Nurfaldillah Nurfaldillah

Listening Lesson: Nature Documentaries
Upper Intermediate B2 level


In this lesson, students will listen and speak about the context of nature documentaries. The teacher pre-teaches new vocabulary prior to listening. Students will practice gist and detailed listening skills about a report on two nature documentaries. They will have a speaking exercise in which they will play a role of a film-maker or TV viewer. In their roles, they will give reasons to support their arguments about the ethics of film-making.


Abc Handout 1: Listening for specific information and details
Abc Role cards: Film-maker & TV viewer/student

Main Aims

  • To provide gist, specific and detailed listening practice about the ethics of film-making in the context of nature documentaries

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide fluency speaking practice in a discussion in the context of nature documentaries


Warmer/Lead-in (3-5 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

T shows Ss a 2 min documentary. To elicit the word 'documentary', T asks " What is this video about? Expected answer: Documentary on polar bears. T asks: Do you like to watch nature documentaries? Why and why not? T gets a few Ss to share their responses.

Pre-Listening (7-9 minutes) • To prepare students for the text and make it accessible

T pre-teaches identified vocabulary. 1. Habitat T uses the video documentary about polar bears in the lead-in stage to elicit ‘habitat;’ What do you call the natural home of animals? Are the animals free to roam? –yes Is it man-made or natural environment? – Natural Can you give of an example of a habitat? - forest 2. Lemmings T shows a picture of lemmings jumping off the cliff at the Arctic Tundra. 3. Portray T shows a picture of lemmings again and this time emphasising the action Is it something you show? –yes How else can you show a description?- film 4. Distort Do you make a change? –Yes Does the meaning of the original situation change?- Yes Is it the truth? - No Story example: T can explain through an example. Example: Robert was supposed to be at school but instead he went to the play football. He gave a false account of where he was to his mother. 5. Intervention Do you get involved? –yes Do you take action? – yes Do you take action to change a situation? -yes T gives an example of how the government intervene to help citizens who are less abled. 6. Justify T gives a story example of someone who is accused of stealing and trying to prove he is innocent to elicit the word from student. Is it a situation in which you need to prove you are right? –yes Do you have to give reasons? – yes 7. Stretching the truth T uses realia: rubber band to elicit the word stretch. T tells a story about a Jack's application for a job. He wrote that he is extremely good at computers when he just knew the basics. He wanted the job so much so he 'stretch the truth' Is it something real?- No Do you add other details that are not the truth? –Yes Do you intend to make something sound better than it is?-yes T CCQs meaning and writes the form on the board. T drills pronunciation after each word and Ss say the words chorally. T writes all the words all the board and highlight word stress.

While Listening #1 (5-8 minutes) • To provide students with less challenging gist listening tasks

T tells Ss that they are going to listen to a report recording about two nature documentaries. For gist, T asks Ss: What is the main idea of the report? (Answer: This listening is on the tricks used when recording documentary films) Are the two documentaries fully based on actual facts? Ss to answer: Yes or No T plays the recording once. After first listening, Ss discuss the gist questions in pairs. T gets Ss to share their answers.

While Listening #2 (12-15 minutes) • To progress from listening for specific information to more challenging detailed, deduction and inference listening tasks

Specific Task T gives out handout 1 for the second task. Ss work alone to listen for specific information and tick the methods used to distort reality in the two films. T plays the recording. Feedback: Ss check answers in pairs. T does w/c feedback. Detailed Task These are two detailed questions about the recording. These are more challenging questions. Ss to listen again and complete it individually. Feedback: Ss check answers in pairs.T does w/c feedback. This stage will be a springboard for the next productive task.

Post-Listening (5-8 minutes) • To provide with an opportunity to respond to the text and expand on what they've learned

For the speaking activity, Ss will be given role cards (Film-maker of nature documentaries versus TV viewer who is against documentaries that are unreal) Ss playing for each respective roles will need to justify their arguments. Example: Film-makers record documentaries for education purposes. TV viewers feel that it is unethical and felt cheated after watching. T monitors Ss interactions, get Ss to share some responses and do delayed error correction at the end.

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