ESL Film Lesson Plan

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

The activities in this lesson plan will engage your English Language Learners in learning film-related vocabulary through discussion and practice. Students will practice and act out a short film that will be recorded and viewed.

Learning Objectives

As a result of this lesson, students will

  • identify vocabulary terms related to films
  • use vocabulary correctly to discuss film previews
  • participate in a film about going to the movies by reading an assigned role in English


90-120 minutes

Curriculum Standards

ELP 9-12.2 ELLs will participate in grade-appropriate oral and written exchanges of information, ideas, and analyses, responding to peer, audience, or reader comments and questions.

ELP 9-12.7 ELLs will adapt language choices to purpose, task, and audience when speaking and writing.

ELP 9-12.9 ELLs will create clear and coherent grade-appropriate speech and text

Materials Needed

  • Vocabulary handout that includes the vocabulary words and a related image for each one
  • Movie script 'We're Going to the Cinema'
  • Videocamera or cellphone camera
  • Popcorn
  • Movie previews from online video sites


  • Film-related vocabulary
    • Actor
    • Actress
    • Camera
    • Cameraman/camerawoman
    • Comedy
    • Drama
    • Film
    • Plot/storyline
    • Rating
    • Sound effects
    • Soundtrack
    • Stuntman/stuntwoman
    • Visual effects
  • Cinema-related vocabulary
    • Cinema
    • Concession stand
    • Popcorn
    • Preview
    • Screen
    • Seat
    • Theatre/theater
    • Ticket
    • Usher


  • Show the class a movie preview, which you can find on many online video sites.
  • Ask the students to raise their hands if they have ever been to the 'movies' to see a film.
  • Ask them to look at the vocabulary list and identify any words they recognize, either from the written words or the images. Discuss each word on the list.
  • Show the students a different movie preview. Ask them to watch it carefully.
  • After the preview is over, put the students into pairs and have them discuss the preview by answering these questions and by using as many of the vocabulary terms on the list as they can:
    • Does this look like a movie that you would go to the theater to see? Why or why not?
    • Do you think this movie is a comedy or a drama? What makes you think so?
    • If you went to see this movie, would you take children with you? Why or why not?
  • After the students have finished discussing the movie preview and are familiar with the vocabulary terms, reconvene the group to explain the activity.


  • Give each student a copy of a movie script you have written, called 'We're Going to the Cinema.'

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