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My Favourite Animal

Posted on December 8, 2011 by kierandonaghy

This EFL lesson is based on a beautiful animated short film My Favourite Animal by Lara Lee ,  and another short promotional film for the World Wildlife Fund The World is Where we Live. The lesson practises animal vocabulary, listening and speaking.  It works particularly well with younger learners, but is also suitable for older learners.



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Language level: Pre-intermediate (A2) to Intermediate (B1)

Learner type: All ages

Time: 60 minutes

Activity: Listening and speaking

Topic: Animals and nature

Language: Animal vocabulary

Materials: 2 short films

Downloadable materials: My Favourite Animal lesson plan instructions     the world where we live slides


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Step 1 

As a warmer to introduce the theme of animals, tell your students they are going to do an animal A-Z. Ask one student to name an animal which begins with the letter A, then the next student has to name an animal beginning with the letter etc. until you’ve done the whole alphabet. Help students with more difficult letters.


Step 2

Ask your students what vocabulary they know related to different parts of animals. Elicit this vocabulary.

Pre-teach vocabulary which is the same for animals and humans. For example:

skin           leg          arms          head          face           ears          nose          mouth         eyes

Give some vocabulary which is used just for animals. For example:

fur          tail          mane          hoof          udder          fin          trunk          beak         wing         pouch


Step 3

Describe your favourite animal to your students using vocabulary in Step 2 but without naming the animal, they have to guess the animal. Put your students into pairs and tell them to describe their favourite animal without naming it.


Step 4

Tell your students they are going to listen to 3 children describing their favourite animals. Ask them to listen and write down the name of the animal and any words they understand which the child uses to describe the animal. Play the video with no images, so don’t turn the projector on. After listening ask your students to compare their answers.



Get feedback from your students. Students should mention some of the following information:

1. Nadia- a horse: a long nose, different colours, hoofs, mane, tail

2. Mia – a cow: black, white, brown, thin and round udders

3. Johnny- a kangaroo: does karate, hops, big ears, nose


Step 5

Now show the video to your students and ask them what they think of the children’s descriptions and the artist’s illustrations.


Step 6

Write  the following  question on the board:

If you could be an animal, which animal would you be?

Tell them to work in pairs and discuss the questions giving reasons for their choice.


Step 7

Ask your students the following question:

What have humans and animals got in common?

Put them in small groups and give them 5 minutes to discuss the question. After 5 minutes get feedback .


Step 8

Tell your students they are going to watch a short film which illustrates the similarity between humans and animals. Ask them to notice the connections between humans, animals and their environment in each of the clips.



Step 9

Get feedback, and then watch the film again, but this time pausing to show each of the 11 clips. Ask students to describe each clip and discuss its meaning.

Alternatively, you could show them 8 screen captures in the PowerPoint presentation below.


[slideshare id=15862972&doc=peopleanimalslides-130105014840-phpapp02]


Get feedback and ask what the message of the film is.

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

One-off payment

13 thoughts on “My Favourite Animal

  1. Very interesting. I’ll try this with students between A2 and B1 level.
    It’s the beginning of my lesson on poetry.
    We’ll start with this lesson then I’ll add an easy exercice about writing a poem about your favourite animal using
    I will also add an extract from Charlie Winston “My life as a duck”. (approach to The blue bird” Bukowski)
    The very easy creative poetry about animal will be the start that should lead me to a second document of yours “the blue bird” and how to use the animal to talk about your emotion. And how poetry is not only a question of rhymes but also images.
    I will then try to adapt “The man with the beautiful eyes” too.
    Thank you so much for this site which I’ve just discovered and which is a goldenmine !!
    all the best


    • Hi Stèphanie,
      Thanks for your kind comments, I’m really happy that you like the site. The ways you’re going to use the materials sound great, let me know how they work with your students, please.
      All the best,

      • Hi Kieran
        I let you know… in fact the sound for the animated movie “what is your favourite animal” is not that good and my pupils had pbl hearing properly what the kids were saying.
        Otherwise, they really enjoyed the video Blue Bird. Studying the real poem will be my last step. I’m so fond of Bukowski that I would like them to share my joy… but in vocational school poetry in esl is not that easy. ,o) But I’ll try thanks to you and your ideas.
        All the best.

  2. Beyond animals and body parts, this lesson was perfect for teaching “They are both…”, “They both have…”. It has worked really well with my students. Thanks so much for the help!

  3. Hi!
    Thank you very much for such a nice lesson plan. I will definitely try it with my students in the Czech Republic 😉

  4. Hi There,

    I would love to use this lesson plan with my younger high school students. However, the video is not available due to “privacy settings”. Is it possible to fix this error?

    Thank you for all of your work.

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