Posted 24/11/07
This is quite a standard video activity in which a clip is followed by a number of true or false statements. For this lesson plan, I chose my favourite Muppets charater singing Ode to Joy.
  • Language level: Elementary; Pre-intermediate (A2)
  • Learner type: Young learners; Teens; Adults; CLIL
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Activity: Writing sentences
  • Topic: Music
  • Language: Present simple; Prepositions; The verb to get
  • Materials: Video
Observation test pdf [downloaded 3737 times]

Lesson plan outline

  1. Tell students that you are going to test their powers of observation. Tell them that they are going to see a video clip. Ask them to pay close attention to the details.
  2. Play the clip once.
  3. Ask students if they can recall the objects that they saw in the clip. Write these on the board:

    Beaker (the name of the Muppet)
    A violin
    A drum (or timpani)
    A metronome
    A glass of water
    A lamp
  4. Draw a grid on the board like this:
  5. Use the grid to teach the following phrases:
    The top left square
    The top middle square
    The top right square
    The bottom left square
    The bottom middle square
    The bottom right square
  6. To do this, start by calling out phrases and asking individual students to identify the corresponding square numbers. Later, reverse the process – call out square numbers and ask individuals to identify them using the phrases.

  7. Ask students if they would like to see the clip one more time before the observation test (they will almost certainly say yes).
  8. Tell your students that you are going to write 10 sentences on the board. Tell them that some are true and some are false. If a student thinks that a sentence is true, he/she should copy it exactly as it is. If on the other hand the student thinks it is false, he/she should amend it accordingly. Demonstrate with the following example:
  9. Write the following sentences on the board for your students to copy and amend if necessary:
    * Beaker first appears in the top middle square.
    * He is wearing a shirt, a tie and a light brown coat.
    * He doesn’t have ears.
    * He drinks from the glass of water.
    * He plays the drum in the bottom right square.
    * He plays the violin in the top right square.
    * After the glass smashes, the music starts to get faster.
    * The metronome catches fire.
    * Beaker falls over when he gets hit on the head by a flying lamp.
    * Beaker gets an electric shock in the bottom middle square.
  10. Note that there are a few terms that you may have to clarify: ‘to catch fire’, ‘an electric shock’ and ‘to smash
  11. Let students pair up and compare their answers before doing feedback, paying attention to grammar and vocabulary. Answers:
    * Beaker first appears in the top bottom middle square
    * He is wearing a shirt, a tie and a light brown green coat.
    * He doesn’t have ears.
    * He drinks from the glass of water.
    * He plays the drum in the bottom right left square.
    * He plays the violin in the top bottom right square.
    * After the glass smashes, the music starts to get faster.
    * The metronome violin catches fire.
    * Beaker falls over when he gets hit on the head by a flying lamp.
    * Beaker gets an electric shock in the bottom middle square.
  12. Play the clip again and find out who got the most sentences right.
  13. Ask students if they can work out what the two old men are saying at the end of the clip:
  • I’ve never seen anything like that before.
  • And with any luck, I’ll never see anything like it again.”

Comment

Students may dispute one or two of these points. This is good as it will mean discussion. Potential disputes include:

  • Students might claim that Beaker was sniffing the water rather than drinking it.
  • Students might say that the music started to get faster before the glass smashed.

Follow up

Three of the sentences contained the verb get.  Ask students if they can recall the three structures:

  • Get faster
  • Get hit on the head by a flying lamp
  • Get an electric shock

Variation

For more advanced students, dictate the sentences. As before, if a student thinks a sentence is true, he/she should write it down exactly as it is. If on the other hand the student thinks it is false, he/she should amend it accordingly.

Posted 24/11/07

9 Responses to Observation test

  1. Juliana says:

    Excellent for teaching “the top right…..; the bottom middle…, etc”. I found it great material.
    Actually, this is a fantastic site.

  2. Jamie Keddie says:

    Thanks Juliana
    Jamie :-)

  3. Ash says:

    Hi Jamie. This is a great resource and is precislely what I have been looking for! I look forward to seeing more great lessons plans uploaded to this site.. I’m quite new to ESL and I was wondering how you go about determing the language level of a student ? Do you use a particular test, ifso, what does it consist of ? your help would be greatly appreciated.

    cheers

  4. Jamie Keddie says:

    Hey Ash
    I’m happy you are making good use of the site.
    To answer your question about determining the language level of a learner: What is your reason for doing so? Is this so that you can divide students up into different classes according to level. Or are you deciding what sort of material/activity can be used with a class that you have?
    Jamie :)

  5. María Emilia says:

    Hi Jamie!
    I attended one of your presentations in Buenos Aires, Argentina about two years ago, and since then, I haven’t stopped checking your site! I make great use of your ideas and resources almost every week, with different levels and ages. THANK YOU for this valuable source of great ideas!!!
    Mili.-

  6. Jamie Keddie says:

    Thank you Mili
    I am very happy to hear it. I have to start uploading more lessons. Sorry it has been a bit neglected recently.
    Hope everything is well in Bs As and hope to come back one day soon.
    Jamie :)

  7. Michaela says:

    Dear Jamie,
    thank you so much for this wonderful and inspiring site. My pupils love it!
    Michaela

  8. Jamie Keddie says:

    Thank you Michaela
    If your pupils love Beaker, they have great taste!
    Jamie :)

  9. Hi, Jamie!

    I’m loving your website man. It’s a really great source not only of lesson plans, but a great place to get inspired and start to create your own material out of the box. A way to escape your own teaching routine. Thanks for creating it.

    And, speaking specifically about this class, I added the following video to it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbJcQYVtZMo

    And developed a videotelling class with it. It became a really good class. Thanks again for the incredible initiative of sharing your ideas with the world.