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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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
Language: Present continuous and vocabulary related to photos
Materials: Short film
Downloadable materials: taking pictures lesson instructions
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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.
If your students have mobile phones ask them to show and describe a photo to a classmate.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Invite students to perform their dialogues at the front of the class.
Dictate the following questions:
- How often do you take photos?
- Do you use a camera or mobile phone to take photos? Why?
- What do you take photos of?
- Where do you keep your photos?
Ask students to compare the questions they have written. Check they have the correct questions. Drill the pronunciation of the questions.
Students discuss the questions with their partner.
Hold a plenary discussion session based on the questions.
I hope you enjoy this ESL lesson.