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Mr. P. from New York NY is requesting Supplies through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Accessing Difficult Literature Through Film

The cost of a TV/DVD/VCR, with a cart to support it, and two DVD copies of Lord of the Flies is $630, including shipping and <a target="new" href="" onclick="g_openWindow('', 300, 800, 'fulfillwindow');return false;">fulfillment</a>.

  • $630 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

In a Seventh Grade classroom in one of the country's most prestigious and selective schools, it is standard to read twenty or thirty pages of a difficult novel at home and come to class the next day prepared to discuss it. By reading Orwell in middle school, students are prepared to read Othello in high school. But such students, who can independently read "Lord of the Flies" in 7th grade, are drawing on the background knowledge and fluency they have gained from at least six years of reading twenty or thirty progressively more challenging books a year. They are drawing on parents who can help define a word or provide historical background for a work. My school is neither prestigious nor selective. It sits on the first three floors of a fortress-like housing project in West Harlem that ten years ago was the center of New York's thriving trade in crack and cocaine. Just this year my school was removed from the list of New York schools at risk of losing certification. Many of my students have not read thirty books in their entire life. Most teachers accommodate such classes of students by greatly simplifying the material that the class is reading. But while that approach is necessary at times, the reality is that when class novels are consistently below grade level, students are reduced to learning grade level vocabulary by rote memorization rather than in context. Moreover there is no comparison between the experience of sitting in a classroom that is discussing the plot of an easy young adult book versus sitting in a classroom where the students are problem solving their way out of the social and political paradoxes that are presented in "Lord of the Flies." But to make "Lord of the Flies" accessible to all readers in the classroom, even the lowest level ones, it is enormously helpful to make the book come alive through film. The same student who sits in the back discouraged while the class is discussing the author's use of symbolism is an animated discussion leader when the conversation turns to a movie director's choice to cast the opening scene of the book in a long shot or a short one. Both discussions are vital in a thriving English classroom, but the second one is not possible when your entire floor has only one TV with a VCR player. In such a situation you are forced to read the book and show the movie at the end and assign an essay comparing the two. In a classroom with its own TV and DVD/VCR player you can bring snippets of Peter Brook's famously minimalist "Lord of the Flies" and Harry Hook's less critically acclaimed remake into every discussion as a way to engage some of the lowest readers and to force all students to practice the deep analysis of comparing details in the films and the book that will enhance their critical thinking.

Mr. P.
Grades 6-8
  • IS 195 Roberto Clemente
  • New York, NY
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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4 donors4 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 60 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
20" TV/DVD/VCR TRI-PLAY • Best Buy $309.00 1 $309.00
Bretford A2642 Adjustable Cart Standard • $84.31 1 $84.31
Lord of the Flies - Criterion Collection (1963) (DVD) • $35.96 1 $35.96
Lord of the Flies (1990) • $13.46 1 $13.46

Materials cost


Vendor shipping charges


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Fulfillment labor & materials

Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


4 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


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Project Activity

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