This lesson is based on a moving short film called Last Minutes with Oden directed by Eliot Rausch about a dog who transformed his owner, and the theme of animals.
Language level: Upper-intermediate (B2.1)-Advanced (C1)
Learner type: All ages
Time: 90 minutes
Activity: Practising animal vocabulary and expressions, watching short film, speaking and writing
Language: Animal vocabulary and animal expressions
Materials: Short film, PowerPoint and discussion questions
Ask your students if they know any animal expressions or idioms in English. Next ask them if there are any expressions or idioms about cats or dogs in their language.
Show them the images in the PowerPoint presentation below and ask them to guess what expression or idiom each image represents. Explain any idioms or expressions they don’t understand. Ask your students if they are similar in their language.
Here are the idioms and expressions:
1. To let the cat out of the bag
2. Has the cat got your tongue?
3. While the cat’s away, the mice will play.
4. To set the cat among the pigeons.
5. To play cat and mouse.
6. Curiosity killed the cat.
7. To fight like cat and dog.
8. To be in the doghouse
9. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
10. To bark up the wrong tree.
11. To be as sick as a dog.
12. Let sleeping dogs lie.
13. Every dog has his day.
14. A dog is a man’s best friend.
Write a dog is a man’s best friend on the board, and ask them if they agree with this expression. Tell your students that they are going to watch a short documentary film which reflects this expression . Ask your students to look at this picture of the man and his dog in the film, and to predict what story the film will tell. Get feedback.
The film tells the story of how a faithful dog called Oden helped transform the life of a former drug addict and prisoner Jason Wood, and how Oden’s struggle with cancer finally came to an end.
Show the students the film and asks for their reactions. The film is very moving and emotive. Ask your students what the film’s message is.
Show your students the questions about animals in the Scribd document below, and ask them to discuss them in small groups.
Here is a link to Animal Aid where you can find and download loads of material and lesson plans related to animal rights, and another to the National Geographic education page which has a wealth of classroom resources.
I hope you enjoy the lesson.