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Taking Pictures

Posted on January 18, 2016 by kierandonaghy

taking-pictures

This ELT lesson plan is designed around a short film by Simon Taylor titled Taking Pictures and the theme of photos. Students learn and practise vocabulary related to photos, describe a photo, listen to a description of a photo, and talk about photos.

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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: Elementary (A1) –Pre-intermediate (A2)

Learner type: Teens and adults

Time: 60 minutes

Activity: Learning and practising vocabulary related to photos, describing a photo, listening to a description of a photo, and talking about photos

Topic: Photos

Language: Present continuous and vocabulary related to photos

Materials: Short film

Downloadable materials: taking pictures lesson instructions

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Step 1

If you have a projector or smartboard in your classroom show a photo you have taken to your students and describe it in as much detail as possible.

 

Step 2

If your students have mobile phones ask them to show and describe a photo to a classmate.

 

Step 3

Write “picture” on the board and tell it is a synonym for a photo. Ask them what words and expressions they know related to photos. Try to elicit or explain vocabulary such as:

to take a photo/picture, to print a photo/picture, to develop a photo/picture, a camera, a lens, a flash, a selfie, to zoom, to focus,

 

Step 4

Pair your students and divide each pair into ‘watchers’ and ‘listeners’. Tell them the watchers will see a short film titled Taking Pictures and the listeners will sit with their back to the screen, and listen to the soundtrack.

 

Tell the watchers that they are you going to watch a short film and they should observe the scene very carefully, and try to remember as much as they can.

 

Tell the listeners that they should listen to the soundtrack, try to imagine what is happening and think of questions to ask the watchers about what was shown in the film. The listeners should either sit with their back to the screen or, if this is not possible in your classroom, close their eyes.

Play the film.

 

Taking Pictures (Animated Short Film) from Simon Taylor on Vimeo.

 

Step 5

Both students now face each other. The listeners ask their questions about what happened in the film. The watchers give as much information as possible about the events in the film.

 

Step 6

When the pairs have completed their interviews, play the short film again. The listeners confirm or correct what they understood of the events, as described by the watchers.

 

Step 7

Ask your students to discuss the following questions about the film in small group:

  • Did you like the film? Why? Why not?
  • How did the film make you feel?
  • What words would you use to describe the film?

 

Step 8

In pairs ask your students to imagine and write the first conversation between the man and the woman. Give them 10 minutes to write their dialogues. Walk around the class and help students with vocabulary as necessary.

 

Step 9

Invite students to perform their dialogues at the front of the class.

 

Step 10

Dictate the following questions:

  1. How often do you take photos?
  2. Do you use a camera or mobile phone to take photos? Why?
  3. What do you take photos of?
  4. Where do you keep your photos?

 

Step 11

Ask students to compare the questions they have written. Check they have the correct questions. Drill the pronunciation of the questions.

 

Step 12

Students discuss the questions with their partner.

 

Step 13

Hold a plenary discussion session based on the 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

18 thoughts on “Taking Pictures

  1. Hello! Thanks again and again for your wonderful films and lesson plans. You’re doing a great job. And I don’t feel guilty anymore, since I’ve just bought your book. I’m sure it’ll be a GREAT help. I’m looking forward to receiving it home (in a little village near Barcelona). Thanks thanks thanks!

  2. Thanks for the film English lesson plans, I really enjoy these lesson plans with my students, especially your choice of a short film is so interesting. Every time I receive an email, I eagerly open the short film to see what you choose this time. I really enjoy using it in my ESL classroom. Thanks a lot for sharing.
    I have a question, How I could share film English on my blog?

    • Hi Aayesha,

      Thanks a lot for getting in touch and for the kind words 🙂 I’m very happy you like the lessons so much. If you want to share Film English on your blog, just put a link to the site and add a short description.

      All the best,

      Kieran

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  5. This is the best web site I’ve ever seen! Thank you so much. I will try this plan tomorrow and I’m so excited 🙂

  6. Hi Kieran,
    I have to join the queue of people thanking you for this great lesson. I find it particularly useful in PET preparation classes, as the speaking paper of PET includes describing a picture.
    Plus all my adult students love to share their photos with their classmates.
    Thanks again, I look forward to reading your book.

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