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The Other Pair

Posted on March 30, 2016 by kierandonaghy

the_other_pair-film-english

This ELT lesson plan is designed around a short film by Sarah Zorik titled The Other Pair and the themes of altruism and empathy. Students watch a short film, write a story, and speak about a story.

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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: 60 minutes

Activity: Watching a short film, writing a story, and speaking about a story

Topic: Empathy and altruism

Language: Vocabulary related to shoes, narrative tenses

Materials: Short film

Downloadable materials: the other pair lesson instructions

 

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Step 1

Ask your students to come up with as many different types of shoes as they can in 2 minutes.

 

Step 2

Elicit boots, trainers, slippers, flip-flops, etc.

 

Step 3

Tell your students they are going to watch the first part of a short film about a pair of shoes. As they watch they should try to answer the following questions:

  • What’s the time? – 11.55
  • What type of shoes is the poor boy wearing? – flip-flops
  • What is the boy trying to do with his shoes? – to repair them
  • Why does he stare at the other boy? – because the other boy’s shoes are beautiful
  • How is the poor boy feeling? – perhaps he’s envious of the other boy’s shoes
  • What happens to the other boy’s shoe? – it falls off as he gets on the train

Show the film until 03:05.

 

 

 

Step 4

Get your students to compare their answers, and then hold a plenary session based on their answers.

 

Step 5

Put your students into small groups. Ask them to predict the rest of the story. Give them 10 minutes to come up with their stories. Help them with vocabulary as necessary.

 

Step 6

Get a member of each group to read out their story and then discuss them.

 

Step 7

Tell your students they are going to watch the rest of the film. As they watch they should compare their narratives with the story the film tells. Show the rest of the film.

 

Step 8

Ask your students to discuss the following questions in pairs:

  • How does the film make you feel?
  • Can you think of any adjectives to describe the two boys?
  • Does the film have a message?

 

Step 9

Hold a plenary discussion based on the questions.

 

Step 10

Tell your students that the film is based on an event in the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Read out the story.

“As Gandhi was stepping aboard a train one day, one of his shoes slipped off and landed on the track. He was unable to retrieve it as the train started moving. To the amazement of the other passengers, Gandhi took off his other shoe and threw it back along the track to land close to the first shoe. Later a fellow passenger asked him, ‘Why did you do that?’ Gandhi replied, ‘The poor man who finds the shoe lying on the track will now have a pair he can use.’”

 

Step 11

Ask your students to discuss the story and its meaning.

 

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

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25 thoughts on “The Other Pair

  1. As always, a great lesson.
    Thank you so much for all the work you put into your lessons.

    I just have one comment about the title of the movie; allow me here to explain since I’m a native speaker of Arabic: it’s not by Farda Shemal. Farda Shemal is a phrase in Arabic and it means “the left shoe” the film is by Sarah Zrek.

    Again, thanks for sharing this lesson.

  2. Hello Kieran,
    I bought your book in December 2015. I’m starting to use it, no doubt it is rich with useful advice. One question: is it possibile to watch the short films you propose with subtitles for beginners or lower intermediate students? My Kinde regards
    Cinzia

    • Hi Cinzia,
      Thanks for commenting and for buying my book, much appreciated 🙂
      To answer your question, I’d suggest looking at YouTube and seeing if there are versions of the films with subtitles. i certainly don’t see any problem with using subtitles. I hope this helps.
      All the best,
      Kieran

  3. Hi Kieran! This film is so touching I had some of my students weeping! It’s also a good moment to revise vocabulary on different types of shoes, when do we wear them, which ones we don’t really find comfortable (flip-flops, for example). And it also leads to a great discussion about rich and poor, contrasts, what other ways of finishing the story are possible, think of different titles… Great, great lesson film. Thanks!

  4. Hello, Kieran!
    I used your lesson for my classes yesterday and kids liked it! They became involved and sympathized with the boys, even gave them advice while watching. At the end they told me that this story is a fiction, far from reality. When I told them it is based on a real life event they were surprised.
    Thank you so much for your work. It was my first time with your site.

  5. Hello Kieran,
    I find this video and the accompanying exercises very useful and very interesting.I am sure that my students will feel touched and will work on the different exercises wholeheartedly.
    Congratulations!

  6. Thank you for this lesson plan and the video, my students were really involved and when I asked them how they felt after watching the film, some of them answered “lucky” which I didn’t expect: they are 14 so I had imagined feelings like sad or happy- ok now I was touched!

  7. What a great lesson. I will be using this with my young students. I teach a lesson that could tie into this. I have pictures of many different shoes printed out. Groups get a picture at random and have to create a back-story for the owner of the shoe. Each group will present the back-story and then create a story about when that person wore those shoes for the first time.

    This video and lesson is great because it has a much deeper meaning. Thanks.

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