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Look Up

Posted on September 29, 2014 by kierandonaghy

look up large

This EFL lesson is designed around a short film and poem by Gary Turk and the theme of isolation caused by the use of new technology. Students watch a short film with no sound and speculate about the story it tells, read a poem and discuss digital technology, social media and isolation.

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I would ask all teachers who use Film English to consider buying my book Film in Action as the royalties which I receive from sales help to keep the website completely free.

 

 

Language level: Upper Intermediate (B2) – Advanced (C1)

Learner type:Teens and adults

Time: 90 minutes

Activity: Watching a short film, reading a poem and speaking

Topic: Digital technology and isolation

Language: Vocabulary related to digital technology and social media

Materials: Short film and poem

Downloadable materials: Look up lesson instructions     look up poem

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Step 1

Tell the leaners they are going to watch but not hear, the first part of a short film and poem called Look up. As they watch they should try to work out what the film and poem are about.

Show the film and pause at 02:22.

 

“Look Up” by Gary Turk from Evelyne Noire on Vimeo.

Step 2

Pair the students and ask them to discuss what they think the poem and film is about.

 

Step 3

Hold a plenary session on what the students think the poem is about.

 

Step 4

Give the learners Part 1 of the poem and ask them to read it and see if they were correct. Help them with vocabulary.

Look Up Poem

 

Step 5

Now show the first part of the film again, but this time with the sound on.

 

Step 6

Ask the learners if they agree with the message of the first part of the poem.

 

Step 7

Tell the students they are going to watch, but not hear, the second part of the film. As they watch they should try to understand the story it tells. Show the film from 02:22 to the end.

 

Step 8

Put the students into small groups and ask them to try to reconstruct the story they have just seen.

 

Step 9

Ask one student from each group to summarise the story.

 

Step 10

Give the students Part 2 of the poem. Ask them to read it. Help them with vocabulary.

 

Step 11

Show the second part of the film again, this time with sound.

 

Step 12

Try to get the learners to discuss the message of the film. Tell them that the poet Gary Turk says his poem conveys how we might “miss out on many of the things life has to offer if we don’t ‘look up’ from our phones more often.”

Ask the students if they agree with the message.

 

Step 13

Pair the students and ask them to discuss the following questions:

  • Do you agree we are “a generation of idiots, smart phones and dumb people”?
  • Do you think social media is positive or negative in general?
  • What does Gary Turk mean when he says “give people your love, don’t give them your ‘like’”?
  • How can you “live life the real way”?

 

Step 14

Hold a plenary session based on the four questions.

 

I hope you enjoy this ESL 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 “Look Up

  1. Wonderful as always, Kieran!

    Fortunately for my sanity, I’m no longer in the kind of job where I have to use a coursebook. But if I were, I’d ditch it for Film-English 😉 !

  2. I’m not able to watch most of the vimeo videos on my computer,
    I’m really sorry for that because your lessons and videos are great.
    what can I do to solve this problem?
    thans a lot
    bye
    Vittorai

  3. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Thanks Kieran for sharing with us all these films dealing with important themes like social media, the youth sense of isolation and allienation.

  4. As usual a fantastic theme to deal with in English language classes. Activities are also fine. However, I think that the lesson plan might give some monitoring advice for teachers to be able to get the best out of your excellent material. I’m sure that both teacher trainers and inexperienced teachers would greatly appreciate this.
    Keep up the good work!

    • Hi Larry,
      Thanks a lot for commenting and for the kind words. I think the lessons are detailed enough as they are. They are intended for teachers who’ve got a bit of experience and know when and how to monitor.
      All the best,
      Kieran

    • Interesting, Eavan, and might be interesting to discuss in class which is better…

      But kind of hypocritical, I’d suggest, that it ends up on FB with 12m+ views, nearly half a million shares and 100,000+ “likes”, don’t you think?

  5. I am a fan of the site from Atlanta, Georgia, USA. I teach English to adults, mainly to Spanish-speakers at the Latin American Association. This film worked well with my upper-intermediate/advanced English class. I’m frequently surprised how much more language they can assimilate through the aid of film. It would have been difficult to generate this conversation with words alone – the film made a rich conversation possible. Thank you for finding these treasures and giving them an audience in my classroom and hundreds of others.

  6. I really appreciate your lessons. I am using them with mostly 6th grade students in a movie making seminar. The films you have, help the students understand that you must have something to say, before you make a movie. This one lead to wonderful discussion and hopefully some good movies based on some good poems.
    Thanks again!!

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  10. Great and inspiring lesson, thank you!
    Just one typo I noticed in the transcript of the poem – instead of

    We have a final act existence, a set number of days

    It should be

    We have a finite existence, a set number of days

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  13. Great video-lesson and also a great message. My sister is always on her phone when she`s with my family. Also a good lesson for this generation.

  14. Just tried this out with a group of strong intermediate ESOL learners in Cambridge. A debate errupted afterwards, generating loads of passionate and meaningful communication. Great stuff, thanks!
    To round it off I got the students writing comments for the youtube comments box under the video, reading each other’s and responding; it worked really well.

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