Below you’ll find a collection of short films with little or no dialogue, and a few simple ideas for how they could be used. If you decide to use any of these films, why not let me know how you used it so we can share your ideas with other teachers. To read why I love to use shorts in my lessons, take a look at part one or two in the series.
A beautifully filmed illustration of simple words and their many meanings.
Ask the students to identify as many of the words shown as possible. After they have identified all the words, show the film again and ask them to make a note of all the different ways the words can be used. Some of them are very simple, some are very advanced so there’s something for all levels.
The Page Turner
Surely the most pointless invention ever…
Ask the sts “If you could have one invention to make your life better, no matter how small, what would you have?” The students could then design their inventions on paper and share them with each other.
Idea 2: A simple idea, but the students describing what’s happening in this video, using the present continuous and then after the past simple, is always useful.
Max dreams of being King, but maybe it’s not as good a job as he thinks.
Before showing the film, ask students to identify their dream job and why they would love to do it. After showing the film and discussing what happens to Max, ask them to look at the downsides of their chosen job. They can then look at the pros and cons and decide whether they still want to do it or not.
Train of Thought
A man looks for love on a railway platform.
Ask the students to write a ‘thought script’, a script for the characters thoughts to accompany the film.
A giant robot attacks the city.
Stop the video after the robot puts the man’s heart in his chest. Ask the students “how do you think his new heart will affect the robot’s behaviour?” After showing the rest of the video ask them “What do you think should happen to the robot now? Should he be punished or could he be rehabilitated?”
It’s time to face up to the boss from hell.
Idea: This video could make a great prelude to a business class about management techniques.
Pub Dog A dog who will do anything to get his hands on some crisps.
Idea: Ask the students if they have any more ideas to help Pub Dog get his crisps. What else could he have done?