Activities for a short animated film.
I have created a lot of lessons over the years using short animated films. Animation is engaging and visually stimulating and provides excellent materials for practicing a wide range of skills. The following lesson is one of my favourites.
This lesson focuses on narrating events –
- Past tenses and narrative linkers
- Combinations of simple past and past perfect for ordering events.
- Use of the present continuous to describe the background to an action.
- Linking, sequence words: after that/ then / later / many years later etc
Ecology, pollution, space, aliens, childhood, sadness, happiness.
Genre – students also think and learn about Science Fiction themes and conventions.
Worlds Apart is a short, animated film you can see here:
This is suitable for a B1/B2 class.
- Tell students they are going to hear the sounds that accompany the beginning of a short, animated film. Don’t tell them anything about it. They could close their eyes to concentrate on creating a mental picture. With the screen muted, play the opening. Stop after about a minute. Ask students to discuss their ideas in pairs. With the whole class, write suggestions on the board and ask students to justify their ideas (‘you can hear some kind of vehicle/there’s a lot of wind – I think it’s at night etc). Then watch the first minute and see how similar the film and the predictions are. Finally, write ‘science fiction’ on the board and ask students to discuss films they have seen or what kind of stories they expect to find in a science fiction film.
- Use a prepared handout of screenshots from the film. Choose about 8 moments from the film and mix them up on an A4 handout. Give these out and ask students to predict the story – ‘this picture looks like there’s a big problem with pollution, perhaps people are dying / perhaps the aliens here have attacked the earth,’ etc.
- Watch the whole film. As they watch, students note the order in which the screenshots appear. After watching, check the order. Give out/put these sentences on the board tell students to put them in order.
- Aliens found the family house.
- The child played with the teddy bear in the sunshine
- We see a bulldozer
- The boy sees shapes in the clouds
- Someone gets a wonderful present.
- There were reports on the television.
- The aliens arrived back home.
- The aliens analyse something they find.
- The boy wanted to go back for the teddy.
- The family lived in a house in the country
Check with the whole class. Using the pictures and sentences, ask students to retell the story to each other. Monitor and help with language.
- Follow up activities:
Develop the Science Fiction aspect by getting students to research SF stories, films, TV series etc and report back to the class.
Use the teddy bear in the story as a writing activity – the students write the story from the bear’s point of view.