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Narrative and story building

We continue to practise present tense descriptions, but now we develop them into longer narratives.
Image of Muriel Huet in the classroom supporting learners with language learning
© British Film Institute

In the previous two steps, we looked at how sequencing shots and filling in ellipses might encourage language production. In this step we take things a little further and discuss how to enable learners to build longer sequences of narrative based around combinations of shots.

Teaching Ideas

Attached to this step you’ll find a couple of worksheets for use in your classroom. The worksheets are differentiated but have the same principle, which is to support learners in creating longer pieces of narrative – either spoken or written. The first worksheet asks learners to stick some stills in the spaces provided on the Shots in Sequence – Sequencing Sheet (ensure stills are same size as boxes) and asking learners to create a sentence in the present tense that describes what is happening in the still.

The second resource is called Ellipsis and Narration Activity and offers a more structured activity with similar principles, but which makes greater language demands on learners.

Both worksheets are intended to help learners build up a full story, step by step, and a story that will most probably be different for each group (especially if you are using stills from a film they are yet to see). Adapt and try the worksheets with your pupils if you can.


For this activity, you are welcome to try out one, or both of the worksheets. But the main point is for you to consider whether these activities would work in your classroom context, and what kinds of language production and language focus you would aim for. How would you prepare a group to use them? Would you differentiate between groups in the same class? How would you progress this activity over time? Add any comments to the comments section.

© British Film Institute
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Short Film in Language Teaching

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