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ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on Children's Movies

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The 50 must-see children’s films


Date: Jul 21, 2005

Level: Harder (Try the easier lesson.)

Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening

Audio: (2:01 - 237.7 KB - 16kbps)

THE ARTICLE

The British Film Institute (BFI) has released a list of 50 movies that are a must-see for under-14-year olds. The list was compiled from a survey of more than 70 eminent movie critics, who were asked to submit their ten most recommended children’s movies from around the world. The result is an eclectic array of familiar Hollywood blockbusters, such as ET and Toy Story, and more obscure releases such as Where is the Friend’s House, an Iranian movie released in 1987. The film that came top of the pile is Hayao Miyazaki’s 2001 movie Spirited Away, which won an Oscar for best animation. Five of the top ten movies are not in English.

The BFI wants to encourage parents and schools to treat film as a serious scholastic subject, on a par with literature and art. It also highlights the fact that films are a part of children’s heritage and are something that people passionately care about. The top-50 list is intended to promote the movies that children should see rather than those they shouldn’t. The BFI website points out that: “most public debate about children’s film viewing focuses on protection rather than entitlement.” The website also notes some shortcomings of the list: “Points of possible contention include…the relative lack of cultural diversity and the preponderance of boys as central characters.”

Source: http://www.bfi.org.uk/education/events/watchthis/

WARM-UPS

1. CHILDREN’S MOVIES: This is a list from the British Film Institute of the top ten recommended children’s movies. Talk about the list and the movies. Are there any children’s movies that are not on the list that should be?

  • Bicycle Thieves (Italy - 1948)
  • ET (US - 1982)
  • Kes (UK - 1969)
  • Spirited Away (Japan - 2001)
  • Toy Story ( US - 1995)
  • Les Quatre Cents Coups (France - 1959)
  • Show Me Love (Sweden/Denmark -1998)
  • Where is the Friend's House (Iran - 1987)
  • The Night of the Hunter (KUS - 1955)
  • The Wizard of Oz (US - 1939)

2. QUICK DEBATE: Students A think the word “movie” is best. Students B think the word “film” is best. Change partners often.

3. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words are most interesting and which are most boring.

Movies / must-sees / top-ten lists / Hollywood / obscure movies / ‘ET’ / ‘Toy Story’ / ‘Spirited Away’ / literature / children’s heritage / boys as central characters

Have a chat about the topics you liked. For more conversation, change topics and partners frequently.

4. KIDS’ MOVIES: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with kids’ movies. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

5. SCHOOL CURRICULUM: In pairs / groups, rank the following subjects that may be introduced into the curriculum for fourteen-year olds. Put the most important subject at the top.

  • Movies
  • Internet Studies
  • Sexual Equality
  • Racism Studies
  • World Religion
  • The History of Art
  • Bible / Koran / Torah / etc. Studies
  • Basic Cooking
  • Personal Finance
  • Sexual Health

Change partners and compare your rankings.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

A children’s Internet site has listed 50 all-time great kids’ movies.

T / F

b.

More than 70 eminent film critics helped compile the list.

T / F

c.

All of the movies are Hollywood blockbusters.

T / F

d.

All of the movies are in English.

T / F

e.

It is suggested that movies should be part of the school curriculum.

T / F

f.

Movies are a part of children’s heritage.

T / F

g.

The list is largely about protecting children from bad influences.

T / F

h.

Girls are the central characters in most of the movies.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

a.

must-see

dispute

b.

compiled

distinguished

c.

eminent

heap

d.

eclectic

failings

e.

pile

diverse

f.

scholastic

equal

g.

on a par

essential viewing

h.

shortcomings

prevalence

i.

contention

academic

j.

preponderance

put together

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

a.

a must-see

array of…

b.

a survey of more than 70

children’s heritage

c.

The result is an eclectic

with literature and art

d.

and more obscure

eminent movie critics

e.

top of

shortcomings of the list

f.

on a par

the pile

g.

films are a part of

for under-14-year olds

h.

The website also notes some

of cultural diversity

i.

Points of possible

releases

j.

the relative lack

contention include…

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words in the column on the right into the correct spaces.

The 50 must-see children’s films

The British Film Institute (BFI) has _______ a list of 50 movies that are a must-see for under-14-year olds. The list was _______ from a survey of more than 70 _______ movie critics, who were asked to _______ their ten most recommended children’s movies from around the world. The result is an eclectic _______ of familiar Hollywood blockbusters, such as ET and Toy Story, and more _______ releases such as Where is the Friend’s House, an Iranian movie released in 1987. The film that came top of the _______ is Hayao Miyazaki’s 2001 movie Spirited Away, which won an Oscar for best _______. Five of the top ten movies are not in English.

 

 

submit
animation
eminent
released
obscure
pile
compiled
array

The BFI wants to encourage parents and schools to _______ film as a serious scholastic subject, on a _______ with literature and art. It also highlights the fact that films are a part of children’s _______ and are something that people passionately _______ about. The top-50 list is intended to _______ the movies that children should see rather than those they shouldn’t. The BFI website points out that: “most public debate about children’s film viewing focuses on protection rather than _______.” The website also notes some _______ of the list: “Points of possible _______ include…the relative lack of cultural diversity and the preponderance of boys as central characters.”

 

 

promote
treat
shortcomings
heritage
par
contention
entitlement
care


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘movie’ and ‘critic’.

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the gap fill. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. STUDENT “KIDS’ MOVIES” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about children’s movies.

  • Ask other classmates your questions and note down their answers.
  • Go back to your original partner / group and compare your findings.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

6. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • released
  • eminent
  • world
  • obscure
  • pile
  • English
  • treat
  • heritage
  • promote
  • debate
  • shortcomings
  • preponderance

DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

  1. What was your initial reaction to this headline?
  2. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  3. What do you think of compiling a list of must-see movies?
  4. Are you surprised five of the top ten are not in English?
  5. Have you seen or would you like to see the four movies mentioned in the first paragraph?
  6. How have kids’ movies changed over the years?
  7. Do you prefer Hollywood kids’ movies or non-American ones?
  8. Does your country produce wonderful children’s movies?
  9. Do you think girls will ever overtake boys as the movie hero?
  10. What was the first movie you saw at the cinema?

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. What did you think about what you read?
  3. What is your favorite kids’ movie?
  4. Don’t you think children would become fat if they watched 50 movies?
  5. What makes a good children’s movie?
  6. Do you think children’s movies are getting better?
  7. Would you prefer to see more kids’ movies that have real people in them rather than computer graphics?
  8. Do you think movies should be studied at school?
  9. Do you think movies are an important part of a child’s heritage?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

AFTER DISCUSSION: Join another partner / group and tell them what you talked about.

  1. What question would you like to ask about this topic?
  2. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  3. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  4. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  5. What did you like talking about?
  6. Do you want to know how anyone else answered the questions?
  7. Which was the most difficult question?

SPEAKING

MOVIE CENSOR: You are a censor for children’s movies. In pairs decide on the kinds of scenes (listed below) that are appropriate for 12 – 14-year olds.

 

SCENES

 

 

ZERO

 

 

ONE OR TWO SHORT SCENES IS OK
 

 

EVERY 10 MINUTES IS OK

 

SAME AS ADULT MOVIES

 

Kissing

 

 

 

 

 

Blood

 

 

 

 

 

Shooting with guns

 

 

 

 

 

Foul language

 

 

 

 

 

Nudity

 

 

 

 

 

Views of dead bodies

 

 

 

 

 

Sex scenes

 

 

 

 

 

Violence

 

 

 

 

 

Scenes of drug use

 

 

 

 

 

Scenes depicting homosexuality

 

 

 

 

 

Scenes of bullying

 

 

 

 

Change partners and share what you discussed earlier.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

The 50 must-see children’s films

The British Film Institute (BFI) has ________ __ _____ of 50 movies that are a must-see for under-14-year olds. The list was compiled from a survey of more than 70 ________ movie critics, who were asked to submit their ten most recommended children’s movies from around the world. The result is an _________ ______ of familiar Hollywood blockbusters, such as ET and Toy Story, and more ________ releases such as Where is the Friend’s House, an Iranian movie released in 1987. The film that came top ___ ____ _____ is Hayao Miyazaki’s 2001 movie Spirited Away, which won an Oscar for best ___________. Five of the top ten movies are not in English.

The BFI wants to encourage parents and schools ___ ______ _____ as a serious scholastic subject, on __ ____ _____ literature and art. It also highlights the fact that films are a part of children’s _________ and are something that people passionately care about. The top-50 list is _________ __ promote the movies that children should see rather than those they shouldn’t. The BFI website points out that: “most _______ ______ about children’s film viewing focuses on protection rather than ____________.” The website also notes some shortcomings of the list: “Points of possible contention include…the relative lack of cultural diversity and the _______________ of boys as central characters.”

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information on the British Film Institute and children’s movies. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. MY FAVORITE: Make a poster on your favorite children’s movie. Provide a summary of the story and highlight what makes it great for kids. Show your poster to your classmates in your next lesson.

4. LETTER: Write a letter to the head of the British Film Institute. Tell him / her what movies you think are missing from the top-50 list and why you think they should be included. Read your letter to your classmates in your next lesson.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. F

d. F

e. T

f. T

g. F

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

must-see

essential viewing

b.

compiled

put together

c.

eminent

distinguished

d.

eclectic

diverse

e.

pile

heap

f.

scholastic

academic

g.

on a par

equal

h.

shortcomings

failings

i.

contention

dispute

j.

preponderance prevalence

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

a must-see

for under-14-year olds

b.

a survey of more than 70

eminent movie critics

c.

The result is an eclectic

array of…

d.

and more obscure

releases

e.

top of

the pile

f.

on a par

with literature and art

g.

films are a part of

children’s heritage

h.

The website also notes some

shortcomings of the list

i.

Points of possible

contention include…

j.

the relative lack

of cultural diversity

GAP FILL:

The 50 must-see children’s films

The British Film Institute (BFI) has released a list of 50 movies that are a must-see for under-14-year olds. The list was compiled from a survey of more than 70 eminent movie critics, who were asked to submit their ten most recommended children’s movies from around the world. The result is an eclectic array of familiar Hollywood blockbusters, such as ET and Toy Story, and more obscure releases such as Where is the Friend’s House, an Iranian movie released in 1987. The film that came top of the pile is Hayao Miyazaki’s 2001 movie Spirited Away, which won an Oscar for best animation. Five of the top ten movies are not in English.

The BFI wants to encourage parents and schools to treat film as a serious scholastic subject, on a par with literature and art. It also highlights the fact that films are a part of children’s heritage and are something that people passionately care about. The top-50 list is intended to promote the movies that children should see rather than those they shouldn’t. The BFI website points out that: “most public debate about children’s film viewing focuses on protection rather than entitlement.” The website also notes some shortcomings of the list: “Points of possible contention include…the relative lack of cultural diversity and the preponderance of boys as central characters.”

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Copyright © 2005 by Sean Banville