Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Today in school we learned about zombies

Last week the eleventh grade English students all finished the same novel, and I was in charge of organizing the whole thing, including a culminating event where we screened the movie in the theater and ate Chinese food and whatnot, so I am tired.

I was so busy working on this that I failed to plan for the future, so Friday I told my kids "Now that we're done with this, I have no idea what we're doing on Monday."

And one of my kids says "Talk about zombies."

They know how much I love zombies. That class has thoroughly discussed our plan of action should the school be swarmed with zombies at any moment. We know where all the weapons and exits are.

So the kid says "Talk about zombies," and I say sure. Why not?

I brought in all my zombie books and asked the class why zombies are so popular. We discussed how they are empty vessels for metaphor, and how they represent so easily who we could be if we made poor decisions. Then I showed parts of Bella Lugosi's White Zombie, the first zombie film, and parts of Night of the Living Dead to show the evolution of zombies as a film creature. They're all mad today because they want to keep watching Night of the Living Dead. We talked about Fido and 28 Days Later and Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland and Zombie Strippers and Dead Snow. I told them about Maggie and Zombie Baby. I showed them World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide and Zombie Haiku.

So now their assignment is to get into groups and write a script for a zombie short film. Today they're just brainstorming, but tomorrow I'm going to show them how to write a script. One group doesn't like zombies, so I'm allowing them to write about werewolves. One group immediately wanted to write about Jacob from Twilight but I nixed that because then they're not inventing anything. Then they wanted to write about Zombie Osama bin Laden but I nixed that too because it would just be a series of Osama jokes. Now they're getting more creative.

In addition to being a story that includes a protagonist and antagonist and rising action and all that, they must have some kind of metaphor. The zombies must symbolize some issue in our world. One kid came up with the idea of using them to symbolize our obsession with texting. One group wants to use them to represent what it's like to go to high school.

They are all over this thing. I've never seen kids so stoked about a project before. Clearly this was an excellent idea. Right now I'm just getting them to write the script, but if they're up to it I might get them to make the movies. Some days my job is really fun.

11 comments:

  1. What a strange coincidence. I teach Grade 6 and I did some guiding writing with my class today. We were going to write a short film that we could produce at school.

    We brainstormed ideas and settings and the students eagerly opted for a zombies-take-over-the-school film. We wrote quite a bit today. Well, I wrote and steered the story but constantly asked for their ideas, characters names, and what happens next.

    They did such a great job and are really looking forward to producing it.

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  2. Oooh that sounds like fun! I'm still trying to figure out how to actually make these, so let me know how it goes!

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  3. Omg how fun, what lucky kids!

    There's a new anime series about high school kids saving the world from zombies, haven't seen yet, but by same director who did Deathnote and Black Lagoon, so should be good, High School of the Dead, orig manga, in case can serve as inspiration or entertainment: http://www.theanimenetwork.com/Anime/High-School-of-the-Dead/Watch

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  4. OMG , Zombies in School. Scary, too late. I really tink there are real zombies around r'us. To learn about zombies you should live and work with ZOMBIES, YEAH!

    THE LESS SLEEP WE GET BECAUSE WE WAST TIME ON INTERNET, THE MORE WE EVOLVE INTO ZOMBIES. OKAY!

    JUST LIKE monkey evolved into humans. So Rise Zombies.

    Humans will evolve into ZOMBIES and ZOMBIES WILL EVOLVE from humans. Cette la vie and evolution for us new breed.

    AND IT WAS ZOMBIES THAT KILLED OSAMA BIN LADEN. NAVY SEALS MUST TRAIN NOT SLEEP AND THUS THEY EVOLVE INTO ZOMBIES.

    So many guys here are going to bed late and going to College and School and work with only 4 -5 big hours of less SLEEP.

    THEY ARE ZOMBIES. INSOMIA CREATES ZOMBIES.

    I WORK WITH ZOMBIES.

    YOU EVER WORKED WITH A BOSS WHO SLEEPS only for 4 hours a day. HE IS A ZOMBIE! AND HE IS SCARY.

    ZOMBIE ARE AMONG US.

    BECAUSE THEY DON'T SLEEP. TOO MUCH F********* AROUND ON THE INTERNET.

    ZOMBIES ARE CREATED BY THE INTERNET. AL GORE created ZOMBIES.

    YEAH!

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  5. all the school boys must have a huge crush on you.

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  6. Thank you but I wouldn't know. They know better than to talk about that in front of me.

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  7. Anonymous7:59 AM

    Emily,

    This is the best blog on screenwriting out there.

    Finally, discovered one good one.

    Very positive and full of good pro attitude.

    you are

    THECOOLSCREENWRITER.BLOGSPOT

    Just an idea,

    Regards,

    Writersblock2020 ...(
    not revealing my name yet)
    Script Reader
    and Film Director and Animator

    ReplyDelete
  8. In case ever of use, Digital Wish, founded by educator from SoCal whose own love is creative writing: http://www.digitalwish.com/dw/digitalwish/digital_wish_team

    Maybe a direct entreaty? Maybe he'd be interested in making showcase of a SoCal inner city school?

    On site, $300 gets you 4 flip video cameras, could seek donations, I'd get in line to contribute.
    http://www.digitalwish.com/dw/digitalwish/product?id=4310

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  9. You're a good teacher.




    Daniel
    Nova Scotia

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  10. Thanks. This won't help them do well on tests, but they sure are having fun.

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  11. I have just downloaded iStripper, and now I enjoy having the sexiest virtual strippers on my desktop.

    ReplyDelete

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