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Alike

Posted on February 27, 2017 by kierandonaghy

This ELT lesson plan is designed around a short film titled Alike by Pepe School Land. In the lesson students practise using alike, adjectives to describe character and routines, watch a short film, predict how the film will end and speak about the film.

The lesson won the British Council teachingEnglish Blog Award for February 2017.

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Language level: Intermediate (B1) – Upper Intermediate (B2)

Learner type: Teens and adults

Time: 60 minutes

Activity: Watching a short film, predicting the end of a story, and speaking

Topic: Daily routines, work and school

Language: Alike, adjectives to describe character and routines

Materials: Short film

Downloadable materials: alike lesson instructions

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Step 1

Write the following sentences on the board.

 

  • I’m like my brother.
  • My brother and I are alike.

 

Elicit or explain that the two sentences mean the same thing, but that we use like followed by another person, while we using alike goes at the end of a sentence or clause and is proceeded by the two things, places or people which are similar.

 

Step 2

Giving them another example about yourself such as:

My daughter and I are really alike; we’re both quite shy and introverted.

Ask them to write a true sentence about themselves and a member of their family using alike.

 

Step 3

Get your students to explain their sentences to their partner.

 

Step 4

Tell your students they are going to watch a short film titled Alike in which they see a father and his son. As they watch they should notice in what ways the father and son, and their lives are alike. Show the film until 04:55

 

Alike short film from Pepe School Land on Vimeo.

 

Step 5

Get students to compare their answers and then hold a whole class discussion on how the father and son, and their lives are alike.

 

Step 6

Ask your students the following question:

What problem does the film illustrate?

Try to elicit that the film illustrates a common problem in society where parents and children are overworked and have to do mundane and monotonous tasks which kill their creativity and love of life. You might like to tell them at this stage that the father is called Copi and his son Paste.

 

Step 7

Ask your students how colour is used in the film. Elicit or explain that drab whites and greys are used to represent boredom and monotony, that the son is a vibrant orange, the father a bright blue but that he loses his colour when he is at work and regains his colour when he is with his son, and that the only other bright colours in the film are the green park, brown and orange tree and the pink violinist.

 

Step 8

Tell your students that the father and son are going to regain their colour. Put them into small groups and ask them to predict the rest of the story.

 

Step 9

Ask a member of each group to say how they think the father and son regain their colour and how the film is going to end.

 

Step 10

Show the rest of the film.

 

Step 11

Put your students into pairs and ask them to discuss the following questions:

  • How does the film make you feel?
  • What’s the film’s message?
  • Does the film accurately reflect society?

 

Step 12

Hold a whole class discussion based on the questions form the previous stage.

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.

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10 thoughts on “Alike

  1. I think that this video reflects a sad reality that is lived around the world today. Excellent teaching

  2. Hello Kieran,
    OK… I’m in tears. I loved the film! Thanks very much for posting it. I will try to use it when I teach future tenses, which will be soon, I hope!
    Best regards,
    Liana – Athens, Greece

  3. Really nice lesson, my students loved it!

    An interesting follow-up to the question “What’s the film’s message?” is to show some comments from the youtube video (I copied some and pasted them to an IWB ahead of time to avoid inappropriate language). Some of the comments were similar to what students had said, and others took the discussion off in very different and interesting directions. With more time it would’ve been nice to get students adding their own comments too.