Monday, 5 November 2012

Videotelling Lesson Plan

Guinness Record

Language Level: Pre-Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate (A2-B1)
Learner Type: Young teens to adults
Time: 45 minutes
Topic: Guinness Record Breakers; unusual people; social exclusion; empathy
Language: Superlatives; present narrative tenses; various vocabularies

Preparation, materials and equipment

1. For this activity you will need to stream “Smallest man meets woman with longest legs.” From YouTube. (
2. Decide how you are going to show the video to the class.

Part 1: Introduction

1. Tell the class that you watched a visually interesting video on Youtube. Get the students to speculate on what they think the video might be about.

Part 2: Visualisation

1. Tell the class that you want them to use their imagination to visualize what you tell them.

Say the following:

“I want you to imagine that you are in central London, in a famous place called Trafalgar Square.

What sights, sounds and smells do you imagine?

There are many people going about their business (concept check “going about their business”) although it is a grey, dull day. The sky is full of clouds and it is threatening to rain. (concept check “threatening to rain”) In the background of the video there is an old, traditional building (concept check “traditional”) with Roman pillars at its front entrance. Inside the building there are many famous paintings. (What do you call a place where art is displayed?-art gallery)

What do you think the atmosphere is like in an art gallery?

On the roof of the art gallery there is a flag pole with a British Union Jack fluttering in the breeze (concept check “fluttering in the breeze”) In the foreground of the picture there are some very steep steps (concept check “steep”) and there are two people standing on the steps. The first person is an extremely peculiar woman.

What do you think is peculiar about her?

Then tell students that a part of the ladies body is too long; students speculate again. Once they have guessed that it’s the woman’s legs, move on) She’s a very fashionable (concept check “fashionable”) lady.

What clothes do you think this fashionable lady is wearing?

She’s wearing a fashionable blue party dress and gold high heel shoes. (Concept check “high heel shoes”) She is standing with her hands on her hips. (Concept check “hands on hips”)

Why do people sometimes stand with their hands on their hips? (elicit “to pose”)

Her hair is fashionable. In fact, it looks like she has been to the hairdressers that afternoon.

What hair style do you think she has? Describe it.

She has short, blonde hair and she must use lots of hairspray. (Concept check “hairspray”)

2. At this point ask students to summarise orally what they know about the video already in pairs. (speaking for 1 minute without stopping)

3. Continue the story: I told you at the beginning that there were two people standing on the steps. Let me tell you about the second peculiar person. He is standing between the ladies legs.

What do you think he looks like?

He is tiny. (ask students if they know what name is given to abnormally small people – dwarf) He’s wearing unusual (concept check “unusual”) green boots. The kind of boots with a pointed toe that one Santa’s helpers would wear. (Get a student to draw what they think the boots might look like on the board.) He’s also wearing a blue and gold traditional Chinese male suit and he has spiky (concept check “spiky”) hair like a punk. (concept check “punk”) An audience (concept check “audience”) has formed around the foot of the steps and people are taking photographs. Even a policeman has stopped for a nosey (concept check “nosey”)

4. At this point, tell the students that the dwarf is holding a large book, and many people are taking photos of him and the lady.

Write the question on the board:

What book do you think the dwarf is holding and why?

5. Feedback and write any emergent language on the board.

6. The dwarf is holding the Guinness Book of records as he is the world’s smallest man and the lady has the world’s longest legs.

7. Now show the video to the class.

Follow up 1

Students can write a first person narrative account of a day in the life or either the woman or the man.

Follow up 2
For higher level students introduce the concepts of isolation and loneliness and get them to write a pessimistic diary entry in 10 minutes. For homework they could write a diary entry from an optimistic point of view.

Follow up 3
The lady and the dwarf go for a drink after the photo shoot. Students write a role-play of their conversation.

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