Rufus Vaughan-Spruce Rufus Vaughan-Spruce

An unexpected journey
Intermediate B1 level


In this lesson, students practice and develop receptive (reading and listening) skills through the medium of an extract from 'The Hobbit'. Comparison between the written extract and the corresponding clip from the film allows focus on language differences, and the meanings behind these, as well as lexical (vocabulary) learning and practice.


Main Aims

  • To provide practice in gist reading and listening, using the context of the book / movie 'The Hobbit'

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide focus on how differences in intonation and pronunciation of common phrases can affect meaning.
  • To provide practice in briefly giving a spoken summary of a story
  • To teach and provide clarification of meanings of various words and phrases from the text, ideally through deductive inference from context.


Warmer/Lead-in (4-6 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students,set up pairs/groups for the coming activities

Ask students who prefers reading to watching films. Has anyone read a book and watched the film made from the same book? Elicit some examples of famous books which have also been made into famous movies, until 'The Hobbit' comes up. If it doesn't within a couple of minutes, teacher will introduce it. Teacher asks who has read the book 'The Hobbit'. All who answer 'yes' receive a card numbered '1'. Who has seen the movie? All who answer 'yes' receive a '2' card (= some may have both). Who has neither read the book nor seen the movie? These receive a card numbered '3'. Teacher then splits the class into pairs or small groups of 2-3, depending on student numbers, (and numbers of 1 v 2 v 3), ensuring no group/pair consists entirely of '3's.

Pre-reading Section (5-8 minutes) • To prepare students for reading text and provide a relevant link to the previous class.

Teacher asks '1' or '2' students to BRIEFLY summarise, in 3 minutes, the story to their partner(s) / compare opinions of book v film (depending on makeup of groups). Teacher will then ask for a volunteer to very briefly summarise the plot to the class, if possible someone who was a '3'. Teacher then circles 'good morning' which was left on board from previous class (or re-writes it). Elicits answers from students. Who do we say this to? In what context? Is it formal or informal? Does it always mean exactly the same thing? So, we're going to read an extract from the book 'The Hobbit', in which we will see some different uses and meanings of the phrase 'good morning.'

While Reading (8-10 minutes) • Students read for overall meaning (gist) of text, focusing on dialogue and the use of the phrase 'good morning'

Teacher gives students, individually, 5 minutes to read the text briefly. 'Don't worry if you don't understand every word, just try to understand the general meaning of the story. You'll see some words are underlined. Ignore this for now. Focus on the use of 'Good Morning' - what does it mean in each case?' After reading, discuss with your partner/group (2 minutes), how Bilbo's first 'Good Morning' and the second one are different in meaning. What does Gandalf understand each one to mean? Teacher picks student(s) and elicits summary.

Listening / Viewing 1 (4-6 minutes) • To listen/view for gist / overall meaning and possibly help clarify visually, the meaning of some passages of reading text

Teacher shows students a clip (2 mins) from the film 'The Hobbit' - the same section as the reading. Students may NOT look at reading text while watching. Students are given a 'rating card' and asked, individually and then in their groups, to rate this section of the story as either *Identical to the text *Almost exactly the same as the text *Fairly similar to the text *Similar in some areas but quite different in others *Very different to the text

Listening v Reading: Noting differences (7-9 minutes) • To listen for precise difference in dialogue and meaning between text and video, focusing on specific meanings

Students turn over reading text again and follow text while listening to the video clip again. Teacher asks them to underline sections of the text which are exactly the same, and circle sections of text which are not used at all in the video. Which sentences are almost, but not quite, the same, and if so what are the differences? What difference in meaning do these suggest?. Video or sections may be played again for clarification or exemplification if needed.

Listening for Intonation / Pronunciation (2-4 minutes) • To focus on how intonational differences can affect the meaning of a phrase.

How does Bilbo pronounce 'Good Morning' differently at beginning and end of text? Get students to repeat 'Good morning' giving them situational contexts in which to do so. (Note: this section may be omitted or glossed over very quickly if we're running short on time due to factors such as higher than expected student numbers)

Vocabulary focus/round-up (5-10 minutes) • To draw students' attention to particular phrases from text and video and encourage deduction of meaning from context

Teacher gives students a list of words / phrases from the text or video. In pairs (looking back at the text if necessary) - can you agree on their meaning? Teacher will monitor and assist but the idea is that the students try to work out any unfamiliar words/phrases from the context. Once students have attempted to infer meaning (or may in some cases, know, and share with partner(s), the teacher will give them the second half of the sheet, ask them to match up the meanings and check. *** Time permitting: any other words or phrases in the text that anyone doesn't understand? Try to elicit answers from other learners before giving them directly. If we're short on time, this will be given as 'homework'.

Homework / Follow-up (1-1 minutes) • To revise and practice understanding of vocabulary in context and offer students opportunity for writing practice

Read the text again at home. Check the meaning of any phrases you're not sure of until you feel confident you understand them. Look at the list of phrases from the vocabulary sheet - can you write a sentence, using each one correctly - a different sentence from the one in the text, of course!! (If we have extra time, perhaps due to low student numbers, it's also an option to look at this briefly in the last few minutes of the class)

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