Comparing Book to Film: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - Comparing the Book to the Film

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Activity Overview


After both reading the book The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and watching the movie, students should be able to identify many similarities and differences. While reading, students can often let their imaginations create the characters and settings. When viewing a movie that has been based off of a book, the characters or settings may seem different than what the reader imagined them to be. When students both read and watch a production of the same story, it can be interesting to see their different reactions.

With that in mind, have students read the entire book. Then, show them the movie adaptation. Once they have read and watched, have them create a comparison chart like the one above.

Examples of Differences

BOOK

FILM

Introduction
Bruno enters his room and sees his maid, Maria, packing and is furious that she is touching his things. He yells and screams to his mother who explains that they must pack and move immediately. He wonders if he's done something bad and is being sent away. Bruno's mother and father throw an extravagant party in their elegant Berlin home to celebrate Bruno's father's promotion.
Ignorance
Bruno is constantly calling the concentration camp, Auschwitz, "Out-with", shows his innocence and ignorance to the atrocities happening all around him. Bruno discusses how nice the living quarters must be in the "farm" because he saw a Nazi propaganda movie that his father had prepared for Hitler - little did he know that people were living like this.
What was Auschwitz?
Bruno never fully understands that "Out-with" is a work camp full of prisoners, never mind a concentration camp that murders hundreds at a time. Gretel tells Bruno that it is not a farm, it is a "work camp" for Jews. He then sees a propaganda movie that makes it look lovely for the prisoners, but then sees it from the inside, just before being brought into the gas chamber, and he realizes what it is really like.
Lack of Security
When Bruno breaks into the camp, he only needs to lift the fence and crawl under. The fence is electrified and Bruno needs to bring a shovel and dig his way in.
Whereabouts of Bruno
Nobody ever knows what happened to Bruno. A soldier found his clothes but nobody could think what happened to him. Mother eventually returned to Berlin thinking that he might have found his way there. When they find the shovel and Bruno's clothes, they take dogs to follow his scent. When Mother sees them and the smoke from the gas chamber, she begins screaming. Father hears her cries. They both realize that Bruno has been murdered in the gas chamber.


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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard comparing and contrasting the book and film. Be sure to highlight key changes or similarities.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify key similarities and differences between the book and movie in the title boxes.
  3. In the first row, describe how that element is portrayed in the book.
  4. In the second row, describe how the element is portrayed in the film.
  5. Create an illustration for each cell using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  6. Save and submit your storyboard.
Grid Comparison with 4 Headings

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