Collaborative writing activity: ‘Pigeon Impossible’

This activity can be done with any short video, preferably without dialogue.

to begin with, the students are given a series of items of vocabulary taken from the video. For this example, we are using the video ‘Pigeon Impossible’, available from You Tube –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEjUAnPc2VA

– so the vocabulary would be:

pigeon

Washington Monument

briefcase

doughnut

rocket launcher

The vocabulary is explained, and the students are told that all of the items come from one story, then set to work in groups to write a story which contains all of the vocabulary items given. How much emphasis is given to attempting to predict the original story is up to the teacher. It is interesting to include at least one item of vocabulary which doesn’t seem to fit, as with ‘rocket launcher’, but this depends a little on the level of the students in the class. Insistence on them working only in English in their groups also depends on their level.

Once the stories are finished, each group reads their story to the class. The teacher can comment on elements of the story which fit in with the story told in the video if s/he wants. Then the class watch the video of ‘Pigeon Impossible’.