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ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Learning task 1

Activating prior knowledge

  1. Prior knowledge - Brainstorm.
    The teacher should put the title, "What is a film review?" Then the questions: Who? Where? What? When? Why? How? on the board. Put students into groups of no more than four. In groups, students discuss any prior knowledge of film reviews and record answers to questions on A3 paper. Feedback answers recorded on white board.
    Note: This worked well with my class. While some students had difficulty contributing answers to any questions, I had some good feedback, including: The Internet Movie Database, that reviews say whether a film is good or bad and some of the things that were included in film reviews.
  2. Ask students to each think about a film they have really enjoyed and give one reason why they really enjoyed it. The teacher's job is to draw the elements of film from students, particularly: Acting, Setting, Music, Special Effects, Editing, Camera Shots, Plot, Theme and Costumes. The teacher may need to work hard to 'get' these answers from students. Write the title of the film on the board and the element of film identified, as a way of students seeing and using these words again.
  3. Give students this crossword (Word 37KB) to finish at home. These will reinforce vocabulary and meanings. (See Solutions (Word 32KB) ). For weaker students this task could be adapted into a barrier exercise. This BarrierExercise (Word 31KB) uses a picture but when adapting a crossword each student has some of the answers and some of the clues and must find the missing clues/answers by asking their partner.

Talking about a film

  1. Ask students to think back to the film they chose earlier.
    • What was the storyline?
    • What were three elements that were enjoyable or well done to make the film successful?
    • How was this achieved? Give out the speakinghandout (Word 40KB) . They should not write on this sheet yet, but read through it to familiarise themselves with what is expected.
    • Students will need 10 to 15 minutes to think about these things and possibly jot ideas down on paper.
  2. Use Paul Nation's 4-3-2 (Word 27KB)
    • Put students in pairs.
    • Ask students to talk about the film and the three things they enjoyed about it to their partner for four minutes. Students then swap roles. (Listening and speaking)
    • Change partners. Students now talk about film and what they enjoyed about it for three minutes. Swap roles.
    • Change partners. Finally, students talk about movie for two minutes. Swap roles.
    • Students should now be more confident to write about the film, in preparation to speak semi-formally in class. Give students class time and/or home time to complete the worksheet (Word 38KB) in preparation for the next activity.

Published on: 13 Jul 2009