"Short of the week" - a source of ideas


Today, I would like to recommend you a great webiste with lots of videos to choose from and a ready to use lesson plan with one of the flms from this paricular website.

In one of the reviews of the website I've read that "Short of the Week aims to close the gap between artist and viewer by spotlighting the work of emerging talent every week. YouTube and Vimeo are more often graveyards than springboards to success for many talented film makers", but thanks to this site, they have an opportunity to spread their wings. There are no commercials and what's more, it offers a wide variety of genres to suit all tastes. You can watch documentaries, comedies, sci-fi, horror, experimental, animation, inspiration, student films, award winners.....and many more.

"Operator" - a dramatic battle to save people

What if your students could change place with somebody and feel how it is to do their work? What if they could be operators picking up an emergency call and dealing with extreme stress trying to help the victim? Get ready for an absolutely engaging video that will leave your students breathless.

The plot 

An Emergency Services Operator battles to save a young mother and her son from a house.The film shows what an amazing job the operators do, remaining calm and composed in such stressful situations. A perfect video to use in the classroom. 


Topic: difficult professions, jobs
Level: intermediate +
Age: group: 13+
Activity aim:
  • to revise names of difficult jobs and adjectives describing them
  • practice speaking (narration) and class discussion
  • practice writing an account of the event
  • listening for details 
  • exploiting sound and vision of the film

Vocabulary to pre-teach: locksmith, duvet, sink, pillow, blaze, on fire, rescue
Time: 45-60 min

Stage one:

Ask your students to think about any difficult jobs they know. Typical answers will be: a fire fighter, a police officer or a surgeon. Students don't expect the job of an operator to be a difficult one. When you list all the jobs on the board, ask your students to think about some adjectives discribing them. What kind of a person you have to be in order to become a fireman or a policeman, for example? Together you list words such as: responsible, mature, hard working etc.

Stage two:

Class discussion: Would you like to do one of these jobs? Why? Why not? What could be the benefits and what drawbacks of such a job? Write the word OPERATOR on the board. Ask you students if the job matches the other jobs. Why? Why not?

Stage three:

Tell your students that they are going to hear but not see a video of a woman who is an operator. Students get in pairs. One person has to quickly draw a sketch of the house with two floors (see a picture below). While watching he has to draw where the woman and the child are and how they move during the whole situation. The second one gets a sheet of paper with a set of questions he has to answer during the film. Remember that there can't be too many questions as they can be destracting.

                                  A set of questions:

                                  What is her address?
                                  Where is the fire?
                                  Where is the woman?
                                  Where is the boy?
                                  How old is he?
                                  What's his name?
                                  What does her son like doing?

Stage four

After checking the answers ask your students to get in pairs but with a different person this time. Imagine that one of you is a reporter and the second one an eye witness. Narrate the whole story to a partner.

Stage five
Run a short discussion with the class about the job of an operator. What's their opinion now? What adjectives could they use to describe the her? (composed, calm, trusthworthy etc). Have they changed their minds about her job?

Stage six

Students watch again. This time they can see the video and have to write down all the instructions they can hear:
Try to calm down.
Stay where you are.
Stay with me.
I need you to stay downstairs.
Open all the windows.
Try not to panic.
Stay close to the window.etc.
Ask your students: Have you ever called emergency services? If yes, when, what was the reason. Discussion.

Stage seven: Homework

Tell your students that they will have to write a short text. (Can be done during the lesson if there is time)
The woman (the operator) comes back home after a hard day and.......
Group one: she opens her diary and describes what has happened.
Group two: she turns on TV to see.........write what happens with the mother and the son later on.
Maximum 100 words.

Hope you will enjoy the video as much as I did.


  1. Moim zdaniem bardzo dobre, lecz troszeczke za mało pompy.

  2. ha ha ha very funny. It's one of my students:)


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