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Vision off - YouTube technique

Average: 4.5 (40 votes)

In this activity, learners listen to a short film on YouTube and make deductions before watching it.

Nicola Crowley

This YouTube activity really gets your students thinking creatively. Students are motivated and have lots of fun. The activity can be used to review present simple tenses, vocabulary for sounds, language of deduction and making comparisons.


  • Open the YouTube video Teeth ( and make sure it is ready to play. Don't let your students see it. Cover the projector or screen if necessary.
  • Write the following questions on the board:
    • How many people are there in the scene?
    • What sounds can you hear?
    • Where is the scene set?
    • What's happening?


  • Tell students that you are going to play a short film (just over two minutes long) but they will not see it. They will need to listen and guess what's happening.
  • Tell the students to answer the questions on the board while they are listening.
  • Play the clip, making sure your students can't see it.
  • Ask students to compare their answers to the questions on the board with their partner's.
  • Go through the questions with the class and get as many different ideas from them as possible. Write the students' ideas on the board. Don't give the students the answers to the questions yet.
  • If you would like your students to practise the language of deduction, then encourage them to give feedback when answering the questions such as It must be set in a bathroom because I heard the sound of water splashing or There can't be more than one person in the scene because you only hear one man laughing.
  • Tell the students that films usually have a beginning (set-up), middle (event or complication) and an end (resolution). Elicit from the students what they think happened in the beginning, middle and end of this film.
  • Now tell the students that they are screenwriters for the short film. Ask students to work in pairs to make the storyboard or write the screenplay of the film (see worksheets below). If you have a mixed ability class you may wish to give some students the storyboard and others the screenplay. Students write or draw what happens in the beginning, middle and end of the film. Encourage students to use the present tense for describing the scene e.g. The scene fades in. A man stands in front of a mirror.
  • Alternatively, you can ask the students to discuss this in pairs without writing.
  • Now play Teeth again. This time allow the students to see it as well as listen to it.
  • Ask students if the scene they imagined was the same or different to what they had thought. You may ask your students to make comparisons e.g. In my screenplay there was one man whereas in the film there were two or The film is funnier than my screenplay.


Students can read the screenplays or storyboards and vote which one should be made into a film.

Language level
Language Level: 
Intermediate: B1