Made in Britain stars Tim Roth in one of his first roles as Trevor, a teen delinquent who hates authority and refuses to conforn to what society wants or expects. Trevor is actually very intelligent, but has become disillusioned by modern 1980's Britain and the education system. He has been convicted of stealing, taking drugs, shopplifting, vandalism and violent behaviour. He has become criminal and a racist, and prison beckons if he does not change his ways. This lesson is only suitable for adults.

For this lesson, you'll need the Made in Britain DVD. In ordering this, you'll also be helping us.

This film is for adult students ONLY! Under no circumstances should this film be shown to minors. The film shows scenes of violence and extreme racist views. The lesson plan should only be used with mature, open-minded students, who feel comfortable watching and discussing such content in an open class environment.  The use of this lesson plan is wholly at the discretion of the teacher. It is essential that the teacher watches the suggested film clips in their entirety before choosing whether or whether not to use this plan. 

ESL Adults discussion questions on teenage crime and delinquency

Show the film clips first before having the discussion. Make sure to lead-in to the activity in your own way first.

Are parents to blame for juvenile delinquency?
Should children who hate going to school be given something else to do?
Is corporal punishment a good idea for naughty children?
Should naughty children be rewarded for good behaviour with money instead of punished for bad behaviour?
Should parents of juvenile delinquents be sent to prison when their children misbehave?
How would you deal with Trevor? What is his 
What kind of problems do the young have in your country?
How does your country deal with juvenile delinquency? Do you think it is a good system?
If you were in your country’s government, what would you do differently?
Will juvenile delinquency ever go away? Why/why not?
What is the cure to juvenile delinquency?
Clip One (Start to 4:30mins)
The film starts with Trevor in court being convicted for a racist attack on an Asian man’s home. He is sent to a detention centre for children.
Clip Two (6:37mins to13:25mins)
Trevor arrives at the detention centre and is told about a contract he must sign to promise to behave. He pesters a staff member there to give him some money and goes out to the job centre. On the way, he steals a car and buys glue to sniff and get high. He abuses the job centre staff and throws a paving slab through the window.
Clip Three (18:02mins to 38:34mins)
The detention centre find out about the stolen car and refuse him lunch. He attacks the cook at the canteen for not serving him lunch. The centre workers lock him in a room to calm down and then a senior staff member come to look at his future. This scene is key for your class discussion! It is the foundation for your discussion. Stop the film and turn off the TV at “Yeah, he’s a waste of time”.

Lesson written by Stuart Allen
Published in Movie lessons
Lord of the Flies was a brilliant novel about a group of boys stranded on an island after their plane crashes on a school trip. All the adults are killed in the crash, leaving the large group of boys to survive and fend for themselves. Divisions soon appear in the group, leadership battles ensue and the film looks at our natural dark natures.

This movie lesson for teaching English is for Interediate/Advanced level mature students and has six different activities for you to use in classes. It will require your ESL students to think outside of the box and look critically at the scenes and language. Lord of the Flies is a GCSE text in British schools.

For this Lord of the Flies ESL movie lesson, you'll need the movie - you can get that here. You'll be helping us out too.

Lord of the Flies Classroom Activities

1. Discussion about Lord of the Flies and why the boys turned that way. Discussion lead questions are included in the free Lord of the Flies lesson plan PDF below.

2. Symbolism - what do different things represent in the film? For example, the conch, the logs, Piggy's glasses, etc. 

3. Students roleplay different parts in the story

4. Homework essay about what students feel about the film

5. Students roleplay an alternative ending to the film - what might have happened?

6. At the end of the film the police arrive (sorry, spoiler!), and it's clear that many of the boys are in trouble. Students roleplay possible police interviews and write police questions.

Lesson written by Stuart Allen

Published in Movie lessons
Divorce rates around the world, particularly in China, are going up and up. Kramer vs Kramer is a brilliant movie for ESL discussion classes to look at divorce, the causes of divorce, who should get what, and importantly, the custody of children after divorce.

In Kramer vs Kramer, Ted and Joanna have decided to divorce. Ted would like Joanna to come back, but she has moved on with her life and wants a clean break. After a year of travelling and starting a new life, she has now decided that she wants to fight Ted for custody of their son, Billy. Ted is against this, because she ran away for a year and he has struggled to become a good dad. Joanna feels that she is the mother and so has the automatic right to take care of their son. Students must debate and decide who should get custody of Billy.

If you want to teach this ESL divorce debate and discussion roleplay and need to by Kramer vs Kramer, then click here 

How to Approach the Lesson
Introduce the topic of divorce. Perhaps ask the students to get into pairs or small groups to think of problems that people might face in their adult lives. After a few minutes, write down their ideas on the board i.e. debt, job problems, marriage problems. Ask the students which of their suggestions are most common. Divorce is bound to come up and once it does, start moving the conversation wholly in this direction.
Ask the students what kind of problems and difficulties come as a result of divorce. The students are likely to offer things such as depression, family pressure, money and child custody. Again, once child custody is raised, talk about this in more detail.

It is important to get the child custody/divorce topic well discussed before playing the movie. It generates interest in what they are watching and the students will get far more out of the lesson.
Play the movie clips as shown in the free lesson plan accompanying this page. Make sure that you have watched the clips before hand so you are familiar with the clips!
After you have finished watching the clips, stop the DVD and tell the class that Joanne has come back and now wants full custody of Billy. Ask the class if they think it is fair or not and ask the class to give their reasons.
Divide the class into two groups. One group must argue for Ted to retain custody of Billy. The other group are in favour of Joanna getting custody of Billy. Give each student the info slip corresponding with who they support.
Tell the class that they have ten minutes to prepare arguments in support of either Ted or Joanne. After ten minutes, bring the two groups back together and let them debate who should get custody of Billy. The teacher should act as a neutral referee, only getting involved when necessary.
After the debate, maybe have a secret ballot to decide who gets custody of Billy. You can also have an open class discussion, using some of the divroce discussion questions below as a starter.

Divorce Discussion Questions for ESL Students

Divorce rates are climbing each year. What is the reason for this?
Should divorce be made illegal?
Do you think people get divorced to easily and quickly these days?
Who should usually get custody of children following divorce?
How much should the parent who doesn’t have custody of the child pay each month to the parent with custody?
How does divorce affect children?
Should parents ever continue in a loveless marriage to protect their children’s feelings?
Would divorce be less common if couples lived together for at least two years before marrying?
Why do celebrity marriages often end in divorce?
How do you feel about young, attractive women marrying older men i.e. a 25 year-old woman marrying a 70 year-old man? Should she get any money in the event of a divorce?
Is divorce a big problem in your country? Why?
Divorces usually end in a 50/50 settlement. Is this fair?
If you divorce, are you a failure?
ESL Class Divorce Debate 
Arguments for Ted Kramer to have full custody of Billy Kramer
Ted Kramer has looked after Billy for the past year, even though he admits that he has found it difficult
Ted quit his high salary, high pressure job to spend more time with Billy and to learn to be a better father.
Ted has proven his love for Billy
Joanna has a new job, which means that she will be working much of the time
Joanna walked out on Billy before. Maybe she will walk out on him again?
Joanna said in the lift that she was a bad mother and that Ted could look after Billy better than her.
Arguments for Joanna Kramer to have full custody of Billy Kramer
She is the mother and can probably look after Billy better
She is more experienced at looking after Billy, as she looked after him full-time before
She has found a new job with a high salary. Billy can now live better and go to a good school
She says that she was not thinking straight before because of the stress of living with Ted. She would never walk out on Billy again. 
Ted admits that he has found it tough to look after Billy in the last year. 

Lesson by Stuart Allen

Stuart Allen
Published in Movie lessons
John Q is about a nine-year old boy who falls dangerously ill with a previously undiagnosed heart condition. His hard-up family find that their medical insurance doesn't cover the costs of their son's illness and if they can't raise the money for an operation, their son will die. The movie investigates the problems with health systems and asks the question Should healthcare be free for all?

This movie lesson is perfect for older teens and adults who are on the topic of health or if you want to encourage a debate on whether healthcare should or can be free in your country. There is plenty of speaking and also a brilliant roleplay activity with roleplay cards should you wish to have an ESL roleplay class with caracter cards. (These cards are free to print in the downloadable lesson plan).

To buy the movie John Q for this lesson please click here

Classroom Activities to run with John Q

Activity One - Free Health Care vs Paid-Health Care debate
After watching Movie Clip Scenes 1 (please see John Q lesson plan), divide your students into two teams. One side argues for the benefits of free health care for all (but everyone’s taxes have to go up to cover it), while the other side argues for medical insurance with lower taxes for all
Activity Two - Students devise their own medical system
After watching Movie Clip Scenes 1 (please see John Q lesson plan), students must devise their own new medical system and present their system to the class. How can the Mike situation’ be avoided? The best new system is the winner and the teacher can award certificates/prizes
Activity Three - John Q scenes roleplay
After watching Movie Clip Scenes 2 (please see John Q lesson plan), hand-out to your students the role-play cards and recreate scenes from the movie! If you have a small class, you can do the whole thing or give selected scenes to groups from a larger class and put the whole thing together. Why not film it to make a mini-movie?

Lesson by Stuart Allen
Stuart Allen
Published in Movie lessons
Gorillas in the Mist tells of the remarkable life of Dian Fossey, who visited Rwanda in the 1960's and appalled by the hunting and poaching of wild mountain gorillas there. She fought tirelessly there to halt the trade in poaching and was murdered by poachers some years later.

If you are teaching teens or adults about animal conservation, charities, environmental, the environment or habitat destruction, then this ESL movie lesson could be the one for you. It is a very meaningful class and will open your students' eyes to the world around them and some of the destructive things that humans do. There are a number of quality activities from this Gorillas in the Mist ESL lesson plan for you to try.

Please click here if you need to purchase Gorillas in the Mist to teach this ESL movie lesson

Some Activities to Do with this Lesson

You and your Englsh class can make a real difference in the world with a symbolic adoption of a gorilla. After watching the film, if your students want to make a difference, then you can discuss whether you would like to adopt a gorilla.

For only $25, you can make a very special difference to the lives of gorillas in the wild and help these beautiful animals stay alive, looked after and safe from poaching!
You receive an adoption certificate and letter which you can display on your classroom wall, a photo of the animal you have symbolically adopted (which your class can name!), a cute gorilla teddy bear and a WWF school bag. I did this activity with my university class in China and we raised enough money to adopt three animals through university student donations!
Turn your English class into a full WWF conservation experience your students will never forget! This is also perfect for a Salon class and project idea in your school or university. 
Gorilla ESL Webquest!
The internet can be a great source of information and learning for ESL students. After watching the film and doing the classroom activities, why not get your students to have a try of the Gorilla Webquest!
The Gorilla Webquest was designed for native speaking children aged 8-10 years old, which means that the language is challenging (but not too difficult!) for your English students.
It looks at how gorillas live in the wild, how they eat and socialize and the dangers they face from humans.

Gorilla Reading Comprehension Quiz
There is a fun trivia quiz which students must find answers for, or alternatively, they can make their own quiz questions for classmates. You can set the Gorilla Webquest for a quality homework assignment or in do it in the school if you have computers there.
Good luck Web-questers!!

ESL Poaching and Conservation Discussion Questions

How did the film make you feel?
Have you thought about poaching before today?
Do you feel differently about gorillas now?
Do you think the film industry portrays gorillas unfairly? e.g. King Kong
Is there anything you can do to help gorillas in the wild? (WWF adoption project!)
Should your government do anything about illegal poaching?
Is poaching of other animals a problem in your country?
If you were in a market, would you buy an animal trophy? The animal is dead anyway, right?
Should all forms of hunting be banned? For example, fox hunting, whale hunting, elephant hunting and animal fur hunting?
Do you think poaching will ever be stopped?
Should we consider the lives of hunters and their families who rely on hunting to feed themselves?
Do you know anyone who has ever bought animal trophies or fur?
Should gorillas be sold to zoos?

Lesson written by Stuart Allen
Stuart Allen
Published in Movie lessons
Deep Impact was one of a rash of global disaster movies that came out in the last ten years or so. However it's a movie that I actually very much enjoy. The threat of impending doom, armageddon and the end of the earth is almost exciting for movie makers and film-watchers alike.

Deep Impact is about an End-of-the-World asteroid hitting the earth and our preparations of survival as a human race by building an undergorund bunker with limited space and supplies so the human race can continue (although most will die).

I decided that this would make a brilliant discussion lesson for older teens and adults about who would best go into the underground bunker: everyday people or the elite. Eventually I wrote this ESL discussion lesson and it turned out to be a belter...I hope you like it in your adults ESL classes. 

Can't find Deep Impact online? You can order it cheaply right here.

The Set Up

A meteor is heading on its way to Earth. Scientists have spotted it coming into our galaxy and it will hit the earth with so much force, that most life on the planet will die. There is nothing world governments can do about it. No way to stop it. No way to change its course. The meteor is so big that it will be lucky if any life survives. It is known a ‘Global Killer’.

The Creation of the Bunker: Genesis II
The major governments of the world agree to put their differences aside to find some kind of solution. They put in lots of money and manpower each to build an underground safe haven. It is so deep underground that the effects of the meteor will not be felt. It will support life for 50 years. After that, the people in it could come out again and build life on earth once more. They have named the underground bunker Genesis II
Genesis II will hold 100,000 people. It will have schools, hospitals and recreation areas. Food will be rationed. There are no shops. Everyone has the same clothes and tokens to buy what they need. Business is banned and the Genesis II government will control everything.

Randomly Chosen people or Cherry Picked?
Some world leaders want the people going into Genesis II to be chosen randomly by a computer. Other world leaders think that the Genesis II population should be handpicked, depending on their field of expertise.
The Benefits of Randomness
Genesis II population is roughly half male/half female. Crucial to ‘earth rebirth’ and a good balance of genetic material.
All races, creeds, gender, religions, sexuality and culture will be represented fairly and freely.
The poor will have an equal chance to survive as the rich.
It is morally correct.
It will be easier to form social order within Genesis II.
Culture and lifestyle rely on balance. Only by a lottery will this be achieved.
There are many skilled people who are not considered the ‘best of the best’.

The Benefits of Chossing Best of the Best
It makes sense to choose the ‘best of the best’. There are only 100,000 places. It is crucial that experts make up these places.
A lottery system leaves open a strong chance that undesirables can get in there e.g. criminals, drug addicts, etc.
A lottery system would allow the elderly, the sick and the disabled in there. The elderly cannot contribute to new life and the sick would put a strain on resources and spread diseases.
A lottery system would allow homosexuals places. They will not have children, and as such, are a waste of a place.
A mixture of religion and race may cause war. We should handpick those with no beliefs. 

What to Do in Class
Make sure you get yourself a copy of Deep Impact on DVD or video file. The night before your class, watch the selected scenes detailed below to get a feel for how to present the class. Please be aware that this debate class is centred around the selected scenes only – the idea Genesis II was created by me and doesn’t appear in the film!
Before playing the movie, start to prepare your English class by setting the context. Ask them what problems the world faces. Put them into small groups to think of six or seven problems and give them five minutes to discuss. Get feedback after and write their ideas on the board. You will probably get the usual talk of global warming and war, so after listening to them and talking about it, gently steer their thinking towards events which could actually destroy the earth altogether. 
The class will now give fresh ideas such as nuclear war, natural disasters, disease…and then some bright spark will mention a meteor strike (happens every time!) When they do, catch onto this and expand this idea, asking students if there is anything we can do about it, or anyways we can prepare if we have advanced warning. Let the class give and share their ideas until you feel they are ready to move to the movie stage.
Movie time! Watch the selected clips detailed in the free lesson plan below!
When you have finished watching the meteor hit the earth, explain to the class that before the meteor struck, the world had a year to prepare and built Genesis II. Give out the ESL handout The Situation (p.2) to every student and give them a few minutes to read. Tell the class that they are going to debate which system is best to fill Genesis II. Divide the class into two (don’t put all the strongest students on one team; try to spread the ability into both teams). Print-out and give each group member some debate tips on p.3 – it will give them some ideas for their arguments.

Giving time to prepare their arguments for the debate

Finally, give them ten minutes to prepare their arguments and let them go at it! Good luck!

Make sure you give each group preparation time. This is a tricky debate; you will always get better results from students by giving them sufficient time to get ready. This class should last over an hour.
Optional idea: without warning, just when the arguments are starting to peter-out, get the groups to swap sides with only 5 minutes preparion time. Don’t tell them you are going to do this, surprise them! They now have to debate AGAINST the arguments tey have only just been supporting!! Always brings lots of laughs!!
Written by Stuart Allen

Stuart Allen
Published in Movie lessons

facebook twitter instagram pintrest google tumblr linkedin youtube

Tel: +86 29 89312020
Skype: RAY.English.Recruitment
WeChat: The-4-Horsemen
QQ: 1153625407

We use cookies to provide you with the best possible browsing experience on our website. You can find out more below.
Cookies are small text files that can be used by websites to make a user's experience more efficient. The law states that we can store cookies on your device if they are strictly necessary for the operation of this site. For all other types of cookies we need your permission. This site uses different types of cookies. Some cookies are placed by third party services that appear on our pages.
Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.
ResolutionUsed to ensure the correct version of the site is displayed to your device.
SessionUsed to track your user session on our website.

More Details