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Sidewalk

Posted on June 22, 2015 by kierandonaghy

sidewalk

This EFL lesson is designed around a beautifully animated short film written, directed and illustrated by artist Celia Bullwinkel titled Sidewalk that portrays a woman’s journey through the passage of time. In the lesson talk about the various stages of life and how we change physically and emotionally, watch a short film and describe how a woman changes through the course of her life.

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

Learner type: Teens and adults

Time: 60 minutes

Activity: Watching a short film, speaking and writing

Topic: Growing up and aging

Language: Stage of life, vocabulary related to bodies.

Materials: Short film

Downloadable material:  sidewalk lesson instructions

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Step 1

Put your students into small groups and ask them to discuss the following questions:

  • What changes do we experience as we go from a child to a teenager, a young adult, a middle-aged person and an old person?
  • What physical changes are there?
  • What emotional changes are there?

 

Step 2

Get feedback from the whole class and write up any useful vocabulary on the board.

 

Step 3

Pair your students and ask them to tell their partner about they experienced as they went from one stage of their life to another.

 

Step 4

Get feedback from the whole class.

 

Step 5

Tell your students they are going to watch a short film in which the various stages of a woman’s life are portrayed as she walks along a pavement (sidewalk in American English). As they watch their task is to notice physical and emotional changes.

Show the film.

 

Sidewalk from Celia Bullwinkel on Vimeo.

 

Step 6

Pair your students and ask them to tell their partner about the changes they noticed. Encourage them to use the vocabulary in Steps 1 and 2.

 

Step 7

Get feedback from the whole class.

 

Step 8

Tell your students you are going to show the film again, but this time you are going to pause at each stage of the woman’s life and their task is to say what each stage is , and what physical and emotional changes they notice and what the woman is feeling.

Show the film again, pausing to discuss each stage.

 

Step 9

Ask your students the following questions:

  • How does the film make you feel?
  • Does the film have a message?
  • How would the film be different if it were about a man?

 

Homework

Ask your students to write a description of how they have changed physically and emotionally as they have grown up.
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.

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16 thoughts on “Sidewalk

  1. Pingback: Movies and similar | Pearltrees

  2. I like your lesson plan so much. It is really useful for anyone being English teacher. However, could you please explain to me the rationale of step 9’s application?
    Thank you

    • Hi Tepmanop,
      Thanks for commenting and I’m happy you like the lesson. The rationale behind step 9 is quite straightforward: it’s to get a persoanl reponse to how the film affects them as a person and then to imagine how the film would be if it were about a man.
      Cheers,
      Kieran

  3. A great lesson plan and a wonderful film as always, Kieran.

    Just wondering if it’s the sort of thing that will go down best with a class of all or mostly women? (I can think of a particular group like that that I know who are going to love it!)

    • Hi Tom,
      I’m really happy you like the lesson. I think the lesson would work with both sexes, but a group of women may enjoy it even more 🙂 Please let me know how it goes.
      All the best,
      Kieran

  4. Maybe a follow up with a male version, from toddler to boy to rebel teen, to college student to dad to old man. Then if watched side by side, students can use the film and using comparisons and contrasts or maybe I will get my kids to discuss the differences on their own and do their own little real version for the men and record themselves with their phones. How fun would that be!!! Nonetheless as I said before I love it!!! I’ve forwarded it to all of my colleagues because it’s so great!

  5. Hey! The lesson plan seems to be really interesting! I’m to teach a middle-aged woman tomorrow morning. So I guess, she’s gonna love it!
    I’d also like to ask for some clues on the “useful vocabulary” I’d like to give it to her before she starts speaking
    Thanks a lot!

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