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If Dracula Walked Today

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Keywords: Flip Video, English, Literature, Dracula, Acting, Film Production, Short Film
Subject(s): Video, Technology, Writing, English/Language Arts, Drama
Grades 9 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Thurgood Marshall Academy, New York, NY
Planned By: James Walter Doyle
Original Author: James Walter Doyle, New York
Students will understand: Power and meaning behind various symbols in the text. (Blood, crucifix)

Students will know that: Various ideas that Stoker establishes as “good” versus “evil” that strengthen the power that Dracula has.

Students will be able to: Capture the essence of Dracula by using various elements of the gothic genre in their adaptation using flip camera. What provocative questions will foster inquiry, understanding, and transfer of learning?

• Which characters or ideas does Stoker depict as "good"? Which does he depict as "evil"? How do these characters and ideas conflict within the story?
• What did Dracula represent within the context of Stoker's story? How does he maintain his power? Explore the question in the context of the following assertion: Dracula is all things to all people.

Formative: Use the flip camera to capture your own recreation of Dracula, whether a particular chapter or the novel as a whole, but bring him into our current pop culture. On the day of presentation, students will turn in a one page outline of the scene they have recreated, highlighting the aspects of the original Dracula that they have retained, as well as the particular role they had in its creation. (Costumer, film crew, actor, special effects) Students will work in groups of 4-5.

Informative: Journal entry on previous day: Create a well organized outline some ways Dracula remains an icon in today's popular culture. Compare and contrast the different ways Dracula is portrayed in movies, television, and other books. Is Dracula's power as a symbol increased or diminished when he is "rewritten" into new texts?

Class discussion: Ask aloud what elements of the gothic genre are the most important in preserving the power created in Stoker’s Dracula ? Consider characters, conflicts, setting, tone, and symbols.

Students will create a 5-7 minute video using the Flip Camera. The film must be inspired from the original text and include the following at minimum:
1. Two of the major characters
2. One of the major symbols discussed
3. One line of dialogue directly taken from text

Students will hand in a well developed one page outline that coincides with their video. It will describe what is captured on film, specifically the aspects of the original that were retained. Each student must hand in outlines that detail their particular role with the filming process. Evidence of the previous class journals and class discussions should be able to be identified in both film and outline.

Students who are uncomfortable in front of the camera can take an active role in the filming process. It is not required that they “perform” and can include a one page write up of how they chose the setting, costumes, and/or makeup. Those choosing to be the “film crew” must discuss their directing choices. Explain how you used the flip camera to capture various angles, lighting, and action shots. In detail, discuss how the flip camera made it easy to recreate the classic. Each student should feel comfortable in their role and be able to describe how they were active in the films creation.
I have tried a couple times to edit the Author Information below! The school and phone number are correct, but our school address is listed incorrectly. Please use the following contact address:

Thurgood Marshall Academy
James Walter Doyle
200 W 135th Stree
New York, NY 10030
Materials: Flip Video