Anyone who stepped into my shoes today would want to be a teacher. After reading the book Under the Blood Red Sun two years ago with my middle schoolers, grades 6-8, we were treated to the recently released movie adaptation today. Little did I know then that the book we had started to read in class would culminate in a transcontinental educational connection with an award winning author and a movie producer and countless more opportunities for learning to read, to write, and to become better people.
In March of 2013, we were reading the novel when- lo and behold!- a comment appeared from Dana Hankins, producer of the movie, on our blog. I had no idea a movie was being made. Somehow DanaHankins found our class blog, wrote us a comment, and then sent bookmarks from the upcoming movie to all the students. She also got author Graham Salisbury to write us a comment, too. By just reading and writing, we made a real-life connection with the author and producer, 4,600 miles away. We had a literary tea party at the end of the school year, and quite a few kids dressed as characters from Under the Blood Red Sun.
During the next school year we watched the movie in progress via its web and Facebook pages. I loved seeing the photos of Tomi’s house and the screenplay as compared to the novel.
At the end of 2014, we learned we had been nominated by our friends at Huzzah! in British Columbia, Canada, 3,000 miles away, for Best Class Blog. Honored and humbled, we asked everyone on our email list to please vote for us, confonnit! Again- lo and behold- Dana Hankins reached out to us and all her Facebook followers, asking them to vote for the classroom that had students dressing as Red Sun characters. We re-established a connection, which grew to include a Skype visit next week. We also received copies of the movie and a few more bookmarks.
Today, to celebrate all we have accomplished with our blog (connecting with Dana Hankins and Graham “Sandy” Salisbury at the top of the list), we held a Blogging Party, “Red Carpet for Red Sun”. Celebrate for a few minutes with us!
What book would you like to see come to life on screen?