Welcome to my series on teaching literature in the English second-language classroom with film:
Activity 2 - The Film Festival.


In today’s post, I will review the four steps of the first activity: literary / film analysis. Then I’ll describe activity 2: what I call "The Film Festival."

There are three steps to the activity.

The ultimate goal of this speaking activity is for students to decide on the best film among those being discussed.

An excellent tool for teaching literary analysis in the blended classroom is my online course, Introduction to Academic Writing.

In the first activity I used the example of a group of 25 students. Students are divided into five expert groups of five students. Each group watches a different film.

Literary/Visual Analysis

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Step 1

Students analyze the six literary elements as well as the visual element of a film based on a novel. Each student in the expert group chooses one or two different literary/visual elements to analyze.

Step 2

Students read the first 30 pages or so of the book in Google books to add to their appreciation of the story.

Step 3

Students read two external film reviews from the IMDB, the Internet Movie Database. This may give them additional support for their literary analysis.

Step 4

Students create a slide presentation explaining their literary or visual analysis beginning with a thesis statement. They prepare a 4-5 minute video.

The Film Festival

Step 1

The five students in the expert group work together to share their literary/film analysis.

Students take on the role of a film promoter. Each student speaks and interacts with the others for about 4 to 5 minutes.

So in total, students have about 30 minutes to rave about the positive aspects of the film.


The goal is to describe the most remarkable or outstanding features of the film using the seven literary-visual elements and the film reviews they read.

So students, being film promoters, should avoid any negative comments about the film.

What is remarkable or outstanding about the film’s:

  • Plot
  • Characters
  • Setting
  • Point of view
  • Style
  • Theme
  • Visual elements?

For example, the first student talks about how memorable the characters are in the film. The student might describe a particular scene in which the character does or says something amazing. The student could quote a few lines of the dialogue to illustrate the point.

Students should be taking notes about the best features of the films so they can share with members of other groups in the next step of the activity.

To summarize, students should come up with a list of six to seven outstanding features of the film. Student should use supporting evidence from the film and the film reviews.

Step 2

Students leave their expert group and move into mixed groups. Each mixed group would have a student who has seen a different movie.

Each student in turn would have 4 to 5 minutes to convince the other group members that their film is the best film and should win the film festival.

So in total, students have about 30 minutes to rave about the positive aspects of their film.

Students should be taking notes about the best features of the other films so they can share with members of their expert group in the final step.

Step 3

Students return to the expert group and share what they learned about the best features of the other films in the mixed group.


Students vote on the film that was best presented or described in the most convincing way in the mixed group.

So in total, students have about 10-15 minutes to share their opinions and choose by consensus the best-described film: the winner of the film festival.

Next Activity

Join me in the next post for activity 3: Write a literary analysis of the film.

Special group rates available for Introduction to Academic Writing.

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See the video version of this post.