activities Tyson Seburn  

Storytelling, predictions & inferences through video

Play video until 1:35. Stop.


Ask students what the video depicts.

Start over. Ask students to individually write down as many of the activities shown through the video as they can. For example,

  • Two people meet on a boat.
  • They seem to get along since the guy laughs.
  • A guy, Paul, writes his phone number in the novel.

Play the video again until 1:35. Stop.

In pairs or small groups, ask students to collaborate on the order of events they’ve noted.

Play the video again from the beginning. Stop after each event. Go over useful language together. Elicit what activity comes next. Repeat.

Play until 1:35. Ask students to predict what will happen next.


Play the ending of the video.

Discuss as you see fit.

Further reading: The Advocate, November 27, 2011

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8 thoughts on “Storytelling, predictions & inferences through video

  1. Cat Ionescu

    Great lesson idea! I’ve been thinking of using this video as part of a lesson since I’ve first seen it and I really like the play/stop approach (with an emphasis on vocabulary prior to revealing the ending and discussing it).

    1. Tyson Seburn

      Thanks, Cat. 🙂 The lesson idea automatically came to mind because of the nature of the storytelling within it and then “surprise” ending. I’m sure others have thought the same.

  2. LouiseAlix

    Sorry to have to say but I totally predicted the ending (only the bloke was much better-looking than I expected!) Great ad, too. But what a great lesson idea – I’ll give this a go ‘next year’ with my new (secondary) classes.

    1. Tyson Seburn

      Haha, yes Louise, I thought about the predictability factor while writing the lesson. I do think we also have some built-in expectation for things like this though, that given it looks like an ad of some sort, that there must be a message attached to it. I doubt all our students would carry the same expectations. Would be worthwhile to figure this out too, though. 🙂

  3. David Dunn (@D0gg3d)

    Fun example. As you say in the title of the post, however, you can use it to do some quite extensive work on inference, reasoning and justifying opinions. This ties in neatly with the important life skill of critical thinking, which is of course even more relevant in academic skills. I’d like to do more with storytelling in class, both by the teacher (an engaging narrative can be a more powerful learning input than a academic text) and by the learner (how to structure a response to input).

    To be continued …

    Thanks for starting the conversation, Tyson.

    1. Tyson Seburn

      Agreed, David. And those skills are part of critical thinking, that broad term that is so popular these days.

      I’m interested in your comparison of narratives vs academic texts. Don’t you think both can be engaging?

      1. David Dunn (@D0gg3d)

        Yes, both can be engaging. As “narrative” I was thinking of oral storytelling. This engages the student by making them think on their feet, process the information in real time and interact with the audience — all valuable skills that test linguistic performance, and prevent “hiding” in/behind a text.

        1. Tyson Seburn

          Ahh yes, not leaving one for the other, but utilising both. 🙂

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