I use a lot of videos in class these days. There’s no shortage of inspiration for film lessons online, and a bit in print too. We received a copy of Film in Action last June, which Martin Sketchley reviewed here. This book (plus the accompanying website, Film English) has great resources and ideas for using videos in class. There are some other brilliant sites to bookmark – notably All.at.C and Vocabulary in Chunks, which choose some great clips to build lessons around! The best resource I’ve ever come across for using movies in class was Shrek in the ESL Classroom by Brian Boyd (of Grammarman fame). When I create my own video resources I often find myself delving into this booklet.
Anyway, here’s something I made recently. It’s based on a classic kids cartoon called Funnybones (which were great books too). I used it with my 10 year olds during Halloween and it went down well.
This post is less about the actual video, and more about showing some example activities to use with short film clips. I hope it gives you some ideas for making your own lessons using videos, especially with YLs.
The old ones are the best! Here’s a video of a guy travelling around the world and dancing. You’ve probably seen it. I’ve used it quite a few times to generate interest in the topic of travel/geography. Actually, I think it was the first ever video I used in class. There’s the clip along with some observation questions! There are plenty of other tasks you could do with this – I’ve also got students to write down as many places as they can remember seeing, then organise these by continent. Also, I’ve given students a list of travel related vocabulary before (monument, desert, town, village, beach, etc) and got them to add a tally mark to each word every time they see it. As always, share any interesting activities you try out in the comments, I’m always looking for new ideas. Enjoy!
Check out this great video – I came across it during the summer school at British Council HCMC. We did an activity where students described what was happening on each of the 12 planets. Then they created a 13th planet themselves, displayed their drawings and descriptions around the room and we voted for the best one. It would be a nice follow-up activity if you’re doing a lesson related to space or the solar system.
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:
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!
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:
“The more radical the person is, the more fully he or she enters into reality so that, knowing it better, he or she can transform it. This individual is not afraid to confront, to listen, to see the world unveiled.― Paulo Freire