This EFL lesson is designed around a beautiful short film about Stephen Wiltshire, an artist who draws and paints detailed cityscapes. As a child Stephen was mute and did not relate to other people. When he was three he was diagnosed as autistic. At school his talent for drawing was recognised and encouraged.
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Language level: Intermediate (B1) – Upper-intermediate (B2.2)
Learner type:Teens and adults
Time: 60 minutes
Activity: Watching a short film, speaking and writing
Topic: Cities and autism
Language: Vocabulary related to cities
Materials: Short film and video
Downloable materials: stephen wiltshire lesson instructions
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Put your students in pairs and show the following drawings of cities. Ask them to discuss the following questions about the drawings:
Which cities are they?
Are there any landmarks or famous buildings you recognise?
What do you know about the city?
Have you ever been to this city?
Image source; http://www.stephenwiltshire.co.uk/
After 5 minutes get feedback from the whole class.
Ask your students the following questions:
What preparations did the artist make?
What kind of person do you think the artist is?
Tell your students they are going to watch a short film about the artists who created the drawings. Ask them to answer the questions in Step 2. Show the film and then get feedback.
Ask your students the following question:
What is special about Stephen Wiltshire?
Students may say that he has an incredible memory, they may also have understood that he is autistic. You may like to explain that he is an artist who draws and paints cityscapes, he is famous for his ability to paint cityscapes after having observed them briefly.
Ask your students what Stephen said at the end of the film. Elicit
Do the best you can and never stop.
This seems to be Stephen’s personal philosophy on life. Do they like this philosophy?
Put the students in pairs and ask them to discuss the following questions:
What do you know about autism?
Have you seen any films which have featured an autistic character?
Do you know any people who are autistic?
Tell your students they are going to watch a short video about the daily life of Stephen Wiltshire. As they watch it they should answer the following questions:
In what ways does Stephen behave in an autistic manner?
What does Annette, Stephen’s sister, say about his behaviour?
What are Stephen’s interests?
What does Annette think about her brother?
After watching the video get feedback from the whole class. Ask them how the video made them feel and what they think about Stephen.
Give students a link to Stephen’s website and ask them to read his biography, they should note five pieces of information about stephen which they find interesting.
I hope you enjoy this English language lesson.
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