Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Finally Catching Up, I Think!

Well it has been a total of fourteen days since I last posted. I finally got moved and have most everything unpacked. I am driving again, no more boot or walker or wheelchair. With only one and a half weeks until Spring Break I am working as hard as I can. I want to spend a large part of that week doing serious writing.

I got behind in my 2YN class and finally got that caught up. It was fun doing this last assignment. I had to take my characters and pick who I would cast in their role if my novel were to be made into a movie. I am writing for YA and watch very little movies that have teens in them. I found a way around this situation. I wrote a small synopsis for each of my characters (3 girls and 2 boys ages 15 - 19). I handed this out to my middle school students. Based on the description of my characters and the role they would play they had to find actors and actresses for the parts and explain in writing why they thought they would be good in this role. They had to tell me what movie they based this on. I then looked the movie and actor/actress up online.

Here is a brief run down of my characters:
Hannah - a fifteen year old girl with trust issues is sent to an art camp in NYC where she finds herself transported back in time to East Berlin, 1985. She must help two other teens escape to the West. She is supposed to be the leader but often turns the role of leader over to Ivonne.
Ivonne - a fifteen year old whose parents have been taken away by the Stasi for speaking out against the government. She escaped along with Tobias whose parents were taken away for the same reason.
Tobias - a sixteen year old who is on the run with Ivonne. He is in love with Daniela whose father is a member of the Stasi (secret police).
Daniela - a sixteen year old in love with Tobias. She would do anything to keep Tobias with her, including turning them over to her father.
Stefan - a German soldier who has to change his belief system. He has seen enough young people shot for trying to escape. He will play a key role in helping these young people with their escape plan.

It was actually one of my ESOL students, a young 6th grade Haitian girl that picked three of my characters, and I found the other two. She chose the three oldest children from the movie the Chronicles of Narnia The following is what she suggested and her reasons. I happen to think she did a great job for being in the country for only one year.
Ivonne ccould be played by Anna Popplewell because my student saw her as being a strong person and sometimes she seemed scared. Tobias could be played by Skandar Keynes who played Edmund. I laughed when she told me that he was a bad boy in the movie and he was good at the end. He was selfish and wanted his own way and she thinks that is what Tobias wants. This could be an interesting side trip for my character. For my German soldier Stefan, she thought William Mosley who play Peter was the natural source because he was cute. She also thought he was the oldest just like my character and he made mistakes and had to change his mind about things.
I chose two actresses from the movie Speak based on the book by the same name written by Laurie Halse Anderson.
Hannah could be played by Hallee Hirsh who played Rachel Bruin and Daniela could be played by Kristen Stewart who played Melinda Sordino. Their looks and behavior in the movie was what I was looking for.

This was an interesting assignment for me and another interesting assignment for my students. After helping me with my assignment then they asked if they could do the same thing for the books they were reading. I allowed this for extra credit on any assignment that they had totally bombed or did not do.

Until next time, keep reading and writing

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