Post navigation


Posted on September 19, 2012 by kierandonaghy

This EFL lesson is designed around a short film by Ruairí Robinson called Blinky and the theme of robots and technology. Students talk about robots and technology, and watch a short film and a TV commercial.

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

Learner type: Mature teens and adults

Time: 60 minutes

Activity: Watching a short film and TV commercial, and speaking

Topic: Robots and technology

Language: Can/can’t + infinitive, second conditional

Materials: Short film and TV commercial

Downloable materials: blinky lesson instructions


Step 1

Ask your students the following question:

If you had a robot what would you get it to do?

Put them in pairs and ask them to come up with as many ideas as possible.

After five minutes get feedback from the whole class.


Step 2

Tell your students they are going to watch the start of a short film about a robot called Blinky.

Tell them they should answer the following questions as they watch the film:

According to the TV commercial what three roles does Blinky play?

How does the boy feel when he sees the commercial?

What do we know about the boy’s parents?

Show the film until 01:00 and then get feedback from the whole class.


Blinky™ from Ruairi Robinson on Vimeo.


Step 3

Ask students what they think is going to happen in the film. If necessary give them some prompts such as:


Are his parents going to buy him Blinky?

How will Blinky be his servant, helper and friend?

What games will they play together?

What will happen to the boy’s parents? Will they get on better?


Step 4

Show the film until 08:00 and get students to see how accurate their predictions were.


Step 5

Put students in pairs and ask them to retell the story so far .

You may like to ask how and why the boy’s feelings towards Blinky have changed.


Step 6

Put your students in pairs and ask what they think is going to happen in the rest of the film.

After five minutes get predictions from the whole class.


Step 7

Now show the rest of the film. A word of warning: the end of the film is quite disturbing.

After watching the film ask them waht they think of the end.


Step 8

Ask your students the following questions:

Do you think a robot like Blinky will exist soon?

What are the advantages and disadvantahes of this kind of robot?

Do you think the end of the film is possible in the real world?


Step 9

Ask students if they have heard about Asimo the Honda Robot. If students don’t know tell them that Asimo is a sophisticated humanoid robot developed by Honda.  Tell students they are going to watch a short commercial made in 2006. As they watch the commercial they should notice what Asimo can do. For example, Asimo can climb stairs.

Show the commercial and then get students to compare their answers.



Give students a link to the Asimo site, and ask them to find five interesting things about Asimo.


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.


4 thoughts on “Blinky

  1. Hi, Kieran!
    I have used this lesson today with my students. They enjoyed it a lot and even watched it twice. At the end of the class, I asked them to have their homework done in class using their cellphones to find out information about Asimo.

    Thank you so much for posting such amazing lessons!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>