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Buster the Boxer

Posted on December 7, 2016 by kierandonaghy

buster

This ELT lesson plan is designed around a short advert commissioned by John Lewis, and the theme of animals and Christmas. In the lesson students revise animal vocabulary, watch a short film, predict the end of a story and speak about Christmas and Christmas traditions.
 

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Language level: Pre-intermediate (A2) – Upper Intermediate (B2)

Learner type: All ages

Time: 90 minutes

Activity: Watching a short film, speaking and writing

Topic: Animals and Christmas

Language: Vocabulary related to animals and Christmas

Materials: Short film and video

Downloadable materials: buster-the-boxer-lesson-instructions

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Step 1

As a warmer write A-Z on the board and ask your students to come up with an animal alphabet. Elicit an animal which begins with the letter “A”, such as “alligator”. Tell them to try to do the same for all the letters of the alphabet with a partner in 5 minutes.

 

Step 2

After 5 minutes go through their animal alphabets.

 

Step 3

Tell your students they are going to watch the start of a short film about Christmas. Before they watch the film dictate or write on the board the following questions:

  • What typical Christmas traditions do they know of?
  • If they celebrate Christmas in their country, what are the Christmas traditions there?
  • How do children normally feel on Christmas Eve?

Ask them to discuss the questions with their partner.

 

Step 4

Hold a plenary discussion session based on the questions from the previous stage.

 

Step 5

Tell them that as they watch the first part of the short film they should answer the following questions:

  • How does the young girl feel?
  • What is the father making?
  • What animals do they see?

Show the film until 01:25

 

 

Step 6

Go through the students’ answers to the questions. They may need help with the names of the following animals: fox; badger; squirrel; hedgehog.

 

Step 7

Ask your students if they like the film so far. Put them into small groups and ask them to predict what is going to happen on Christmas morning when the girl wakes up. Tell them the ending is surprising and that they cannot just say something obvious like “the girl goes into the garden and jumps on the trampoline.” Give them 5 minutes to come up with an interesting and original ending.

 

Step 8

Get a student from each group to explain what they think is going to happen.

 

Step 9

Tell your students they are going to watch the rest of the short film. As they watch they should compare their endings with the en one shown in the film. Show the film until 02:10.

 

Step 10

Ask your students what they think of the ending, and what adjectives they would use to describe the reaction of the girl and her parents.

 

Step 11

Now show the last part of the film pausing at the caption “John Lewis #BusterTheBoxer”.

Explain that the short film is an advert for the British department store John Lewis, and that the hashtag refers to the name of the dog, Buster, and its breed, a boxer.

 

Step 12

Ask your students if they still feel the same about the short film after finding out that it is an advert. Ask them to discuss the following questions:

  • How do they feel about this type of Christmas advert?
  • Do they feel manipulated by these types of adverts?
  • Do these types of adverts spoil the true spirit of Christmas?

 

Step 13

Hold a plenary session based on the questions from the previous stage.

 

Step 14

Ask your students to imagine how a Boxer dog watching the advert would feel.

Show them this video of a Boxer dog watching the advert.

 

 

Step 15

Ask your student how the video makes them feel.

 

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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14 thoughts on “Buster the Boxer

  1. great lesson for the Christmas period. and you’ve also given me an idea. have you seen the ad of the Polish man learning English? that could work well for the importance of languages and motivation. lots of prediction as to what’s in the box? why does he want to learn English etc etc
    Have a great Christmas with your family Kieran.
    Jean

    • Hi Jean,
      Thanks a lot for commenting. I’m really happy you like the lesson. Yes, I’ve already seen the Polish advert and am thinking of doing a lesson plan designed around it. Thank you for the seasons greetings. I hope you have a lovely Christmas and a very happy 2017.
      All the best,
      Kieran

    • fantastic lesson. I’m from Poland so I used both commercials for English lesson and asked students to compare both of them. As they differ in some way it was a great material for discussion.
      Thanks again.

  2. marvellous – thanks so much for doing this – lots of chatting about xmas customs generated – going to buy your book now:]
    thanks again & keep up the good work!

  3. Great site, currently making my way through each lesson and working to figure out how to use these with my only students next term. Thanks for the hard work!