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A matter of time

Hollywood moment

Hollywood is one of the most important cinema industries in the world. Film makers and producers spend a lot of money on great films. In this section, you will learn about some historical facts portrayed in Hollywood films and will create your own timeline based on a classic drama film.

At the end of this section, you will have:

  • Learnt about classical films in Hollywood.
  • Learnt about some historical facts from films.
  • Practised and revised Past Simple tenses and time expressions.
  • Learnt about the use of the Passive in Present simple and Past simple.
  • Designed and presented a timeline on a fact in history.

Leading activities: historical films

The contents below will help you acquire the necessary knowledge to develop your next challenge more effectively.

Activity 1: Cleopatra and her time (video)

Start this section by watching Cleopatra's trailer. This historical film was mainly shot in cinema studios.

After watching, answer the questions below.

  • When did Cleopatra live?
  • Do you know about any emperors, slaves or gladiators who lived in Rome and/or Egypt?
  • Why did they become famous? / What did they do?
  • Where is Egypt located?

If you are able to answer most of these questions, it means that you are interested in ancient history. If you do not know about the answers, enter the site and learn some relevant information on ancient Egypt.

To learn key facts in Cleopatra's life, enter the site and read information about Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of Egypt. What facts surprise you? When did these facts happen?

Activity 2:Learning history from films

A lot of historical drama films portray real facts or events that have happened throughout history. People can learn about disasters such as wars or shipwrecks or biographies of important people by watching great classic films like the ones below.

With a partner, comment on what real facts or events the titles above are based. When did these facts happen? If necessary, search for information about the events on the Internet. To give information about what events happened in the past, you need to revise and practise the form and use of the past simple tense and, also, of past-time expressions.

Take your time to find on the Internet the answers for the questions below. These are based on the films mentioned above. With your partner, take turns to answer the questions with full sentences including time expressions. Be as precise as possible.

  • Did the Titanic sink in the morning or at night? On what day?
  • What month did World War II end?
  • How long did queen Elizabeth rule?
  • When was Gandhi born? When did he win the Nobel prize?
  • When did man first travel to space?

The links provided in the language help section can be useful to perform this task accurately.

Language help

Enter the agenda web site and do interactive activities on past tenses. Practise the Present and Past passive on the English for U page and on the agenda web page. On the englisch-hilfen page, you can learn about the use in English of time expressions.

Extra resources

A king/queen of ancient Egypt.

The destruction of a ship at sea by sinking or breaking up.

A state of armed conflict between different countries or different groups within a country.

A fact timeline

You and your classmates are going to work on the following mission in a collaborative way. In this case, we suggest that you create and design a timeline based on a film that you all agree to watch. With this task, you will be able to apply the main language contents presented in the section above.
Please, click on the headings below to find out concise information about your work, how it will be assessed and the ways in which you can promote it. 
Your work
  • In groups of four students, decide on a film's title to watch. The film can be a historical drama or a film based on real facts.
  • Watch the film at home. You can meet your group mates to watch the film together.
  • Write down notes of the main events that happen in the film. Do not forget to write down the time when each event happens.
  • With your email account, create a draft with storyboardthat.
  • Search for more detailed information on the internet about the time period on which the film story was based.
  • Agree with your classmates on the main facts that happened at that time and find related illustrations or videos to include in your timeline.
  • When you finish your draft with all the contents, create a timeline using an online application such as sutori or any other application. Click on the Middle Ages timeline to see an example of what you have to do.
  • On a fixed day, you and your classmates will present your timeline in front of your classgroup and teacher. For the presentation, consider the following points:
    • Introduce the film's title and the time when it was made and released.
    • Refer to the fact/-s on which the film is based.
    • Take turns to present the sequence of events in your timeline.
    • Summarize your presentation with a reflection on why the event/fact was so important in history.
    • Practise as much as possible before your presentation.
Work evaluation
Work promotion
  • Publish your timeline on the page enltitled  'My digital resources' of your Weebly site. Share the timeline link with your classmates on Pinterest. Remember to attach an image to the link.
  • After presenting all the timelines, the classgroup will vote for the best and most interesting presentation.
After completing the mission, remember to open your learning diary and answer the questions to help you reflect on your learning progress.

Learning diary

It is very important that you reflect on how you felt while you were learning the contents to create your timeline.

Create a new post on your blog with the title  'A  matter of time'.

Creado con eXeLearning (Ventana nueva)