time frame and feels

quite chaotic and unrealistic. However, as it’s a comedy, that is to be somewhat expected.
The story is frantic but infectiously charismatic. This movie is considered a classic not

only because of its stellar cast, but because the comedy moves past the normal trivialities

of the genre and peers into the more important desires of Tracy’s heart.

The ensemble is strong and has some of the best classic actors of the time, with

the shining performance being that of the leading lady, Tracy, played by Katharine

Hepburn. The stunning performances shine through and make each character loveable.

The script was written for and backed by Katharine Hepburn. She plays a strong-willed

Tracy who must choose a husband from an array of worthy suitors. Tracy strives to be

perfect in all she does and has high expectations for herself and everyone around her.

Each man loves Tracy differently, but none quite loves her for who she really is.

Dexter thought she was ruthless and unforgiving of his faults (his drinking habit that got

worse after their marriage began); George worships her like a distant goddess (the longest

moment of speech from George isn’t him declaring his love, but his worship of Tracy);

and Mike loves her because he is so impressed by her and doesn’t think he’s met anyone

like her before. But Tracy doesn’t want to be worshipped or treated more special than

anyone else. She tells George that she wants to be “loved, really loved.”

Both George and Mike declare their love for Tracy, but they seem to be more in

love with the idea of her than with who she actually is. As Tracy recognizes that she does

not wish to be loved only for her perfections, she recognizes her flaws and her humanity.

She seems to open up to her flaws and the flaws of others. This allows her to make a

choice of marriage that is not idealist but true to who she is.

This romantic comedy is upbeat and clever. It moves quickly and happily

throughout the occurrences of the love affairs. But the movie is so much more than a
comedy. It is a commentary on the decisions we make and how we must come to

understand ourselves before we can choose to be with someone else.

The storyline may be a little dated, but the dialogue, which one an Academy

Award for best screenplay, is snappy and the storyline is a delight. This movie will

remain a classic for all serious movie lovers, and is also certain to be a favorite for

families and individuals for years to come.


Cassie Wood

Engl 423

April 16, 2018

Reflection: Unit Plan

This was an incredibly difficult project for me and took me a lot longer than I was

expecting. I am so nervous for first-year teaching now. Unit plans are beasts. But, there

are so important. And I started to notice that it got easier as I was doing it. When I was

doing my second daily plan, it was a lot less stressful. I felt like after I finished something

I was like, “Oh, okay. If I had to do that again, I would be a lot better at it.” Which, even

though it didn’t help me with this unit plan, I think the process of figuring out how to

write unit plans will serve me well in the future.

The guidelines were helpful, and the textbook was helpful too. I found myself

going back to each multiple times for each step of the process. Actually applying all the

principles we had learned in class to a unit plan really changed the way I looked at them

and made it more concrete. I wish I had been preparing a unit plan all semester. But the

principles were there and helped me navigate the process of the unit plan.

The next time I do a unit plan, though, I will follow the timeline you gave more

clearly. I kind of went step by step through the process and I kept having to go back and

redo various parts. That made it complicated and a little bit longer than necessary.

Though I can’t say I’m excited for my next unit plan, I’m excited for my fifth unit

plan. Because by then I’ll be a lot better and it’ll be more enjoyable. Though I’m sure

there are flaws, I feel like writing unit plans makes a lot more sense and I will be able to

do a better job in the future.

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