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The Reader

Posted on February 18, 2015 by kierandonaghy

the_reader_gold_star

This EFL lesson plan is designed around a moving short film commissioned by Bells and directed by Greg Gray. In the lesson students write a narrative, watch a short film and discuss literacy strategies.

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

Learner type: All ages

Time: 90 minutes

Activity: Writing a short story, watching a short film, and speaking

Topic: Reading and literacy

Language: Narrative structures

Materials: Six screenshots and a short film

Downloadable materials: the reader lesson instructions     the reader screenshots

 

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Step 1

Put your students into small groups. Tell them they are going to write a story titled The Reader.

 

Step 2

Give them the document with the six screenshots from a short film. Tell them the screenshots are taken from a short film and are in chronological order. In their groups invite them to imagine what story the film tells, and to write a naarative based on the title of the film and the six screenshots. Walk around the class and provide help with language as necessary.

the_reader_bookshop

the_reader_literacy_class

the_reader_library

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the_reader_book

the_reader_father_son_closeup

 

Step 3

When they have finished writing their narrative, each student explains their story to a member of a different group.

 

Step 4

Ask one person from each group to read out their narrative to the rest of the class and invite comments.

 

Step 5

Now show the film. The students compare their narratives with the story told in the film.

 

Bells “The Reader” directed by Greg Gray from Velocity on Vimeo.

 

Step 6

Discuss the film and ask your students to speculate on the relationship between the father and his son.

 

Step 7

Tell your students they are going to watch the film again. This time their task is to try to notice what strategies the old man uses to improve his speaking. Show the film again.

 

Step 8

Get feedback from the class and go through the strategies they noticed. The strategies they mention will probably include:

  • attending adult literacy classes
  • learning the sound of each letter
  • playing scrabble
  • having a literacy tutorial
  • using flash cards
  • reading words on a menu
  • reading picture book
  • writing the name of objects on posits notes and putting them on the objects
  • reading words on a food packet
  • reading comics
  • going to a library
  • borrowing library book
  • spelling words with a magnetic alphabet
  • spelling words with alphabet soup

 

Step 9

Ask your students the following questions:

Have you used any of the strategies to help you learn a language?

Would you use any of the strategies to learn a language?
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

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13 thoughts on “The Reader

  1. Pingback: Lesson Materials | Pearltrees

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  5. Thanks again, Kieran. This worked very well this morning. Lots of issues to discuss from the video (illiteracy, motivation, relationships between educated children and their less educated parents, experiences of learning languages/learning to read etc.). I donated again last night and I just want to thank you sincerely for all your hard work- it’s really, really appreciated. I’d be absolutely lost without you and your brilliant lessons. I’ll donate again soon. Thank you.

  6. It looks like it´s easy to do in class and the screenshots are perfect for visual literacy. As Eavan mentioned- lots of interesting topics to discuss. And also a fantastic piece for speaking and writing skills. This clip could also be used as a great intro leading up to a Reading exercise.

    John Ware

  7. Pingback: Short films | Pearltrees

  8. thank you so much for sharing this lesson and all the others. very helpful. i used it ic class and it was a success. i got my students to write. they were really involved in writing though previously diong writing exercises was not their cup of tea. thanks again

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