Which was better, the book or the movie?

Let’s talk about it!

The intersection of books and movies is an exciting entry point into the mind life of your young writer. After all, readers and spectators react—often strongly—to what they read and watch. They love a movie and recommend it to everyone they see. Or they despise a book and want to throw it into the fireplace so no one else accidentally reads it. Books and movies have the power to awaken your kids’ thoughts and emotions, which in turn will enliven their writing!

Book/Movie Duo is a class like no other. Part literary discussion, part movie analysis, we will take your kids on an unforgettable journey as they explore favorite works of fiction. This class is designed primarily for ages 11-14, though older interested teens are welcome to join.

You will love watching your students progress on the path to becoming fluent academic writers who

  • Discuss theme, character development, and plot arc in the story while relating those elements to their personal experience
  • Explore a film adaptation and the ways the use of sound, lighting, visual effects, and editing tell a story using a perspective unique to the filmmaker
  • Develop analytical skills as they compare and contrast literary and cinematic choices
  • Apply academic writing formats as they organize their thoughts into a final writing project

Think of this class as a transitional step between free-wheeling book club discussion and high school literary analysis. If your children are brand new to book discussion, consider beginning with our Arrow and Boomerang book clubs. If your students have some experience marshaling their thoughts about books and are ready to dig a bit deeper into analysis, this class is for you!

Sessions #

Here are the upcoming Book/Movie Duo selections.

Students should plan to read at least half of the novel before class begins in order to stay ahead of book discussion. They’ll watch the movie before the third week of class.

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Summer/Fall 2022

  • Sept 19 - Oct 14 The Bad Beginning and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (Book/Movie)
    Note: The movie is the 2004 version with Jim Carrey, not the Netflix series.

    'If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.' Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire are most unfortunate children. Orphaned after the sudden death of their parents in a house fire, they are left in the hands of their guardian, Count Olaf, who has diabolical plans for them.
    - Kirkus Reviews

Important Note: In Brave Writer, we explore a wide range of literature and movies that address a wide variety of perspectives and that include time-bound references. Please be aware that you may experience strong reactions to what you read and watch. By using literature and film as a teaching tool to foster understanding and growth, we have the opportunity to discuss these evolving ideologies.

We encourage you to pre-read books and preview movies to determine their appropriateness for your family and to prepare to have discussions on these topics with your students as they participate in the class.

For more information about how the classes are run, please read about online classes.

To explore our Brave Writer classroom, click here to access a sample class.

Class Structure Description #

Brave Writer online classes are specially designed with the busy homeschooling parent in mind. Classes last anywhere from four to six weeks. We offer courses that address a specific writing need so that you can take the ones that suit your family throughout the school year. Short class sessions enable you to work around family vacations, out-of-town swim meets, recovering from wisdom teeth removal, and visits from grandparents. We operate on the quarter system, including a summer session. Our most popular classes repeat each quarter, while others are seasonal.

Our classes meet in a customized online classroom, designed specifically to meet the needs of Brave Writer. Only registered students and the instructor have access to the classroom to ensure your privacy. Assignments and reading materials are posted by instructors each week (no additional supply fees necessary, unless otherwise indicated). Either you (homeschooling parent) or your child (homeschooling student) will visit the classroom daily at your convenience to read helpful information about the current topic or to find the writing assignment. We operate "asynchronously" (which means that the discussion is not live, but that posted information remains available to you in your time zone at your convenience). Instructors check the classroom throughout the day to answer questions and give feedback on writing.

Writing is done at home and then typed into the classroom, and shared with both the instructor and other classmates. You're not required to be online at any specific time of the day. We have students from all over the world participating in our classes so "live" discussion is impossible. Instead, the online classroom enables the instructor to post information and assignments when it is convenient to the instructor. Then, when it is convenient for you, you come to the classroom and read the latest postings.

Instructor feedback to student writing is offered for all participants to read. Writing questions are welcomed and encouraged! That's the point of class. We aim to give you immediate support as you face writing obstacles.

Brave Writer takes seriously the need for encouragement and emotional safety in writing. No student is ever at risk of being humiliated or mistreated. All online dialog is respectful and supportive of your child's process. This is the core of Brave Writer's philosophy. You can read about Brave Writer values here.

What makes our program especially unique in the world of online education is that we value a corporate experience. Rather than teaching your child in a tutorial format, we prefer students to have the opportunity to both publish their work for an audience (other students) and also to have the chance to read other student writing. In no other setting is this possible. Schools-in-buildings rarely have students read each other's work. Homeschooled children are rarely in a classroom environment to begin with, so the opportunity to read peer-writing is nil.

Our classes provide an utterly unique experience in the world of writing instruction. Since most writers grow through emulation of good writing, it is a real advantage to Brave Writer kids to get the chance to read the writing of their fellow home-educated peers. They love it! They get to examine and internalize other ways of writing, analyzing and expressing ideas similar to their own. They have the chance to validate and cheer on their peers. And of course, the best part of all is that they receive the praise and affirmation of kids just like them.

Not only that, all instructor feedback is posted to the classroom for all students to read. That means your kids get the benefit of instructor comments on many papers, not just their own. We've noted that this style of instruction is especially effective and hope you'll agree!

To explore our Brave Writer classroom, click here to access a sample class.