The Book versus The Movie

This week, we are reading “Battleground” by Stephen King (a short story from his novel Night Shift). After we do a close reading and discussion of the story, identifying elements of literature and analyzing the author’s craft, we will also watch the video adaptation from Nightmares & Dreamscapes. Comparing the short story to the movie adaptation helps us to reach several Common Core State Standards, such as:

  • RL.8.3 Key Ideas and Details: Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.
  • RL.8.5 Craft and Structure: Compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style.
  • RL.8.7 Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: Analyze the extent to which a filmed or live production of a story or drama stays faithful to or departs from the text or script, evaluating the choices made by the director or actors.


To prepare my students for comparing and contrasting the short story / movie, I give them the following handout. This usually sparks a very lively discussion about books versus movies. I love when students come to the rescue of books 🙂

Book VS Movie (c) Kristen Dembroski


After watching the movie, they need to answer 4 simple questions:

1. Identify one significant way in which the director ‘stayed true’ to King’s version.
2. Explain why you think the director chose to ‘stay true’ to the short story for this.
3. Identify one significant way in which the director departed from King’s version.
4. Explain why you think the director chose to depart from the short story for this.

If you would like to download the picture above as a FREE PDF, click here.


Do you do a book / movie comparison unit? I’d love to hear how you tackle this!

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