Here’s a fluency based activity to challenge those adult advanced classes. I am always on the hunt for activities that will stretch my strongest students, and get them talking about rather alien topics. After all, if you’ve mastered a language you should be able to discuss pretty much anything, right?
I stumbled across this great video whilst searching for short films to use as intros. Incidentally, these three links have some awesome videos if you want to do the same:
I’ve based a few activities around this video from filminute.com: A One Minute Guide to Planet Earth. The narrator speaks very fast but the concept is great. You’ll find the transcript attached below
Aims: Students will produce a one minute summary of a chosen/designated topic
Students will discuss personal responses to a text describing life on planet earth
Warmer: If you had to describe human existence on planet earth, what 8 essential things would you mention?
(Give one example, e.g. ‘money’. Students discuss in pairs. Feedback)
Video observation task
Watch the ‘A One Minute Guide to Planet Earth’ video. Mute the video.
How many of the essential things you mentioned appear in the video?
Video gist listening task
Watch the video again, this time with the sound.
How many of your essential things does the speaker actually talk about in the video?
Give students the transcript, cut up in a random order. Students try to put the text in the correct order.
You can find the transcript ordering activity here: ordering task and transcript
Play the video again. Students listen and check their answers / reorder the text.
(Correct order: C, E, A, H, G, K, D, J, I, F, B)
Personal response to text:
Here’s some of the questions I devised that focus mainly on personal response. The transcript is provided, so you can do what you want with it really. I might recommend a dictogloss, but wow, the text is FAST!
Discuss these questions with a partner.
“…I suppose you could say the same about life: we’re born new and clean, then after some use we get old, die and go into the rubbish bin.”
Do you agree with the speakers view of life?
“A city is a chaotic mix of trains, neon lights, buses, streets and signs”
Do you think it is a good description of a city?
How would you describe these things to someone who has never seen them?
banks cosmetics pets alcohol
“…there’s more on this planet, like coffee that is never strong enough, red lights that never turn green, and bigger, better, faster things that never make us happy and queues that never end.”
Why do you think the speaker chose these items in particular? (possible answer: he probably lives in a city)
What things might you talk about if…
You lived in the sahara desert?
You were an eskimo?
You were the prime minister?
Follow up task:
This is the fun part. Ask students to create their own ONE MINUTE SUMMARY of a particular topic. This will involve careful planning, selecting the most relevant information, speaking at speed and in detail – it’s quite high order.
Possible one minute topics might include…
Football education your own country
Allow students use of any resources to assist them, such as the whiteboard, Cuisenaire rods to prepare diagrams, etc.