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That Fatal Sneeze



Help Key Stage 2 pupils understand structure and narrative with this lesson starter for English and media lessons which uses archive black and white footage.

That Fatal Sneeze is a silent film made in 1907 in which a a practical joke has an explosive ending, after a young boy takes revenge on his elderly uncle.

The film begins with the uncle putting pepper on his nephew's food, causing him to sneeze uncontrollably. That same night, the boy takes the pepper and pours it over various items including his uncle's handkerchief.

The next day, as the uncle gets up and goes out, he can't stop sneezing, causing havoc along the way, until with one fatal sneeze, he disappears in a puff of smoke.

This is an ideal lesson starter to support literacy lessons exploring structure and narrative, character and setting, and stories with a dilemma.

It can also be used to develop pupils? knowledge and appreciation of film-making and film terminology.

Published : Feb 2011

03 mins


Primary Lesson Starters


Primary Pupil


Primary English

Media & moving image


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