Here is a simple activity from my new book Videotelling (to be launched in June). Ask students to find a funny animal video on YouTube. They should then describe it without saying what the animal is. They can give it a human name if they like (I have referred to my mystery animal as Doris).
- Language level: A2 +
- Learner type: Teens; Adults
- Time: 25 minutes + homework
- Activity: Videotelling; Creating a ‘talking head’ video
- Topic: Animals on YouTube
- Language: Present narrative tenses
- Materials: Video + text
Lesson plan outline
Note that a more detailed description of the lesson plan is offered in the PDF file which you can download above.
- Show students the video in which I describe a mystery animal. Ask them to listen carefully and guess what the mystery animal is. Play the video two or three times if necessary.
- Give out copies of the video transcript (this is included in the PDF file above).
- Invite students to listen to the video a second time and read the text as they do so. Ask them again to guess what the mystery animal is.
- Show students the following video. They will see that Doris is a rabbit.
- Give students the following homework task: Choose a funny video on YouTube which involves an animal. Describe it but don’t say what the animal is. You can give the animal a human name if you like. This can be a written composition. Or you can make a video like the one that you saw.
- Draw attention to language items in my transcript that will be useful for this task (see PDF lesson plan for ideas).
I want to tell you about a video on YouTube
And it involves a mystery animal and we’re going to call her Doris
And in this video Doris is enjoying some raspberries
And they look great
They look delicious – really juicy
And Doris is really enjoying these raspberries
And the funny thing about this video is that as she eats the raspberries her lips get bright red
And it looks like she’s wearing lipstick
Bright red lipstick
All around her mouth
And she’s got no idea
She’s just an animal so it probably makes no difference to her anyway
But her lips are getting bright red
She looks like an aristocratic woman
With bright red lips
It makes me laugh
Anyway that’s Doris and the raspberries
And you’ve got to try and guess what kind of animal Doris is
Please note that if you want young students to create videos:
- You must get parental permission.
- It will work better if they film themselves at home outside the classroom.
- If they are going to share their videos online (Vimeo, YouTube, etc.) you must also get parental permission. Students should also select the privacy options that the video-sharing sites offer.