Friday, July 31, 2009

Cars - Pixar's movie in the classroom

Here's another movie that I've used in my elementary English classroom. The activities have been based on the students' previous lessons which covered the vocabulary related to towns, geographical features, transport, adjectives, opposite adjectives and comparative adjectives.

We began the class by doing a bit of an "ice-breaking" activity with some of the characters or names that the students will encounter in the movie - a word search activity from Some names belong to the characters and some are the names of places around the town and such.

Right before watching the movie, the students were briefed on the while-watching tasks.

Here's the content of the worksheet I've built. Ideally the content should be placed in a table format. Teachers need to prepare the pictures of these characters for the students to cut and paste. Google Images happened to be a good source for me when I was looking for them!

Cars by Pixar - While-watching tasks.

1. Who’s who?

Instruction: Work in pairs. While watching, complete this summary of the characters in the movie. Then, paste the correct picture to match each text.

a. Lightning McQueen is a young r_ _ _ c_ _. He is poised to become the youngest car ever to win the P_ _ _ _ _ Cup Championship.

b. Mater is a rusty t_ _ - t _ _ _ _. Mater runs Tow-Mater T _ _ _ _ _ and S _ _ _ _ _ _ and manages the local impound lot.

c. Sally is a beautiful 2002 Porsche 911. She is the town a_ _ _ _ _ _ _ and also the owner of C _ _ _ Cone M _ _ _ _.

d. Doc Hudson is a 19_ _ Hudson H _ _ _ _ _, a country d_ _ _ _ _ who runs the local "medical clinic" (mechanic shop) in the town. He is also the town’s M_ _ _ _.

e. Mack is a 19_ _ Mack S_ _ _ _ -L_ _ _ _ and McQueen's trusted driver. He pulls McQueen’s t_ _ _ _ _ _ to his races.

f. Ramone is a 1959 Impala low-rider who owns and operates Ramone's H_ _ _ _ of B _ _ _ A _ _ , the local custom body and paint shop.

g. Flo is a 1950's show car. She runs the local diner, Flo's _-_ Cafe, the only _ _ _ station for miles around. She’s married to Ramone.

h. The K_ _ _, Strip Weathers, is a 1970 Plymouth S_ _ _ _ b _ _ _ and a racing legend. He has won more P_ _ _ _ _ Cup races than any other cars in history. He is going to retire at the end of the season and Lightning McQueen aims to fill his treads.

Source of info and content:

2. What is the name of the town featured in the movie?


3. Name three geographical features you’ve seen in the movie.

Ideally, discuss the answers to the while-watching questions with the students right after the movie. Then, students can be assigned with the post-movie tasks, either as a follow-up activity in the classroom, or as homework.

Post-movie tasks:

1. Write three adjectives to describe Radiator Spring before the new highway was built, and three more after it has been built.

Before After
i. i.
ii. ii.
iii. iii.

3. McQueen has changed a lot by the time he left the town, Radiator Spring. Compare McQueen to himself before the days he was in the town. Write three sentences. Use the comparative adjectives.

If I had more time, I would have included singing the song "Our town" by James Taylor as an additional activity. That would be more fun!

I welcome feedback gearing at improving the activities related to this movie - meanwhile, have fun tinkering in your classroom!

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