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Soar

Posted on January 25, 2016 by kierandonaghy

soar-film-english

This ELT lesson plan is designed around a delightful short film by Alyce Tzue titled Soar, and the theme of flying. Students listen to a description of a scene, visualise it, predict what is going to happen next, write a narrative, watch a short film and discuss it.

 

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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: Pre-intermediate (A2) – Upper Intermediate (B1)

Learner type: All ages

Time: 90 minutes

Activity: Listening to a description of a scene, visualising, predicting what is going to happen next, writing a narrative, watching a short film

Topic: Flying

Language: Vocabulary related to flying and planes, and present simple

Materials: Short film

Downloadable materials: soar lesson instructions

 

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Step 1

Write to fly on the board and ask your students to come up with as many things or animals that can fly.

 

Step 2

Elicit or explain different parts of a plane such as propeller, cockpit, wings, and fuselage.

 

Step 3

Tell your students you are going to read them a description of a young girl called Mara who builds model planes and tries to fly them. As they listen they should visualise the situation in as much detail as possible. Read aloud the following description:

“Mara is standing in a large green field. She winds the propeller on a red and white model plane she is holding. She throws the plane into the air. At first the plane soars high, but suddenly it dips and crashes to the ground. Mara looks very disappointed. She walks to a table in the field which is covered with the blueprints for her model planes. She sits down and studies one of the blueprints, and the wind almost blows the blueprint away. Mara sighs and rests her head on a hand, and is very unhappy. All of a sudden, something from the sky hits Mara on the head and lands on the table – it is a very small blue case.”

 

Step 4

Give students a minute or two to visualise your description.

 

Step 5

Tell your students they are going to watch the start of a short film in which they will see Mara. Their task is to compare what they see in the film with their visualisations.

Show the film until 00:55.

 

SOAR: An Animated Short from Alyce Tzue on Vimeo.

 

Step 6

Ask your students if the film was similar to their visualisations.

 

Step 7

Pair your students and ask them to speculate on what is in the blue case and what is going to happen next.

 

 

Step 8

Get feedback from the whole class on what they think is in the case and what is going to happen next.

 

Step 9

Tell your students they are going to watch the next part of the film. As the watch they should compare what they see with their predictions.

Show the film until 01:58.

 

Step 10

Ask your students what the mini-pilot wants to do. Elicit or explain that the mini-pilot wants to join his family’s armada which is quickly moving away.

 

Step 11

Put your students into small groups and ask them to write the rest of the film. Give them 10 minutes to write their stories about how the mini-pilot is going to join his family. Help students with vocabulary as necessary.

 

Step 12

Reorganise the groups so that there is a one person from each of the original groups in the new groups. Each person has to tell his/her group’s story to the rest of the new group.

 

Step 13

Tell your students they are going to watch the rest of the film and that their task to compare their narrative with the story the film tells.

 

Step 14

Ask your students what was in the small blue case.

 

Step 15

Ask your students to discuss the following questions:

  • Did you enjoy the film?
  • How did the film make you feel?
  • Does the film have a message?

 

Step 16

Hold a plenary based on the questions.

 

Homework

Give your students a link to the film, ask them to watch the film and write a detailed description of everything that happens in it.

 

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

 

 

13 thoughts on “Soar

  1. As always, another extraordinary lesson plan from Film English 🙂

    Many thanks to Kieran Donaghy and all those amazing artists out there for their astonishing work!

    Have a wonderful week people!

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  3. Hi Kieran,

    Fabulous lesson as usual. I’m happy to say I finally got a copy of your book Film in Action – bravo! I was excited to buy it for the activities/lesson plans (I know DELTA always does a good job with that) but I was equally impressed with the kind of lit review and rationale for using short film – if I could go back in time and do my MA TESOL again, I’d change my dissertation topic to film/multiliteracies in a heartbeat, very interesting and timely topics. Anyways, keep up the good work!

    • Hi William,
      Thanks very much for commenting and for the kind words about Film in Action. I’m very happy that find the book useful. Could I ask a favour? Would you mind writing a short review of the book on Amazon? All positive reviews help 🙂 Thanks a lot.
      All the best,
      Kieran

  4. Great activity. I used this in two different levels. First was a B1 and it went really well and my students were able to take the writing activity and make it their own with the knowledge they already possess. With a higher level, C1, it was a hit! They created amazing stories while predicting the ending of the story! Thank you!

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  6. Well just did this lesson with my Yr5/6 class (Pongkawa Bay of Plenty New Zealand) They loved it. I have wanted to this for a while but my data projector was stuffed so now we can see the screen its great. Shared with other two teachers in Yr5/6 and they are going to do it tomorrow. Great discussion around further learning

    Students could write a dialogue between Mara and mini-pilot.
    Introduce and practice use of direct speech.

    Take screen shots of parts and put into sequence and write dialogue or description of what happened in that scene underneath.

    What happens next?

    Where did the mini pilot and his family travel from and why?

    Going to use the photo or present one next week.

    Very exciting

    Laurie Bonsor and Room 5.

    Just setting up blog and website so will email link with some pics of kids working on some of these projects next week:))

    • Hi Laurie,
      Thanks a lot for commenting and for your kind words. I’m really happy you and your students like the lesson so much. I like your ideas and look forward to seeing the photos of the class!
      All the best,
      Kieran

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