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ERIC Number: EJ896704
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-0013-8274
"Everybody Wants Somebody to Hear Their Story": High School Students Writing Screenplays
Bedard, Carol; Fuhrken, Charles
English Journal, v100 n1 p47-52 Sep 2010
Writing a screenplay was an assignment that was part of Storytelling Through Film, a program sponsored by the Austin Film Festival, a professional film organization. In six weeks, students in creative writing and English classes first learned about the genre of screenwriting and then wrote original screenplays. The curriculum was a collaborative effort among the high school English teachers, who brought to the partnership their expertise in writing instruction, and the Austin Film Festival staff, who contributed their knowledge of filmmaking. At the end of the six weeks, the students' final versions of their screenplays were read and evaluated by Austin Film Festival staff, who selected several screenplays to be produced. Students who participated in the program, along with others who were interested, came together to fulfill the many roles required in the making of the films: directors, actors, producers, editors, and camera operators. Introducing students to screenwriting--a new genre to most students--was important because while students today are described as the natives of the digital generation (Prensky) and are regular consumers of media, they are often unaware of how media are produced (Buckingham). This article describes how students studied the genre; generated ideas; and planned, drafted, and revised their screenplays. The portraits of two winning screenwriters are shared followed by implications for teaching writing. The author concludes that rich writing experiences such as those described in this article, in which students have the time to think and write about ideas that matter to them in new ways--motivate students to reevaluate their views of writing and their views of themselves as writers.
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A