Media Adaptation

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The students will be introduced to the concept of media adaptation by viewing examples of adaptations of media and gaining hands-on experience adapting media to another medium.


This will be a project based final that will utilize all formats of storytelling previously learned in order to produce a new product Interactive Story.

Expected Lesson Duration:

2-3 days

Interdisciplinary Connection(s) to Common Core

Lesson Procedure:

Introduction/Gain Attention

  • The class will begin with an image, video or, sound and the student and have them write a story about what is just off the boundary of the medium.


  • After the daily meme, the students will be introduced to the concept of media adaptation.

    • Media adaptation is the process of taking content in one medium and altering it or reproducing the content in another medium.

      • Today, one of the most common types of media adaptation is the adaptation of a book into a movie.

      • Other types of media adaptation include:

        • Literary/text to film

        • Literary/text to stage production

        • Film to stage production

        • Film to televised show or series

        • Show / series to film or literary media (making a book/comic book/etc. from a show)

        • Etc.

    • During class discussion of media adaptation, students may offer examples of media they know has been adapted to another medium.

    • Sometimes cult followings of books or movies are not satisfied with the adaptations of the media; students can identify personal instances of this or adaptations they know of that received poor feedback.

    • When thinking of media adaptation, it is easy to narrow your thoughts to recent adaptations of media, such as newly released movies that were once books. However, though it is extremely prevalent in current times, media adaptation has ancient roots:

      • Media adaptation has a long history as humans have adapted text into different forms and mediums for centuries.

      • Before the development of a widely understood written language, oral storytelling was the primary medium.

        • This means that stories were passed down through generations by simply remembering and retelling the stories.

        • This practice is still present today. Do you have any family stories that your grandparents or great-grandparents passed down to your parents or yourself?

      • Unfortunately, this limited means of storytelling often resulted in changes to the original stories because of the ways different people choose to retell them, accidentally forgetting details, etc. Essentially, details were inevitably “lost (or changed) in translation” from generation to generation.

      • From oral storytelling, legends and stories were passed down from ancient times until they were able to be recorded (written down) in a developed language.

      • When civilization had the means to produce content in other mediums, these spoken legends and historical events influenced paintings, sculptures, written stories and tales, plays, etc.

        • The cinematic adaptation of literary and theatrical text has been practiced since Shakespearean times (15th century), but the practice of theater itself predates Shakespeare by over 1000 years.

          • The ancient greeks developed theater in the form of ancient Greek dramas around 700 BC.

          • Ancient greeks also began performing tragedies in the late 500s BC, and comedy around 490 BC.

          • According to the historic Linear B clay tablet, the oldest evidence of written language known to man, ancient Greece did not have a written language until ~ 1450-1350 BC.

          • This means that for close to 1000 years, ancient Greeks performed plays and orally passed them down through generations without ever being able to write them down.

          • With the evolution of a new found written language to accommodate the longstanding spoken Greek language, plays were being adapted to written form to preserve and record them.

          • Many works of ancient Greek playwrights, authors, and poets have been lost over time. The earliest playwright whose work was not lost is Aeschylus.

          • Aeschylus lived from 523 BC to 456 BC. He is referenced as the father of Greek tragedy. Of an estimated 70-90 plays Aeschylus wrote during his lifetime, only 7 of these were later adapted to written text, and recorded and preserved to this day. (It is likely that more than 7 of Aeschylus’ plays were adapted to text, but were lost or destroyed over time).

          • The adaptation of Aeschylus’ oral plays to written text proceeding his death has provided civilization with a priceless amount of insight on ancient history to the world today. Had this media adaptation not taken place, Aeschylus’ works would have been lost like that of many other great ancient Grecian playwrights.

    • Media adaptation has ancient roots, but is very much a prevalent practice to this day.

    • Modern media adaptation example:

      • Star Trek
  • Star Trek began as a televised science fiction series in 1966.

        - Now dubbed *The Original Series*, Star Trek aired for three seasons on NBC before it was cancelled due to poor ratings.
        - Paramount Studios bought the series and began playing reruns of the show in in 1969. By the late 70's, Star Trek aired on hundreds of domestic and international markets. 
        - The first media adaptation Star Trek experienced was  an adaptation to a series utilizing an animated medium,* Star Trek: The Animated Series*.
        - The next adaptation for Star Trek was planned to be another series titled *Star Trek: Phase II*, but the series was not produced because of Paramount Studios voiding their television service.
        - The actual next adaptation for Star Trek was then the adaptation of the pilot episode, originally planned for the new *Star Trek: Phase II* series, to a full length feature film, *Star Trek: The Motion Picture*.
        - The adaptation was so successful that it grossed $139 million worldwide, resulting in the critically acclaimed sequel *Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan *and 4 further sequels.
        - The popularity of the Star Trek films influenced the next adaptation from films back to a televised series,* Star Trek: The Next Generation*.
        - The *Star Trek* story has since been adapted countless times, back and forth between animated television, feature films, comic books, novels, etc., with the most recent adaptation being a prequel to the *Star Trek: The Original Series* titled *Star Trek: Discovery*, which premiered in September 2017 (Star Trek was created in 1964!).
    • More modern examples include War of the Worlds (radio to book to movie), and the Archie comics to the popular new show Riverdale.

    • This lesson’s project gives students the creative freedom to adapt any media of their choosing to a new medium, also of their choosing, utilizing their newfound understanding of media adaptation.

      • The mediums can be of any form discussed in class/approved by the instructor. For example, students may choose to do an adaptation of their favorite book, comic book, movie, etc. to a short film, song, music video, literary work, etc.

      • The instructor will approve the proposed adaptation of each student, ensuring they explicitly state what medium they will be adapting the original work to.

        • Students should pay special attention while adapting their selection to a new medium to stay true to the subject of the original work.

        • Staying true to the subject is a practice students have been familiar with since the video journalism lesson and possibly prior.


  • Define the concept of media adaptation

  • Identify the causes of unsuccessful implementations of pre-existing stories/works when adapted to media

  • Understand and explain how the effects that media adaptations of works altering the original storyline impact viewers and the story itself

Content of Lesson

  • Acquiring Key Concepts: incorporating and utilizing all skills acquired during the imagery unit to produce an imagery heavy story.

  • Engaging in Experiential Learning: peer reviewing comic strips created by classmates, providing constructive criticism, and identifying concepts that were emphasized in class discussion within the work being peer reviewed.

  • Building Proficiencies: using skills developed thus far to create a unique imagery heavy story and reviewing classmates’ work while paying special attention to emphasized concepts such as diversity, POV, composition, and responsibility.

  • Connecting with STEM Professionals: view a video of a professional artist, filmer, producer, etc. working with comic strips or comics and discussing their work.

  • Assessing Learning: have students explain how they utilized individual skills gained throughout the unit in the creation of their comic strip. Students can also identify these skills being implemented or the presence of important concepts such as diversity, POV, composition, etc. in their classmates’ work.

Closure and Review

  • Reiterate the importance of storytelling in media, describe the amount of written work that is consumed by media outlets and the amount of recycled material that continues to be recirculated due to the lack of new material.

  • Explain the importance of diversity in the storytellers and writers due to experiences and how it shapes our stories.


The art and skill of storytelling that will be practiced in this class will help the students reasoning skills, cognitive constructive capabilities, and develop character. The creation of a narrative requires the student to develop a logical order from a sequence of events. In order for the student to develop a meaningful arrangement of events the student must begin to grow their narrative reasoning skills. These skills can evolve through the consumption and dissection of narrative literature, of a mixed medium. While developing of their narrative reasoning skills the students should/ will become more empathetic to others, wise to deciphering the true purpose of the story, and become comprehensive thinkers of their own circumstances. The students are finally at the age in which they are beginning to construct their own narratives. We, as educators, want them to be exposed to a great diversity of narratives in order mature those narrative reasoning skills. The more developed their narrative reasoning skills are the more they get from a story (deeper perspective). The more advanced their skills, the more likely they are to rationalize why this character chose a particular path, place themselves in the characters shoes, and develop their own character.

Explorations and Extensions:

Does the dynamic aspect of storytelling take anything away from the message that the author may be trying to deliver?

Assessment Criteria for Success:

Content knowledge, student knowledge, and appropriate resources are aligned to instructional outcomes. student learning will be assessed throughout the lesson via question responses and correlation to the project.

Students will have successfully met the outcomes when fundamental questions about the importance of storytelling and its role in imagery can be observed through their writing and reflections of their peers work. Also questions about their current disposition are taken into consideration when they see media should begin to arise. Also a fluid and respectful use of time, along with an essay that is fluid, easy to follow, and retains its essentials as an ELA.


To be completed upon the end of lesson.