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Using Archive Film



A teacher uses archive film in her English and media lessons to explore the structure of narrative, character and setting, and to develop Key Stage 2 pupils' understanding of film language, in this primary lesson idea.

For Peta Blow, deputy headteacher at Morden Primary School, using archive film is a great way to develop children's inference and deduction skills, and an opportunity to deepen their understanding about film terminology.

Peta uses the 1905 black and white silent film, Rescued by Rover in the lesson. The film is about a baby who is stolen from its pram by an old beggar woman, and rescued by the family dog, Rover.

Peta starts the lesson by playing the first couple of minutes of the soundtrack without showing the images, to encourage the class to think about the role of sound in film, and what might be happening.

In the next activity she asks the class to look at two of the characters and deduce who they are and the role they might play, based on their costumes.

The last activity before the pupils watch the film is to look at setting, and the composition of shots, to learn about the term "mise en scene".

After watching the film, Peta models a writing activity which the class continue independently.

She finishes the lesson with a hotseat activity, bringing back the two key characters that the pupils looked at earlier in the lesson to question their actions and motivation.



Rescued by Rover Lesson Plan (size 0.1 M)
The lesson plan for Peta Blow's lesson using Rescued by Rover to explore narrative through character and setting

Published : Feb 2011

04 mins


Lesson Planning Pack - Media


Primary Teacher


Primary English

Media & moving image

Whole School Issues

Primary CPD


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