My mom’s favorite movie is The Wizard of Oz as it was the first color movie that she had ever seen. Any time my boys and I saw something that was from the movie we would pick it up for her. She still has all of those items displayed in a curio cabinet in her home. One year, when I was still somewhat young, I wanted to do something special for her. I decided to rewrite the movie. I know what you’re thinking, “You rewrote the whole movie? WHY?!” I wanted something unique to give to her, so I rewrote the movie from the scarecrow’s perspective. She loved it!
Here’s what I did. I watched the whole movie watching for anything and everything that the scarecrow said or did. I also looked for who he interacted with throughout the entire movie. This took quite a while as I had to stop to take notes quite often. After I had watched the whole movie and taken all of my notes, I then rewrote the movie telling it as if the scarecrow was telling it.
This went over so well, I decided to do the same thing for my sister. Her favorite movie is Snow White. I rewrote the movie for her from Grumpy’s perspective.
Later in life after I became a mom, I decided to have my son do this same thing. He hated writing. When I say, “hated”, I mean it. It was so hard to get him to write ANYTHING! It wasn’t that he wasn’t able. He was completely capable of writing and writing well. He just didn’t like to. One day, I decided to just chat with him about writing. I told him that maybe he should just write for fun, instead of for an assignment. I told him about what I did for fun, by rewriting the movies, when I was younger. Then I left it at that. I went to bed and so did he, or so I thought.
I got up later that night at about midnight to get a drink of water. Lo and behold, what did I find outside my door? A notebook with writing on it. He had done it! He had written the movie Happy Feet 2 from the point of view of Bill and Will the Krill. And he did it all from memory! He had been watching the movie a lot around that time and just about had the entire movie memorized. Bill and Will the Krill aren’t in a lot of the movie, which made it easy for him, but, he did it! He wrote about 3 pages! It was amazing!
Once I was able to show him that it just might be fun, he realized that writing wouldn’t kill him. I couldn’t stop smiling! It was very difficult to go back to sleep after such a breakthrough. The next morning, I held up the pages so that he could see them. He had such a big smile on his face. Anyone could tell that he was very proud of himself, as he very well should be.
Retelling a movie from a character’s perspective was a wonder for him. He picked a movie that he already knew and loved. He just had to look at it from a different point of view. It actually got him to write and it was a downhill ride from there. Writing still isn’t his favorite part of life, but at least it’s not a battle every time.
So if you’re having a difficult time with your child in regards to writing, try having them rewrite one of their favorite movies from a specific character’s point of view. It doesn’t even have to be a movie. It could just be an episode their favorite show. How great would it be to be able to watch tv during school?