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The Notebook

Posted on February 13, 2015 by kierandonaghy

the notebook

This EFL lesson is designed around a beautiful short film by Greg Gray and the theme of household chores. Students learn and practise vocabulary related to household chores, talk about household chores and watch a short film.

film_in_action_thumbnail

 

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Language level: Pre-intermediate (A2)- Intermediate (B1)

Learner type: Teens and adults

Time: 60 minutes

Activity: watching a short film, speaking and writing

Topic: Household chores

Language: Household chores

Materials: Short film

Downloadable materials: the notebook lesson instructions

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Step 1

Write “household chores” on the board. Elicit or explain that they are tasks or duties that have to be done regularly at home such as cleaning and cooking.

 

Step 2

Pair your students and ask them to think of as many household chores as they can. Ask them to use the gerund form, for example, washing up.

 

Step 3

Write the chores the students mention on the board.

 

Step 4

Write the following verbs on the board:

Do

Make

Take

 

Step 5

Ask your students to connect as many of the chores they mentioned as they can with one of the verbs.

 

Step 6

Go through typical collocation such as:

 

Do the cooking, the cleaning, the washing, the washing up, the dusting.

 

Make the bed, breakfast / lunch / dinner, a snack, a cup of tea / coffee.

 

Take the trash / rubbish out, take the dog for a walk.

 

Step 7

Put your students into small groups. If your students are children or teenagers ask them to discuss the following questions:

 

What household chores do you do?

Do you think you should do more?

 

If your students are adults ask them to discuss the following questions:

What household chores did you use to do when you were a child?

Do you think you should have done more?

 

Step 8

Get feedback from the whole class on what chores they do or used to do.

 

Dial Direct “The Notebook” directed by Greg Gray from Velocity on Vimeo.

 

Step 9

Get feedback from the students and try to elicit the following chores:

mopping, doing the washing, doing the cooking, looking after a toddler, doing the cooking, doing the washing up, making a bed, taking out the trash, doing the washing, hanging out the washing, doing the ironing, watering the plants, sweeping, feeding the dog, tidying a room, putting away toys, doing the vacuuming, and taking the dog for a walk.

 

Step 10

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

Why is the boy doing the household chores?

What is he writing in his notebook?

After the students have discussed the questions get feedback from the whole class.

 

Step 11

Tell the students they are going to watch the film again and while they watch think about the two questions. Show until 01:39.

 

Step 12

Ask the students to answer the two questions.

 

Step 13

Tell the students they are going to watch the film again, but this time they are going to see a little more of it. Show the film and pause at 01:45.

 

Step 14

Ask the students what the boy has written in his notebook. Elicit or explain that he has written the chores he has done, the time it has taken and the total time of 120 minutes. Ask your students why they think he has written this.

 

Step 15

Now show the film until 02:06 and ask the students if they were correct. Ask them what the boy says. Elicit or explain that he says “I’ve been saving you time so you can come to my play”, and that he did the tasks so that his busy mother would have time to come to see him act in his school play.

 

Step 16

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

 

How does the film make you feel?

How does the mother feel?

How would you describe the boy?

 

Step 17

Hold a plenary session based on the three questions.

 

Step 18

Tell the students that the film is actual an advert for an insurance company. Ask them if this changes the way they feel about the film.

 

Homework

Ask the students to write a composition from the perspective of the mother or the boy on what happened in the story and their emotions.

 

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

36 thoughts on “The Notebook

  1. I really liked this lesson and the video as well. By the way, what is the name of the song? And the Singer´s name? I liked it a lot. Thank you!

  2. We’re often caught up in the dynamics of ensuring our teaching is as effective as possible. BUT we’re part of a team of educators and the reduced classroom situation is something unique at least, and probably a bit special. Great to be reminded about what’s important.Nothing to do with the fact that I’m a crazy working mum in my spare time…

    Keep up the good work

  3. it was such a great lesson . i plan to do it in my kids batch as well. so that the such values like dignity of labour, senstivity,and many more can be instilled in them.

  4. I like the bit I’m able to see, but for some reason all three of the videos I’ve tried to watch stopped after less than a minute. Am I the only one that is having this problem? I can watch other videos on youtube without any problem, so I don’t understand where the problem is. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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  9. Hello, I am so glad to watch the movie. this movie was very nice.Thank you for your this movie lessons. I really appreciate it. I have learn a lot of things from this movie, this way of learning seems to me very effective Kieran teacher, I wish you keep it more, people know it more, learn more more not only English language,hidden meaning of movie Good luck

  10. Hi,
    this lesson is great! I’m looking forward to use it in my classes. It teaches so much more than household chores. It’s amazing.

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  14. Thank You! Some of my adult students, women, had a little cry 🙁 But young learners promised to help their parents in householding 🙂

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