Lesson idea: exploring the characters in a short movie

Here’s a great video to shape your own lesson around. In a previous blog I mentioned a few websites where you can find one minute long videos, which are great for a lesson starter. Here’s my favourite:

Source: http://filmschoolrejects.com/features/10-fantastic-short-films-that-are-only-a-minute-long.php

I think this is a great video to introduce a whole range of topics – the senses, morals, emotions, etc. I had 45 minutes to spare and wanted a creative activity to get students sharing their emotional responses to the film.

Here’s what I did. There wasn’t a particular language focus (the video itself has no dialogue), just a chance to get students expressing themselves. If you’ve any ideas on how to relate this to a particular language point please comment!

Level: Upper-intermediate

Warmer:

Review vocabulary for the senses: taste, touch, smell, sight, hearing/sound, blind, deaf, etc

Students discuss in pairs: What would be the worst sense to lose? Why?

Introduce the video. Explain it’s a short video about a man who has lost one of his senses.

First watch of the video, ask students the following question:

Were you surprised by the ending?

Students discuss this in pairs after watching, then do some class feedback

Second watch of the video, dictate the following questions to students before watching:

  1. What do you learn about the man in this video?
  2. What is the relationship between the man and the woman?
  3. What do you think the song is about?
  4. How do you think the woman feels at the end of the film?
  5. How do you think the man feels at the end of the film?

Students watch the video and prepare their own responses. They discuss these with a partner, leading into a class discussion to explore some of the themes of the film.

Exploring the characters:

Split the class into A and B

Group A: imagine they are the woman in the video

Write a short diary entry written the evening after ‘the last performance’ took place. You did not tell the man that there was no audience. Describe how you feel.

Group B: Imagine they are the man in the video

Write a short diary entry written in the evening after ‘the last performance’ took place. You do not know that there was no audience. Describe how you feel.

Ask Group A students to share their short diary entries with each other and compare similarities/differences. Ask Group B students to do the same.

Preparing a dialogue:

Pair one student each from Group A and Group B.

Imagine that the woman decides to tell the man that there was no audience.

Prepare a dialogue between the two characters. Think carefully about the relationship them, and why the woman has chosen this moment to be honest.

Students rehearse their dialogues and perform them to the class.

Feedback to content: do you feel the performance represented the characters well?

Enjoy!

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