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The Present

Posted on February 1, 2016 by kierandonaghy

the-present-film-english

This ELT lesson plan is designed around a moving short film by Jacob Frey titled The Present and the theme of teenagers. Students practice adjectives related to character and teenagers, watch the start of a short films, write a narrative and discuss the film.

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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) –Intermediate (B1)

Learner type: All ages

Time: 90 minutes

Activity: Practising vocabulary, watching a short film, prediciting the ending of a film, and speaking

Topic: Teenagers and disability

Language: Adjectives to describe character

Materials: Short film

Downloadable materials: the present film instructions

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Step 1

Divide the class into an even number of groups. Tell half of the groups that they have to come up with positive adjectives to describe character; the other groups have to come up with negative adjectives to describe character. Give them 10 minutes to come up with their adjectives.

 

Step 2

Pair students so that there is one member of the group who came up with the positive adjectives and a member of the group who came up with the negative adjectives in each pair. Their task is to compare their adjectives and to try to match the positive adjectives with a negative adjective. If they have not got the opposite of an adjective, they should try to supply it.

 

Step 3

Get feedback from the whole class, and write up the most common positive and negative adjectives.

 

 Step 4

In their pairs ask your students to discuss the following question:

What adjectives are normally used to describe teenagers?

Encourage students to use both positive and negative adjectives.

 

Step 5

Hold a plenary discussion on the question.

 

Step 6

Tell your students they are going to watch a short film in which they see a teenage boy. As they watch they should think of adjectives to describe the boy and his behaviour.

Show the film until 02:41.

The Present from Jacob Frey on Vimeo.

 

Step 7

Get feedback from the whole class on the boy’s character and behaviour.

 

Step 8

Show the film until 02:41 again. Ask them to summarise the story the film tells.

 

Step 9

Ask students to predict the rest of the film.

 

Step 10

Tell your students they are going to watch the rest of the film. As they watch they should compare their ending with what they see in the film.

 

Step 11

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

  • Was the ending surprising?
  • How does the film make you feel?
  • Has your opinion of the boy’s character changed?
  • Does the film have a message?

 

Step 12

Hold a plenary discussion based on the questions.

 

Homework

Students write a composition based on the point of view of the mother or the boy.

 

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

29 thoughts on “The Present

  1. Thank you very much for the film. It’s so inspiring and I’m sure the lesson will be interesting to my pupils.
    I’m from Serbia. I have been following your films and lesson plans for a while and I have tried some of them. They went well with my students.

  2. I saw this short film over the weekend and I immediately thought, I’m sure Film English will do something great with this one … and you did! Keep up the good work

  3. I will try this one out today, with my 9th graderes in Norway. We are working on adjectives at the moment, so this was perfect. Thanks!

  4. A few days ago I read a piece of news about a little girl without one arm who has a three legged puppy… And now I see this! Fantastic! I think I’ll try to combine both for my next lesson with a teenage student.

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  7. Hello from Spain!

    It just so happens that I gave a lesson using this film only a couple of weeks ago and the response was very positive. It’s great to see other teacher’s using the same materials. Very encouraging!

    I will try to use your LP with teenagers & see how they react…

  8. Pingback: Short films | Pearltrees

  9. Hello, it’s really exciting! learn lenguage + learn love and care! I’m sure that such kind of films, activities and blogs will affect on the whole mankind in a positive way.
    Thanks a lot.

  10. Dear Kieran,
    Your lesson plans are great and so useful! I’ve tried on my 7th graders (age 13/14) here in Sweden and the resaults were amazing! I have students who have been studying English since the age of 7 and students who have only studied it for a few years – and everything in between – (all together in the same groups), and when working like this, all the students have a possibility to understand words, text and the film. Love it! And they love it too!
    Thank you so much for sharing!
    All the best,
    Maria

  11. Hello:

    Thank you very much for your lessons. As soon as I can I am going to buy your books and use them. I was taught to always help when I can. I have a B.A. in English Literature and I´m also a Therapist.
    So my goals are to earn a living as well as providing pro bono services. I live in a luxuriouss residential area, but I have to make a living. There is a town in my area where there are public schools and I intend to work there and promote your books.
    Fortunately, I can go to the British Council and use their services.
    This, as well as working free lance in companies and private classes are my goals for next year.
    If I succeed in my plans, I will let you know the students response to your films. I{m also interested in using some Mexican films so that , as they say, in the marketing world; I can tropicalize it.
    I graduated with honors, and I am also writing a book for teaching English at companies. I would like your permission to incorporate your idea of using film .
    Best regards,

  12. I teach a mixed level class of teens from all over the world and am always looking for interesting and thought-provoking ideas that everyone can access. This video and lesson plan qualifies! Thank you so much for a well-staged plan. I’m buying your book. A great website which I’ll keep visiting. Thank you!

    • Hi Beth,
      Thanks a lot for taking the time to comment and for the kind words; I’m very happy you like the site so much.
      Thank you too for buying the book; I hope you like it 🙂
      All the best,
      Kieran

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