Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Horror Movies ESL Lesson - Perfect for Halloween.

I have just finished doing this lesson with my high level classes and they really got into it. My students didn't need to be taught much of the vocab for the movie script activity but depending on the level of your class you could add in a vocabulary teaching activity as well.

Activity One.

This is a classic ESL movie activity that I'm sure every teacher knows. Split the class into pairs, and set it up so one student is facing the screen and on student is facing away. Choose your favourite horror movie scene (I choose this from the Mummy Returns, there are plenty of other recommended scenes on Larry Ferlazzo's website) and tell the person facing the screen to explain the action to their partner. After around 50 seconds, tell the students to swap places and then finish the scene. The students should then spend around five minutes writing what happened in the scene before explaining it to the class (10 Minutes).

Activity Two.

Last year I did a great halloween lesson based on this short movie. The movie I did this year is called Stitch and it comes from the same movie company. I wrote the script out from the movie (at the bottom of the page), and cut out each line. I then gave the students five minutes to read through the lines and try to sort them into some kind of order (I gave some clues about what happened). When they had a good idea of what all the lines said, I showed the movie and again asked them to try to put the script into the correct order. Finally I read through the script so the students could check they were right (20 Minutes).

Activity Three.

This activity is an activity I love and is great for almost any category, today's category was Horror Movies. Give each student two strips of paper. They then need to write the name of a horror movie on each piece of paper, fold it, then give it back to me. You should put the paper in some kind of bag, box or hat etc. The students should be in groups of around five students. One person from the first group will then come to the front, they have to pick one piece of paper from the box and try to explain the movie to the students in their group. They will have one minute to try to guess as many movies as possible. I explain that they are not allowed to say any words in the title, any actors or any  names of characters so they focus on actually using English to explain the movie. They are also allowed to pass on any movies they don't know. After the first group each group will have a turn until there is no paper left. The group that guesses the most correct movies wins (20 Minutes).

If you still have time after this, collect all the pieces of paper back and do a second round where they can only say one word.

Stitch Movie Script.

Rachel. Work you stupid thing!

R. I’m coming, I’m coming.

R. Hello, Mr Stevens house.

R. Hello, anyone there?

R. Hello?

Mr Stevens. Rachel, it’s Mr Stevens. We are at the restaurant and realised we haven’t left our number.

R. Yea sure I’ll grab a pen. And while you’re on the phone do you know what’s wrong with your TV?

MS. Maybe we need a new lead. There’s a TV you can use in our bedroom if you like? Just be careful up there, I have quite a collection of figures.

R. Are they valuable?

MS. Some pieces are quite collectable, yes. Are you ready for the number?

R. Ok, fire away.

MS. It’s 077.. 900, 3394

R. Yea got it.

MS. What was that?

R. Sorry I think Ryan’s up. Let me check.

R. I told you about this Ryan. Back into bed. Come on!

R. Hello?

MS. Rachel is everything ok? You had us a bit worried there!

R. Yes it’s all good. Ryan’s asleep?

MS. Oh good, have you got the TV working ok?

R. Yea. I was gonna say, your figure collection’s pretty cool.

MS. Thank you.

R. But that life size clown thing in the corner, it’s pretty weird.

MS. What? Rachel I don’t…  Rachel! Hello!? Rachel!?


  1. The company website doesn't seem to have the film "Stitches" anymore, but they do have it on YouTube. Thanks so much for a great lesson idea for next week!


  2. Looks like fun. I'm trying this for my class.


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