Ten Video Prompts for ESL Writing Class (2)

6. ESL Video Prompt: Our Secret (3:53 minutes)

Our Secret is one man’s story, a kind of love letter to say goodbye. The imagery is rich so students can spend a good amount of time writing descriptions about places and landscapes. Of course, the students need to pay attention and identify the secret. Excellent chance for some students to explain their own opinions on that moral issue.


7. ESL Video Prompt: Nuit Blanche (4:41 minutes)

Nuit Blanche, which means White Night, is a simple story with great black and white visuals. Mostly it is a love story, but might it be more? Push higher level students to focus on describing the detail in this video prompt.

Nuit Blanche from Arev Manoukian on Vimeo.


8. ESL Video Prompt: Reach (3:43 minutes)

Here is a video, Reach, about a small robot. Does the story have another meaning?

Reach from Luke Randall on Vimeo.


9. ESL Video Prompt: Table 7 (3:45 minutes)

Table 7 is a short video about a couple and a mysterious man. Watch the video and do a brief comprehension check with lower level students:

  • Where are they?
  • What seems to be the problem?
  • What is the couple talking about?
  • Who is listening to their conversation?
  • What is he doing?
  • What equipment do you see?
  • What food does the couple get at the end of the meal?
  • What do they find?
  • What are the messages?
  • How is the ending a little surprising?

Table 7 – short film from Marko Slavnic on Vimeo.


10. ESL Video Prompt: Tiny Story (3:43 minutes)

Tiny Story is a terrific short video that can be used to anchor a lesson plan for an ESL conversation or writing class. This is a deceptively hard writing challenge. Your job is to describe abstract concepts.

  1. Watch this short video.
  2. Make a list of the 13 simple concepts presented.
  3. Write a short paragraph about each concept. How did the artists decide to present each concept with basic tools (like a dot or line)? Was it successful?

I suggest asking students to ignore the first one (start) and last one (end) and then choose 5 or 6 concepts from the remaining 11. Otherwise, this can be a very long writing project. The key challenge here is to accurately describe the motion in each short segment. Easier said than done.

Tiny Story from Sebas and Clim on Vimeo.


Back to Page 1 and five more video prompts.

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