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Favourite Films

Posted on December 5, 2010 by kierandonaghy


This EFL lesson is designed around a fantastic animation called 35MM by German artist Pascal Monaco who has managed to represent a set of 35 of his and his friends’ favourite films in an unusual but fun way. Student practise vocabulary related to film, speak about their favourite films and use language of speculation and deduction.

Language level: Intermediate (B1) – Advanced (C1)

Learner type: Teens and adults

Time: 60 minutes

Activity: Practising film vocabulary, talking about favourite films and watching a short video

Topic: Favourite films

Language: Film vocabulary, film titles and verbs of speculation and deduction

Materials: Short video

Downloadable materials: favourite films lesson instructions


Step 1

Write genre on the board. Ask your students if they know what it means. If they don’t, tell them that it’s a formal way of saying type when referring to a film or book. Write thriller on the board and explain that this is a genre of film. Now put them in pairs and ask them to come up with at least 10 genres of film. Give students 5 minutes, then get feedback from the whole class and write the genres on the board.


Step 2

For each genre that you write on the board ask students to come up with an example of the genre. For example, next to thriller write The Silence of the Lambs. Give students 5 minutes and then get feedback from the whole class.


Step 3

Ask students to tell their partner about 3 of their favourite films of all time. They should mention the following things:  main actors, plot, genre and reasons why they like the film so much.


Step 4

Each student has to talk about one of their favourite films to the whole class.


Step 5

Show students this image.


Ask them what famous film they think this image represents. Students will hopefully identify the film as Jaws.


Step 6

Tell them they are going to watch a short animation in which 35 famous films are represented in just 2 minutes. Warn the students that it’s very difficult and that they should identify any films they recognise. Show the film.



Step 7

Encourage them to use language of deduction and speculation such as:

It may be …

It might be  …

It could be  …

It can’t be  …

It must be  …


Get feedback from the students about any films they recognise and compare answers. Show the film a second time and get more feedback.



Step 8

Show this video response to the original film in which we see the answers which a viewer gives. Play the video through the first time without stopping. On the second viewing pause for each film. Ask students if they agree with this viewer’s answers.



Step 9

Ask students how many of the films they have seen.

Here are my answers to the 35 films:

01. Singing in the Rain
02. Titanic
03. Jaws
04. Woodstock
05. Psycho
06. Carrie
07. The Gold Rush
08. The Wizard of Oz
09. Night on Earth
10. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
11. Hats
12. Gone with the Wind
13. Snow White
14. The Blues Brothers
15. Terminator
16. Star Wars
17. Pulp Fiction
18. Cross-eyed
19. The Omen
20. The Exorcist
21. North by Northwest
22. Toy Story
23. Fight Club
24. A Clockwork Orange
25. 24 Hours
26. Lost Highway
27. The Great Dictator
28. 9 weeks 1/2
29. Rear Window
30. Dogville
31. The Tin Drum
32. Nosferatu
33. Battleship Potemkin
34. Apollo 13
35. Easy Rider



Ask students to find out information about the films they don’t know. They should find out the genre, plot and main actors. In the following class they should talk about a film they didn’t know.


I hope you enjoy this English language lesson.

Film English is a labour of love, it takes hundreds of hours and thousands of euros a year to sustain and provide free English language lesson plans. Keeping it a free, clean, ad-free experience — which is important to me and, I hope, to you — means it’s subsidised by the generous support of readers like you through donations. So if you find any inspiration, joy and stimulation in these English language lessons or if they help you teaching English, please consider a modest donation — however much you can afford.


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