Video resource: a one minute guide to planet earth

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 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?

Ordering task

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.

Categories: Lesson Ideas, videos

Tags: , , , , ,

3 replies

  1. Excellent ideas! Do you get your students to make their own videos?


    • Hey, cheers! Yep, making their own videos would be the goal, but you can simplify it with just a presentation to the class if you want. After looking at some of the video resources on your blog I’ve been looking at ways to use more videos in class. Cheers for the inspiration – I’ve got a couple more ideas from the websites I mentioned so watch this space 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


  1. Lesson idea: exploring the characters in a short movie | elt planning

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: