Adaptation of fairy tales is one of the most popular trends in cinematography. More and more fairy tales have been filmed which is a good topic to discuss both with your teen and adult students. 

One of the latest movies based on a fairy tale is “The Little Mermaid”. We’ve prepared a lesson plan which enhances your students’ vocabulary, listening and reading skills. It is suitable for Pre-intermediate and higher levels.

Lesson plan:

  1. Warm-up
  2. Lead-in
  3. Vocabulary
  4. The cast reaction
  5. Choices
  6. Which is original?
  7. Original mermaids

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Task 1. Warm-up

• Look at the list of fairy tales. What do they have in common?

Snow White          
Beauty and the Beast 
Alice in Wonderland
The Little Mermaid           

• Have you read the books? 
• Have you seen their adaptations? Which of them did you like?  
• What did you like most: books, cartoons or movies? Why?

Teacher’s notes:

1. Accept any answer and then elicit that there are cartoons and movies based on all these fairy tales. 

Read more:

Task 2. Lead-in

Look at the list of the fairy tales above again and think which of them has the most unrealistic story and explain your answer. How much is the possibility that it will happen in real life?

Teacher’s notes:

Teacher’s notes: Give students a few minutes to think of each fairy tale and its possibilities to happen in real life. You can help them by asking some additional questions. 

For example, 

Cinderella: Cinderella could have a real aunt who would help her to get a beautiful dress and get to the castle. 
Snow White: This story can happen in real life too as there are lots of ways to poison food so that a person won’t die but fall asleep.   
Beauty and the Beast: This story is not only about the beast’s appearance, but also his evil soul because of which he has become isolated. 
Alice in Wonderland: In real life people see realistic dreams too. 

The least possible story is “The Little Mermaid” as mermaids are mythological creatures. 

Watch the trailer and then answer the questions.

  1. What scene does the trailer start with?
  2. What happened to the ship?
  3. What did the little mermaid do?

1. It starts with a sea scene.
2. It sank because of the storm.
3. She saved the prince.

Task 3. Vocabulary

Watch the trailer again and match the words and phrases with their definitions. Then make sentences with each of them.

  1. all hand on deck 
  2. to abandon  
  3. a cove
  4. to drown 
  5. an obsession 
  6. to figure out 
  7. enemy

a) to leave a place because of danger;
b) to die because you have been underwater too long and you cannot breathe;
c) an unhealthy preoccupation with something or someone;
d) said to mean that a particular situation requires everyone to work hard in order to achieve an aim; 
e) a small sheltered bay;
f) someone who hates somebody and tries to harm them in some way;
g) to find the solution to a problem or question.

Key: 1. — d); 2. —  a); 3. — e); 4. — b); 5. — c); 6. — g); 7. — f) 

You can also be interested in:

Task 4. The cast reaction

How did you react when you first saw the trailer?

Watch the video where the cast reacts to the trailer. Describe their emotions.

Task 5. Choices

Watch the video and name the characters you saw. Then match them to the phrases they said. Which phrases are new? Can you try to guess their meanings?

  1. We aren’t supposed to be this far from the palace. 
  2. You belong to me. 
  3. Getting cold fins? 
  4. You can’t live in that world unless you become a human yourself. 
  5. Look out! 
  6. Sure, you’ve gotta show them who’s in… 
  7. Life is full of tough choices, isn’t it?

Characters: Ariel; Flounder; Scuttle; Ursula; Ariel’s father (King Triton); Eric
1. — Flounder; 2. — Ursula; 3. — Ariel; 4. — Ursula; 5. — Ariel; 6. — Flounder; 7. — Ursula
Teacher’s notes:

Give students a few minutes to think about the meanings of new words. If necessary, replay the video.

Possible words/phrases that may be new to students: 
to be supposed to —  to be obligated and expected to do
to belong — be owned by
to get cold fins = get cold feet — become unable or afraid to do something
unless — used to say that something can only happen or be true in a particular situation 
Look out! — to watch what is happening and be careful
you’ve gotta = you have got to — an informal way of saying that something is necessary or must be done
tough — very difficult to do or to deal with  

Ursula said that life is full of tough choices. What do you think of it? What would you do if you were Ariel? Would you sacrifice your voice in order to have feet and be with the prince? Why (not)?

Task 6. Which is original?

Watch the video and compare the scenes in a cartoon and in a movie.

Imagine that you don’t know Ariel’s story and you are going to choose between the cartoon and the movie to watch. Which one would you choose? Why? 

Watch the short video where the movie has been criticized and then read some comments below it. Do you agree with the commentators? 

Lesson plan: The Little Mermaid (film discussion)
Source: YouTube

Task 7. Original mermaids

What movies with mermaids do you know or remember? How different are they?

Teacher’s notes:

If students have some difficulties with remembering such movies, show them a few of them where mermaids are represented differently. You can also show them some scenes.

Which characters of the mermaids from these movies are close to mythology? What do you know about them?

Look at the list of the names. These are some of the names that have been given to mermaids throughout the centuries in different parts of the world. Try to match them with the names of the places they are called so.

  1. Eastern Europe
  2. Scottish Isles and Scotland
  3. Western Europe
  4. Ireland
  5. Africa
  6. Ancient Greece and Rome
  7. Southeast Asia

a) Mami Wata
b) Sirens and Mermaids
c) Rusalki
d) Merrows
e) Suvannamaccha
f) Selkie
g) Melusine

Open the link and check your answers. Choose the one you are interested in, read and retell what you’ve found out.

Key:  a) — 5; b) — 6; c) — 1; d) — 4; e) — 7; f) — 2; g) — 3

Read more:

Productive lessons!

Комментарии (1)
  • Фото аватара

    Спасибо! Подскажите, пожалуйста, а где можно на английском посмотреть?


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