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Posted on July 8, 2012 by kierandonaghy

This EFL lesson is designed around a short film Amar by Andrew Hinton which focuses on a single day in the life of a fourteen year-old Indian boy. Students practise talking about their present and past daily routines, and compare their routines with those of the boy featured in the film.

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

Learner type: All ages

Time: 90 minutes

Activity: Watching short film, speaking and writing

Topic: Daily routines

Language: Present simple, used to + infinitive and comparatives.

Materials: Short film

Downloable materials: amar lesson instructions


Step 1

Put your students into pairs and ask them to describe their daily routine to their partner. They should explain what time they get up, what they have for breakfast, what time they leave the house etc. Tell them to give as much information as possible.


Step 2

Now ask students to tell their partner about their daily routine when they were fourteen year-old. Give them an example such as:

When I was 14 I used to get up at 7 O’clock. I used to have cereal for breakfast. I used to leave the house at 8 O’clock and I used to have to catch 2 buses to school. I used to start school at 9 O’clock.

Encourage them to use the construction used to + infinitive


Step 3

Now ask each student to write 5 sentences comparing their partners present and past daily routine. For example:

Maria gets up earlier now than when she was a child.

Maria used to leave the house earlier when she was a child.

Maria has less homework now

Maria works much harder now.

Maria used to have more freetime when she was a child.

After students have finished their sentences, they should read them to their partner and their partner should say if they are correct or not.

Next get each student to read out a sentence about their partner to the whole class.


Step 4

Tell your students they are going to watch a short film about a single day in the life of Amar, a fourteen year-old Indian boy. As they watch the film they  should think how their daily routine is similar or different to that of Amar. Show the film.


Amar (all great achievements require time) from Pilgrim Films on Vimeo.


Step 5

Get students to write 5 sentence comparing their daily routine when they were fourteen with that of Amar. When they have finished they should compare them with their partner.


Step 6

Ask students the following questions about the film:

What adjectives would you use to describe Amar?

How does the film make you feel?

What do you think Amar’s ambitions are?

The title of the film in Amar (All great achievements require time). What does “all great achievements require time” mean?

After students have discussed the questions tell them that Amar is an excellent student who is top of his class and his ambition is to be a professional cricket player.


Give your students the following instructions.

Imagine that they are Amar. Write a composition desrcibing a typical day in your life and your feelings throughout the day.


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.



11 thoughts on “Amar

  1. Amazing film. It really highlights how much we take for granted in the West. Amar is an amazing boy with huge challenges in his life. And it looks like he will overcome them.

    • Hi Ruth, Thanks a lot for commenting. What I love about the film is that it tells us Amar’s story with no words, just a sereies of images and it doesn’t patronise him or his family. As you say, Amar is an amazing boy and there are million of children like him throughout the world. I’m really happy you enjoyed the film, Ruth. All the best, Kieran

      • I’m teaching a Winter course on learning strategies. I’ll be using the film to reflect on the importance of dedication and persistence. It should work well.

        • Hi Chris, Thanks a lot for commenting. I think the lesson would work reallly well as part of a learning strategies porgramme. Great idea! Let me know how it goes, please. All the best, Kieran

          • This is a follow up to the learning strategies idea. I used the “Amar” video and the first three conversation questions you suggested in our discussion about indirect learning strategies.

            After the students shared in pairs, I asked for comments from the entire group. Most of the adjectives they chose (determined, brave, helpful…)came from a video we had watched in a previous class.You’ll find the video at this link from It was great to see them make the connection.

            The “How does the film make you feel?” question brought this response from one student…”I feel bad, because Amar has so much more to do than I do and he still finds time to study,” while another said “I should stop complaining about my life and study more.” We all agreed that these feelings could be part of their motivation to arrange and plan their learning more intentionally. Most were able to empathisize with this.

            I used another Sesame Street video at the end of class: “Don’t Give Up” by Bruna Marz.

            Thanks again for your wonderful blog. I often use you as an example of generosity.

          • Hi Chris,
            The way you’ve adapted the lesson into your learning strategies lessons sounds fantastic! I’m really glad your students were able to emphatise with Amar and, maybe, learn something from him at the same time. You’ve chosen really nice videos! It’s great to know you find the blog useful, knowing other teachers and their students like the blog makes it all worthwhile. All the best, Kieran

  2. Pingback: A day in the Life of Amar: Reacting and Reflecting | ROSE BARD - Teaching Journal

    • Hi Rose,
      Thanks a lot for taking the time to comment and for your kind words about the lessons. I really like the way you’ve adapted the lesson, I’m sure your students enjoyed it. Your reflections on your teaching are really insightful.
      All the best,

  3. I just want to say thank you for your job. I taught this lesson ”Amar” today and I’m still touched by the results. I showed the video and asked my students “How does the film make you feel?” We spent one hour talking about how many reasons we have to be grateful for and how much space for improvement there is in our lives. Even the students that are more quiet and hesitant in participating wanted to share their thoughts. And when I came home at night I discovered that they spontaneously sent me messages to express how grateful they were for the class today. And here I am I’m doing the same thing right now. Thank you for this beautiful work. We, teachers and learners, need inspiration!

    • Hi Rosangela,
      Thanks very much for telling me this beautiful story. i’m so happy that you and your students got so much from the lesson, it’s great to know.
      All the best,

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