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Today I Rise

Posted on June 6, 2016 by kierandonaghy

today-i-rise

This ELT lesson plan is designed around a short film commissioned by Blaze of Grace,  and themes of women and triumph over adversity. In the lesson students watch a short film with no sound and try to work out its meaning, read a poem and discuss its meaning, and watch and read a poem.

 

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Language level: Intermediate Upper(B2)  – Advanced (C1)

Learner type: Teens and adults

Time: 90 minutes

Activity: Watching a short film, reading a poem, and speaking

Topic: Women, and triumph over adversity

Language: Abstract nouns, poetic language

Materials: Short film, poem and video

Downloadable materials: today i rise lesson instructions     today i rise poem

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Step 1

Tell your students they are going to watch but not listen to a short film. As they watch they should think of any words which come to mind to describe the film.

Show the film with the sound turned off.

 

Today I Rise from Blaze of Grace on Vimeo.

 

Step 2

Pair your students and ask them to compare their reactions to the short film.

 

Step 3

Hold a plenary discussion session based on the following questions:

  • What do you think the film is about?
  • How does the film make you feel?

 

Step 4

Tell the students you are going to show the film again, but that this time you are going to pause at each segment and ask them to describe what they see and feel. Show the film again, pause at each segment and ask them to describe what they can see and how it makes them feel. Help them with vocabulary as necessary.

 

Step 5

Put your students into small groups and ask them to discuss what they think the message of the film is.

 

Step 6

Hold a plenary discussion based on the meaning of the film.

 

Step 7

Tell your students that the short film is part of a poem and that that they are going to read the words of the poem. Give them the poem and ask them to read it. Tell them to try to get the general meaning of the poem and not to worry about any vocabulary they don’t understand. You may like to explain that Kali is a Hindu goddess.

 

Step 8

Pair your students and ask them to compare their understanding of the poem and help each other with vocabulary.

 

 Step 9

Hold a plenary discussion on the meaning of the poem.

 

Step 10

Tell them they are going to watch and hear the film. As they watch and listen, they should consider how the images and words work together. Show the film with the sound on.

 

Step 11

Ask for your students’ reaction to how the images and words work together.

 

Step 12

Tell your students you are going to play the film again, but this time you are going to pause at each segment, and ask them how the images and words work together. Play the film.

 

Step 13

Ask your students to discuss what they think the message of the film is.

 

Step 14

Tell your students that the short film and poem would seem to be inspired by the poem Still I Rise by Maya Angelou which is about the centuries of mistreatment and oppression of black people, and about the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. Show the video of Maya Angelou reciting the poem and ask them to consider what similarities there are between the two poems. After the viewing, help them with vocabulary as necessary.

 

 

Step 15
Hold a plenary discussion session on the similarities between the two poems and their messages.

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

4 thoughts on “Today I Rise

  1. Wonderful. Thanks for this! I’ve used many of your lessons as well as adapted them to suit my class.

    I have a request, you may have seen this, but who else could make a killer lesson out of it but you.

    I hope you like it and hope you find it “FilmEnglish” worthy.

    All the best.
    Miguel

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCioHPN_QqI

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