Post navigation

We’ve All Been There

Posted on April 23, 2013 by kierandonaghy

we've all been there large

 

This EFL lesson plan is designed around a moving short film by Nicholas Clifford and the theme of empathy. Students write a story, watch a short film and speak about empathy.

Language level: Intermediate (B1) – Upper Intermediate (B2)

Learner type: Teens and adults

Time: 60 minutes

Activity: watching a short film, speaking and writing

Topic: Empathy

Language: Present perfect, narrative tenses and language connected with empathy

Materials: Short film

Downloadable materials:  we’ve all been there lesson instructions

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

 

Step 1

Tell students that you are going to explain a situation and that they should visualise the situation. Explain the following situation:

“You are an elderly woman driving a Mercedes through the Australian outback in the middle of nowhere. You realise that one of your tyres is flat. You stop the car and ring for assistance, but there is no cover so you wait inside your car. Suddenly, a Ford pick-up truck pulls up behind you; a large muscular man covered in tattoos gets out of the truck and walks towards you.”

Now put students into pairs and ask them to discuss the following questions:

How would you feel in this situation?

What would you do?

Next get feedback from the whole class.

 

Step 2

Now put students into pairs and ask them to discuss the following questions:

Tell students that you are going to explain another situation and that they should visualise the situation. Explain the following situation:

“You are a young 8-month pregnant woman who has just arrived at the restaurant where you work as a waitress. You have just received a letter from your landlord informing you that you owe $800 in rent; if you don’t pay this money you will be evicted from your house. You ask your boss for extra work so you can pay the rent, but your boss is really rude to you and refuses to give you any extra work.”

How would you feel in this situation?

What would you do?

Next get feedback from the whole class.

 

Step 3

Now tell students that the 2 woman appear in the same short film and that there is a connection between them. Put them into small groups and ask them to speculate about what the connection might be and what story the film tells. Ask each group to write a short story which connects the 2 women together.

 

Step 4

When students have finished their stories ask one student from each group to read out their story. Ask for comments on all the stories.

 

Step 5

Tell your students that you are now going to watch the short film. As they watch they should compare their stories with the story the film tells.

WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE :: Short Film from Truce Films on Vimeo.

 

Step 6

Ask students the following questions:

How does the film make you feel?

What’s the film’s message?

 

Step 7

Pause the film at 05:49 where we see the napkin with the words “Keep it all. We’ve all been there.” Ask students what it means. If they don’t know explain that it means that the elderly lady can understand and empathise with the young woman being in a difficult situation and so she wants to help her.

 

Step 8

Write “What goes around comes around” on the board. Tell students that this is a common English proverb; ask them to explain what it means. If they can’t explain, give them a definition such as:

 

“The results of things that one has done will someday have an effect on the person who started the events. “

 

Tell them that What Goes Around Comes Around is the title of the story on which We’ve All Been There is based. Ask them why they think the story has this title.

Put them into pairs and ask them to discuss the following question:

Can you think of any examples of the proverb “What goes around comes around” in your own life, in the life of other people or life in general?

 Follow up

  • Ask the students to imagine that they are the character and decide what will happen to him or her in the next ten years. Each students writes a paragraph in the first person, describing the next ten years of their character.  Set a time limit of 15 minutes.
  • Pair the learners to explain their character’s future in the first person, and the partner asks questions.
  • Hold a feedback session on the future of each character.

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

33 thoughts on “We’ve All Been There

  1. Loved the short film “We’ve all been there”.
    I think I’ll use the lesson you suggest very soon in one of my classes.
    Thank you!!
    Cristina

  2. I saw your site mentioned on the TESOL Facebook page. I visited and was so impressed! I plan to use this lesson plan with my Level 3/4 class next week. We just finished a lesson on idioms and proverbs, so this fits in perfectly. I can think of another idiom that fits here, too…”Play it forward.” Thanks for a great site.

  3. Great lesson plan, as usual. I was looking for ideas for something a bit lighter after my lessons on social conscience and the use of conditionals (what would you do if you saw someone…). So when I think of something more enjoyable for my students, I always end up here. And this lesson fits in so PERFECTLY! Thank you soooo much for all this great work and also for making me discover such gems.
    So sad I can’t attend the Image Conference in Barcelona.

    • Hi Marie,
      It’s a pleasure; I’m just happy other teachers find the lessons useful. Shame you can’t attend The Image Conference, it’s going to be a great event.Maybe next year!
      All the best,
      Kieran

  4. Pingback: April Round-up | Creativities

  5. Thank you Kieran for this wonderful lesson plan, and for the site in general.
    I used this lesson on Monday with my upper intermediate course. They loved it.
    I also used the film for a speaking practice using second conditionals:

    If I were the elderly woman I would feel….
    If I were the 8 month pregnant waitress I would….

    I’m a teacher and an actor, so I really love your site. It’s the perfect balance for cinema enthusiasts and EFL teachers!

    Thanks!

    • Hi Tom,
      Thanks alot for taking the time to comment and for your kind words about the site; one of the things I’m I’m trying to do with the site is to combine film ananlysis with language learning so you’v ehit the nail on the head there! Great ideas for using the second conditional.
      All the best,
      Kieran

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful short film! It brought tears to my eyes…:)
    I am a teacher student in Norway at the moment, but I will definitely use this film in my class when substituting and also during my practice periods! Thank you for the detailed lesson plan, too. This will be used.

  7. hello this is a very well planned lesson plan.but i wonder if you could tell me the approach or technique used in this plan?

  8. I am truly surprised with this website. Thank you so much for sharing all this material with us. Last night I spent hours going through all these lesson plans and I think they are all amazing. Tomorrow I’m gonna give it a go with this one in class, I’m sure it will be great!
    Thanks again!

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>