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My life as a sitcom

Course: Weekly lessons, Unit: Life today

  • 90 mins
  • In class
  • Project
  • B1, B2, C1


Learning goals:

  • Perform a sitcom scene

Published by

EF Education First


Success criteria:

  • Identify the typical elements that make up a sitcom scene
  • Correctly categorize functional language useful for common sitcom scenarios
  • Write and perform a sitcom scene with an appropriate structure and suitable language

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Activities (9)

Introduction

Introduction

Recommendations

  • 2 mins
  • Class
  • Core
  • Discussion


Student instructions

No student instructions


Teacher notes

No teacher notes

 

Warm up

Warm up

Recommendations

  • 6 mins
  • Group, Class
  • Core
  • Web site


Student instructions

Watch the video of unlucky Kevin bringing a pot of chilli into the office for his colleagues. Then discuss the questions with a partner.
1. Did you think the scene was funny, or did you just feel bad for Kevin?
2. If you had been in the same situation, what would you have done?
3. Do you know anyone who often gets into funny situations?


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is to get students thinking about funny stories that involve somebody being unlucky or getting into a difficult situation. These scenarios are typically found in sitcoms. These stories may have happened to the students or someone they know.

 

Watch 1

Watch 1

Recommendations

  • 5 mins
  • Group, Class
  • Core
  • Web site


Student instructions

Watch the video. Then do the activity in Watch 2.


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is to show a clip from another sitcom in preparation for the activity in Watch 2.
The clip was chosen because it has key stages that are common in a typical sitcom scene. It can be used as a model for the students when they write their own scene.

 

Watch 2

Watch 2

Recommendations

  • 5 mins
  • Individual, Pair
  • Core
  • Sequencing, closed


Student instructions

Put the sequence of events in the video in order.


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is to demonstrate understanding of the structure of the scene in Watch 1.
Before students complete the activity, elicit what the characters' main goal is. In this case, it is to get a couch up some stairs.


 

Language

Language

Recommendations

  • 5 mins
  • Individual, Pair
  • Core
  • Categorization, closed


Student instructions

Put the expressions into the categories. All of the phrases are something you might hear a character say in a sitcom scene.


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is to provide examples of language students may use when writing their own sitcom scripts, and to check understanding of the function of this language.

 

Plan

Plan

Recommendations

  • 35 mins
  • Group
  • Core
  • Discussion


Student instructions

No instructions.


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is for students to plan and write their own sitcom scene.
Put students into small groups. Explain they will be writing a scene from a series called 'My life as a sitcom'.
First, they need to think of a funny story, perhaps something they discussed in question 3 of Warm up, or another funny thing that has happened to them or someone they know. The scene could also be a composite of different events that have happened to different people.

 

Produce

Produce

Recommendations

  • 20 mins
  • Group, Class
  • Core
  • Disussion


Student instructions

No student instructions


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is for students to perform their own sitcom scripts.
Students should stay in the same groups as before. Each student should have a speaking part, with one student being responsible for reading out the directions.
For the presentation, introduce the concept of a 'table read' or a 'read-through'. This is the moment when the people involved in a movie or TV show sit together to read the script for the first time. A narrator will read the scene headings and the action and actors will perform their lines. You can find an example here:

 

Follow up

Follow up

Recommendations

  • 8 mins
  • Pair, Group
  • Challenge
  • Discussion


Student instructions

No instructions.


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is for students to relate the topic of the lesson to their own viewing habits.

Suggested answers
For Question 3, you could point out that recent research has shown the benefits of watching television with subtitles for language learning. Investigators at the University of Barcelona have noted that students don't get enough exposure to language from classes alone. Subtitles in the students' first language can be beneficial for beginners, with English subtitles being more useful for intermediate (B1) learners and above, and especially for learning vocabulary. A report on the research can be found at:

 

Exit ticket

Exit ticket

Recommendations

  • 4 mins
  • Individual
  • No suggestions
  • Text entry, open


Student instructions

Think about the work you did in this lesson and answer the questions.


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is for students to review their work from the lesson, and identify what they did well and what they would like to improve.

 
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