Silent Movies III, A New List

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.
Idea: 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…

Idea: 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.

Idea: 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.

Idea: Ask the students to write a ‘thought script’, a script for the characters thoughts to accompany the film.


A giant robot attacks the city.

Idea: 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?”

The Boss

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?


9 thoughts on “Silent Movies III, A New List

  1. Where DO you find these gems?! Can I have a note to my principal stating that I need time offf to work on incorportating these film? Please?
    I never imagined that you would get to part 3 of this series!
    Appreciate it!

  2. This is a great collection of resources James and some nice ideas to go with them too. I think I will make use of the 'page turner' with a class soon – a great lead in to getting them to come up with their own wacky inventions!

    I have used a few video shorts with my young learners, namely a series of animations based on the character from the 'Cut the Rope' series of games and also a few Mr. Bean clips. Like the videos you share above, they have no/not much dialogue allowing all levels of student to engage with them.

    Activity wise, we often do 'observation quizzes' for which they write quesitons like 'What colour was Mr Bean's car?', sequencing of events, 'live' commentary and writing stories based on the video.

    Thanks again for sharing!

  3. I really like the idea of a “thought script”, especially if it is role played after. It might even be done with little prep, by advanced learners. Watch a scene, pause and then students act out with dialog.

    I've written a lot about how to use these types of videos over the years. Highly recommend “Words” but most teachers shouldn't use the youtube version or they'll get a big surprise! There is one explicit image. I've edited it out and have the version on EFL Classroom 2.0. That's one tip I always try to impress on teachers – preview the whole video first!

    thanks for sharing your list James.


  4. Thanks for your comments everyone.

    Naomi – I'm glad to see you're enjoying the new set. I find them from a variety of sources but I know they're not easy to come across, so that's why I like to gather them together here for your pleasure and practical use!

    Dave – Thanks for the feedback, let me know what you do with Page Turner, I'd love to know.

    David – Thanks for pointing that out about 'Words'. I definitely agree that teachers should always check any material they intend to use before bringing it into the classroom. In fact, that's the reason I don't feel obligated to point out issues like this, as there are many different types of students and it's the teachers responsibility to ensure that problems do not arise. As someone who teaches adults that moment doesn't worry me at all, as an example.

    It would be great to be able to share your version. Could you leave a link here for us?

  5. I'm scrapping all my ideas and just showing your silent movies instead in my Youtube workshop tomorrow.
    Thank you so much for sharing these!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.