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The Black Hole

Posted on June 3, 2011 by kierandonaghy

man black hole

This EFL lesson is designed around an award-winning comedy short film called The Black Hole directed by Philip Sansom and Olly Williams, and the themes of black holes, money and greed.

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Language level: Intermediate (B1) – Upper-intermediate (B2.1)

Learner type:Teens and adults

Time: 90 minutes

Activity: Watching a short film, practising money expressions and speaking

Topic: Black holes, money and greed

Language: Money expressions and second conditional

Materials: Short film, two PowerPoint presentations and discussion questions

Downloadable materials: the black hole lesson instructions     black holes     money expressions     money discussion questions

 

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Step 1

Write up Black Holes on the board and ask your students what they are and what they know about them. Get feedback and give students this definition:

“Black holes are regions of space where gravity is so powerful even light cannot escape their grasp. They can form when stars many times more massive than the Sun burn out and collapse in on themselves.”

 

Step 2

Ask your students what they imagine black holes look like, then show them these artists’ illustrations of black holes.

 


Step 3

Tell your students that they are going to watch a short film called The Black Hole . However, the black hole in the film is not in space. Show your students this still from the film.

 

Ask them what they think the film is about, what story it tells and what images they expect to see.

 

Step 4

Show the students the film and ask them to compare their answers in Step 3 with what they see in the film.

 

Step 5

Get feedback from your students. Ask them what the message of the film is. Students will probably say that the film is about greed and how it can make you irrational. Ask your students this question:

What would you do if you had a black hole like the one in the film?

 

Step 6

Show your students these images which all represent expressions using money. They should try to guess the expressions.

The expressions are:

1. Money doesn’t grow on trees.

2. Money makes the world go around.

3. Money is the root of all evil.

4. Money is power.

5. Money can’t buy you happiness.

6. The money’s burning a hole in his pocket.

7. That’s money down the drain.

8. She spends money like water.

9. She’s rolling in money.

10. She’s made of money.

 

Step 7

Show your students these discussion questions about money and greed , and ask them to discuss them in small groups.

Money Discussion Questions

 

I hope you enjoy this English language lesson.

Support Film English

Film English remains ad-free and takes many hours a month to research and write, and hundreds of dollars to sustain. If you find any joy or value in it, please consider supporting Film English with a monthly subscription, or by contributing a one-off payment.

Monthly subscription

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16 thoughts on “The Black Hole

  1. The topic of money is a very important one. I like the video you chose and the exercises you made, thanks for sharing. I think that my lessons will be better with your help.

  2. Another solid lesson, Kieran. Do you have a link to the images in step 6, or am I missing something? Thanks.

  3. EXCELLENT! All of it. You would hear a pin drop with my seventh graders. Great genre for boys. Actually, I think I’ll call my 16 year old son to watch and write another story about a black hole like this. Fab.

    • Hi Aisha,
      Thanks a lot. I’m really happy the lesson worked well, and that your students enjoyed it.. I thought it would work well with younger learners. I hope your son likes it!
      All the best,
      Kierna

  4. Pingback: Extending horizons | Tigana

  5. Honestly, these lesson are wonderful. Thank you dearly for providing such a invaluable resource for teachers. My students are loving them, and they provide such a great oppotunity for them to think outside the box.

    Mike in Thailand.

    • Hi Mike,
      Thanks a lot for your kind comments, I really appreciate them. I’m really happy that you find the resources useful and that your students enjoy them so much, great to hear. thanks for your support.
      All the best,
      Kieran

  6. Pingback: Slideshow: Proverbs And Sayings About Money | English QT

  7. Hi Kieran,
    Another very nice lesson thank you.
    Liz

    PS I thought others might like to know that I extended the lesson by adding in a part on abstract nouns. I basically got to the end of your lesson and then directed them back to some of the nouns contained in the money expressions (happiness, power, evil) and went on from there.

  8. Thank you for this lesson. I tried it with an Advanced class, using the topic of money as a discussion point for new/ recycled vocab, and also with a weak Intermediate class, where I went straight into a personalised activity to practise 2nd conditional “If I had a black hole, I would….” It worked better with the latter – more structure, and they were more stretched by the material. Thanks again!

  9. Great lesson plan, thanks. I’m going to use it as a set-up class another class on movie reviews. Many thanks 🙂
    PS. you should considering adding a Flattr button to your website!

  10. Thanks for this! I used it during a winter camp for gifted and talented students and it generated some interesting discussion, as well as teaching them lots of expressions about money.

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