Number one for English language teachers

Teen Talk: Summer blockbuster movies

Type: Article

Lindsay Clandfield brings some Hollywood action and glamour into your class of teenagers.

Who wants to be in an English class when you can be at the movies? This summer promises the usual big budget extravaganzas. Here’s a quick test.

Each of the following “pairs” contains a quote and the tagline from upcoming summer movies. Can you guess what films they come from?

Wall-E, The Incredible Hulk, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls, The X Files

Quote: “Maybe if I can control it, I can use it . . .”
Tagline: This summer our only hope is something incredible.

Quote: A: “You’re a teacher?” B: “Part-time.”
Tagline: The adventure continues.

Quote: A: “So you believe in these kinds of things?” B: “Let’s just say I wanna believe.”
Tagline: To find the truth, you must believe.

Quote: “He’s extremely curious. And just a little bit lonely.”
Tagline: An adventure beyond the ordinar-e.

All this raw material opens up several interesting possibilities. You can ask students to watch the trailers on the internet (using YouTube or Yahoo Movies) to find the answers. They can then make up similar questions, searching for other upcoming movies they’re interested in. Or, you could take a quote and make some changes to it. Tell them to find the original by watching the trailer.

Alternatively find images from several summer films in newspapers or magazines. Put these up around the classroom. Students have to match the quotes and/or taglines to the pictures.

Many of these summer blockbusters have a predictable storyline and dialogue (who wants to think too much in the summertime?). After doing one of the above activities, ask students to invent a four-line dialogue. If they need help, tell them to use one of the quotes as a starting point. Students present their dialogues to each other and guess the films.

Finish off by cancelling the next class and taking everyone to see one of the films of their choice. Long live the summer!

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Readers' comments (3)

  • Interesting idea to use film tags, although rather limiting if a class aren't movie buffs or teacher. Also could prove difficult if limited access to computers to watch the trailers. My grade 3 students (16-17 years) enjoy talking about films especially horror movies where they describe all aspects of the films when we have open discussions, but they can be rather distracting and long. The Owl Hall ghost story series was rather tame for these groups who are on diets of films like SAW. Any suggestions to tap into their film interests but not at this level of horror as I don't watch these films, but I like their enthusiasm and want to steer it in a useful and productive learning direction! A

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  • The initial example test in this article may be out-of-date but this could easily be adapted to match any summer's selection of blockbusters. The idea's the thing!

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  • Sooooooo out of date!

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