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Read and watch stories

July 24, 2018 by cymaster

Whether you watch the adaptation first and then read the story, or vice versa, there are plenty of benefits to watching film adaptations with your class. Just to mention a few: films help your students revise vocabulary, improve visualisation skills, practise listening skills and familiarise students with the cultural context of the story. It is also a nice way to wind down after a long reading session or a unit test.

What are your options?


  • the whole film in class.
  •  only the beginning and compare it with the reader.
  •  the whole film in class, but in two sessions. Do an activity in the middle.
  • clips from the film and compare it with chapters from the book. This is a more focused and intensive activity.


1 Watch the film trailer as an introduction to the reader. You can also show scenes from the film, and then discuss your students’ predictions.

2 Compare the book cover and the film poster.

3 Become familiar with the setting: choose a scene from the film which shows a typical location in the story. Describe the scene, and introduce or revise vocabulary related to it.

4 Dubbing: it’s always a fun activity to mute the film and ask students to do voiceover narration. They can come up with their own stories. Alternatively, pause the film at a scene with several characters, and ask your students to come up with a dialogue for that scene.

5 Ask your students to watch the film and then draw or design the plot in eight to twelve frames, highlighting the most important events.

6 Ask your students to act out a dialogue or a scene from the film/reader.

7 Ask your students to compare the reader and the film. They can focus on characters, locations, themes, the plot, the atmosphere. They do not necessarily have to write an essay, they can also create presentations, charts or illustrations.


With English subtitles you can improve your students’ listening skills, word recognition skills and you can revise new vocabulary.

Subtitles in your own language can help your students pick up new vocabulary. It mainly improves receptive vocabulary development as without teacher support and further practice your students will only hear the expression once.

Here is a list of film adaptations you can use with our readers:

Helbling Readers and film adaptations

The order of the information: Reader, Film adaptation, Year of film adapatation, Rating

Red Series

Peter Pan

The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Black Beauty

Little Women

The Secret Garden

A Christmas Carol

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Treasure Island 

White Fang

Anne of Green Gables

Oliver Twist

Mowgli's Brothers

The Adventures of Doctor Dolittle

Blue Series

The Last of the Mohicans 

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Wuthering Heights

Jane Eyre


Pride and Prejudice

Sense and Sensibility

The Great Gatsby 

The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Age of Innocence

Rating information:

  • PG: Parental guidance suggested
  • G: General audiences, for all ages
  • PG -13: Parents strongly cautioned, some material may be inappropriate for children under 13
  • R: Restricted, under 17 requires accompanying parent

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