“Lamb to the Slaughter” Movie with Lesson Plan for High School

It’s summer time and I have no cable. That can only mean one thing: It’s time for YouTube videos of short stories I teach. The first movie of the summer is Roald Dahl’s “Lamb to the Slaughter.”

But before we get to the various versions, let’s give you a lesson plan so you can

  1. Make watching this video a useful “Lamb to the Slaughter” activity that strengthens literary analysis skills
  2. Cover your behind when the principal comes in and asks you why you’re watching a movie during instructional time

Start by writing this great standard on your white board:

RL.9-10.7 Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums.

Then download this handout and make copies: Video/Short Story Comparison Chart

If you don’t feel like making copies, just make a t-chart on the board.

  • Label the left column “Important Aspects of the Story.” This might include important plot developments or examples of literary devices–suspense, irony, theme, etc.
  • Label the right column “How the Video Portrays It.” This column allows students to compare and evaluate the video interpretation of the short story.

The Alfred Hitchcock “Lamb to the Slaughter” Movie

This Alfred Hitchcock feature is the most famous video interpretation of “Lamb to the Slaughter.” It’s not the best, but it follows the story fairly close. And although it’s not the best, this version portrays Mary excellently, especially at the end when she giggles.

This video is not available on YouTube, but you can find it on School Tube.

Tales of the Unexpected: Season 1, Episode 4

I prefer this version of the movie. It begins in media res, so those who didn’t read the story will be surprised by what happens.


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