Teaching idea - rooms in films

In this step we’ve given you the next part of the video from Step 2.6 - revealing the girl character’s room. How close is it to the space you imagined? How accurate were you in the dimensions, furniture and decor? Did anything surprise or puzzle you? As discussed in Week 1, a short film ‘reveal’ can serve a useful teaching technique to create interest and intrigue.

The sequence where the girl runs up the stairs into what we see is her bedroom, could lead us to focus on how the camera determines the way we see the room. Watch the sequence again and note where the camera is, what different angles and perspectives we are given. What can you see from each position? What can’t be seen, for example, from under the bed? This sort of questioning in the target language with learners begins to raise their awareness of the camera and how it determines our understanding of a scene.

Activity

The activity for this step is to draw a plan - an overhead diagram - of the room as you now see it, and annotate it in your target language. Rooms as seen in films are quite difficult to reproduce, especially if they have been filmed in lots of short shots. But trying to draw or plan a room in a film is an intriguing challenge for learners, and one that can be carried out in a target language. Attach your plan to padlet.

Teaching Idea

In addition, we’ve attached a sample resource devised by a teacher for her classroom that focuses on the room in this film. There’s a scaffolded writing activity, in the form of a ‘cloze’ activity, and a quiz, for pupils to check their understanding of the key vocabulary. This resource is in French but can be adapted for any language. Have a look at this resource. What else might you ask learners to do in response to the short sequence at the beginning of the film? Post some ideas in the comments section.

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This video is from the free online course:

Short Film in Language Teaching

The British Film Institute (BFI)

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