Hey guys, I know that I have talked about Movie Talks before. I LOVE Movie Talks, and so do my students. Recently I came across a FANTASTIC clip suitable for a first-year class that you can use if you have never done a Movie Talk before and want to try one. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Fritz (Note: Thee image below is just a screenshot. If you want to play the video, click here.)!
Fritz is a Golden Retriever with a BIG problem. He can’t catch. In this video, his owner throws different foods at Fritz. Fritz tries to catch the food being thrown at him, but he fails miserably, getting hit in the head, chest, or nose with food such as tacos, hot dogs, steak, and pizza. Here is a rough outline of the lesson that I use with this video.
- I turn on the video and pause it when I have a good picture of Fritz (3 seconds in). Then I tell the students in the target language (TL) the dog’s name, describe the dog as being a big, blond, Golden Retriever (I don’t translate the breed name. It’s too complicated), say that he is wearing a scarf and what color it is, and describe what Fritz’s problem is (I translate any words my students need for comprehension on the board with the TL in one color and English in a different color).
- I play the video until students see the steak that Fritz’s owner is holding up. The I pause and tell the class in the TL that Fritz wants the steak, likes to eat steak, and that the boy will throw the steak. Then I play until Fritz’s failed attempt at catching the steak. After that I pause the video and I ask the class in the TL, “Did Fritz catch the steak?” The class says no. I agree and tell kids in the TL that the steak hit Fritz’s head. Then we move onto the next food item that Fritz tries but fails to catch, which is a doughnut. Then I go through the same sequence again with the doughnut (which hits Fritz’s chest, not head).
- The next item that Fritz tries to catch is a meatball. Fritz has on a different scarf, so I stop the video to point out that Fritz has a different scarf on and we talk about it a bit. Then I go through the same sequence of watching the boy throw the meatball and Fritz not catching it. I continue this pattern, talking about the different colored scarves, different food items, and different parts of Fritz’s body that gets hit by the food being thrown.
- The last food item that Fritz tries to catch is a french fry (French teachers, he’s where you can inject a little bit of culture and tell your students that french fries are Belgian, not French). I make a REALLY big deal about Fritz’s success catching the french fry. Then I play the video again from the beginning straight through for our enjoyment.
- During the next class, we watch the second Fritz video. It is more of the same, but Fritz is much better at catching this time. We go through the same process that we went through for the first video. I find that the second video goes more quickly than the first one because students are more familiar with the vocabulary.
- When the we are done Movie Talking the second video, I give students a quick True/False quiz about both videos (usually about food Fritz did or did not catch and the colors of the scarves he wore in the two videos).
Here is why this video is so great to use if you are doing a Movie Talk for the first time:
- Everyone who has watched this video, whether a student or an adult, has LOVED it. Fritz is an adorable dog, and it is hilarious to watch him get hit with food. My students got SO invested in the plight of poor Fritz. By the time we got to the end of the first video, where Fritz finally catches the french fry, my students were cheering!
- Many of the food items in other languages are cognates, which means those words should be easier for your students to process.
- It is very repetitive, since the boy and dog are doing the same actions multiple times, which should help students acquire structures like “wants,” “can,” “catch,” more successfully (repetition of structures should help students successfully acquire those structures, and should also help teachers follow the script).
Any other simple, repetitive videos out there that are suitable for Movie Talks? Let me know!