Be like Alfred Hitchcock

I have discovered with great amazement that my teenage students were not familiar with one of the most significant film directors at all! Well, this experience was highly inspiring and in one evening the whole lesson plan was created.
The lesson is divided into two meetings which is crucial for its success.


Prior knowledge

TIME: 10 mins

Ask Ss some questions about American cinematography, Alfred Hitchcock and his films. Activate their prior knowledge, ask about favourite movies, directors etc. Check if they can elicit genres in cinematography and give examples of films and/or describe their features.


 TIME: 5/10 mins

Show Ss the mosaic illustrating the most important films by Hitchcock asking them whether their have seen/heard about any of them. In my case, the answer was almost always negative so I spent some time talking about the plot and explaining the symbolism of the posters. With a creative group you can ask them to guess what the films are about.


 TIME: 10 mins

Ask Ss what a trailer is, if they could indicate its features. Afterwards, play the video with Alfred Hitchcock inviting the viewers to watch his latest film "Psycho".

After the show ask Ss to compare and contrast this trailer with what they know from cinemas. Another thing to talk about is the person of Alfred Hitchcock and the way he presents the film, the plot and the location.


TIME: 10/15 mins
Tell the Ss that they are going to see famous scenes from two masterpieces - "Psycho" and "the Birds".
If you haven't asked them to make up stories in Task 1, do it now after watching the pieces.


TIME: 10 mins

Give the Ss shuffled texts describing plots of the films. They can be spoilers or incomplete stories to leave some space for suspense ;) I used Wikipedia to prepare mine but the text should be adjusted to the Ss level.
Ask Ss to put the pieces in the correct order. Check it together explaining any new vocabulary. It is essential for the homework!


TIME: 5 mins

If your Ss got interested in Hitchcock's work you can show them a trailer (a good comparison again!) of the biographical film about this director. It's a filmed story of how "Psycho" was produced and starred with Anthony Hopkins, Helen Murren and Scarlett Johanson or Jessica Biel so Ss should be attracted by these names.

HOMEWORK - Be like Alfred Hitchcock!
Ask Ss to prepare an oral presentation of one of Hitchcock's films (can be the ones presented during the lesson) and give a speech where audibility, pronunciation, articulation and vocal expression will be judged.



 TIME: 5/10 mins per person

Presentations of students' trailers.


Assessment - ask Ss to evaluate their performances. In this case it was an individual assessment sheet with 1-5 scale.