This lesson is designed around a funny short film by Gavin O’Grady and the theme of dogs and their owners.
Language level: Upper-intermediate (B2.1) – Advanced (C1)
Learner type: Teens and adults
Time: 60 minutes
Activity: Watching a short film, speaking and writing
Topic: Dogs and their owners
Language: Vocabulary related to dogs, expressing dislike
Materials: Short film
Downloadable materials: the emancipation of prince lesson instructions
Write dog lover on the board. Ask students what they think it means. Ask them in what ways dog owners may show their love for their dogs.
Show your students the picture of the dog below
Ask them the following questions:What breed is it? (Chihuahua) What do you think the character of this dog is? What type of a person owns a Chihuahua? Step 3 Tell your students they are going to watch a short film about the relationship between the dog, Prince, and his owner. Explain that in the film Prince talks in voice-over about his relationship with his owner who he hates, but that they are going to watch the film with no sound. As they watch the film they should imagine what Prince is saying. After they have watched the film they should work with a partner and write a transcript of what Prince says. Give students 10 minutes to create their transcripts. After 10 minutes put each pair with another pair and ask them to explain their transcript to their partner. The Emancipation of Prince – a short film directed by Gavin O’Grady from Forever on Vimeo. Step 4 Ask each pair to read out their transcript.
Now show the film with sound and ask students to compare their transcripts with the film’s.
You might like to explain some of the more difficult vocabulary and expressions:
to loathe – to hate
to drive to despair – to make someone desperate
contempt – a lack of respect
to long for – to really want
flawless – perfect
The last line of the film is:
“If at first you don’t succeed …..”
Tell your students, that this is the start of a common English proverb, ask them what they think the second part of the proverb is.
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again.”
Ask them if they agree with the proverb.
You might like to give them the complete proverb written by W. E. Hickson:
‘Tis a lesson you should heed: Try, try, try again. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.’
I hope you enjoy the lesson.