One of the most important questions to ask when considering a video clip for the classroom is: How can I get my students to interact with it? One way of doing this is by bringing a very important tool into the equation: The teacher’s voice. In this lesson plan, students are told about the video clip. Their task is to identify whether or not they have seen it before.
- Language level: Elementary; Pre-intermediate (A2)
- Learner type: Young learners; Teens; Adults
- Time: 15 minutes
- Activity: Listening; Speaking
- Topic: Pets
- Language: Present simple
- Materials: Video
Lesson plan outline
Note that for this activity, you are going to describe the video in detail, to your students. To prepare your spoken text:
* Watch the video a number of times and pay close attention to details.
* Consider questions that you can ask your students.
* Identify potentially problematic or unknown vocabulary and consider ways to teach it as you go along.
* Make notes or prepare some sort of schematic representation of what you are going to say. You could even write a full transcription of your intended words (see step 2 in the lesson plan).
- Find out what pets your students have. If anyone has more than one pet in their house (a cat and a goldfish, for example), find out what sort of relationship they have.
- Tell students that you recently saw a YouTube video that involved an unusual exchange between two animals. Tell students that you are going to describe the video and you want them to decide whether or not they have seen it before. Importantly, tell students that if they have seen the video, they shouldn’t say what happens.
- Describe the video in detail. Example transcription:
“OK I want to tell you about a video that I saw on YouTube the other day. It starts with a goldfish. Does anyone have pet fish? What do you call the glass thing that you keep them in? Yes a tank, or a bowl.
Well, the goldfish in the video is in a bowl – not a tank. What room do you think we are in? Well I’m not 100% sure, but I think that we are in the kitchen. Yes – the goldfish is in his bowl, which is in the kitchen. What do you think he is doing? Tell me some things that goldfish do.
OK, he’s not eating and he’s not watching TV. He’s just swimming around, minding his own business.
Now what time of day do you think this is – day or night? It’s daytime. The kitchen is quite bright because it has a big glass window. It looks like it’s quite a nice day – the sun is shining outside.
Now, at this point, we have a visitor. A visitor comes into the kitchen through the window. Can you guess who or what the visitor is? Yes – how did you guess? A cat!
What do you think the cat wants? You think it wants to eat the goldfish? Well the cat has a naughty expression on its face. It’s moving slowly towards the goldfish. Its tail is in the air like a question mark and it’s licking its lips. The goldfish shows signs of panic.
The cat reaches the bowl, it licks its lips and gets ready for the kill. The goldfish looks terrified.”
But wait! Now something unexpected happens.“
- Ask students to put up their hands if they have seen the clip before. Use the ‘keep quiet’ gesture – put your finger to your lips and indicate that you don’t want them to say what happens at this stage.
- Put students into pairs or groups. Pair up/group together any students who have seen the video before.
- Speaking: Ask students to work together in their pairs or groups to decide what happens next. For students who have seen the clip before, tell them that their task if to find the language to describe what they know happens.
- Feedback: Ask a spokesperson from each pair or group to present their prediction or predictions to the rest of the class. Support students with their language production and write down all guesses on the board. For example:
* A dog comes in through the window and chases the cat away.
* The cat slips and falls into the water.
* The goldfish escapes in a boat.
- For each guess, tell students if they are hot or cold (hot = close to the answer; cold = not close). You can also use terms such as boiling, warm, freezing, getting warmer, etc.
- Show students the advert. They will see that the goldfish barks at the cat. Pause the clip at 00.30 and ask students to guess what the advert is for (answer = a language school).