An incredibly powerful video for the classroom!

I am a fan of using visual media in the classroom to spark discussion and encourage children to develop higher order reading skills. A video I stumbled across today would be another example of a great visual resource to use in class. I would recommend this for upper key stage 2 +:

Some questions to ask -
  • Watch the first 20 seconds and ask the children to listen to the music. How does the music set the mood? What word best describes the atmosphere the music creates?
  • At 35 seconds, who are the characters we meet? Where has the little girl been?
  • At 40 seconds, what do you think the relationship is between the two characters?
  • At 1 minute, what new characters do we meet? What relationship are they to the little girl?
  • At 1.30, how is the girl feeling? How is she treated by the others? Is there anything unusual by the way she is treated?
  • At 1.50 - Why are the adults shouting at the child? Is this deserved? Is this right?
  • At 2.05 - The music changes, what do you think this will signify, what mood is the music creating now?
  • How does the music match the little girl's feelings? Can the children describe how the girl is feeling and how they know this?
  • At 2.20 - How does she feel now? Why do you think the Mum is ignoring her? 
  • At 2.30 - What is the girl wanting? Why does she keep putting the doll on the table? Why is the Dad ignoring her? Is this how she should be treated? What message do you think the author/director is trying to get across here?
  • At 2.45 - The mother sees something, how does she react? What do you think has happened? Why do you think this?
  • At 3.00 - The couple make a decision, what do you think it is?
  • At 3.15 - Ask the children whether they have any more idea about what the decision was and where they are going?
  • At 3.48 - Why has the father thrown the doll? What may happen?
  • At 4.00 - What has happened to the girl? Establish she was a metaphor throughout the film as a dog.
  • Ask the children why the author/director has done this? What was the intent? Did it work? What is the message of this film?
  • Go back through the video and see if the children can now see the clues the author/director has dropped in about the girl really being a dog.
  • Discuss the effect of waiting until the end to reveal the character as a dog is more powerful? How did we feel at the end? Would this have had the same effect if we knew at the beginning?
Writing activities -

  • Make a list of all the ways the director used dog like behaviours with the girl throughout the film.
  • Write a first person recount as the girl/dog.
  • Share data about abandoned dogs - (According to Daily Mail, 2014 - there are 110,000 abandoned dogs in the UK.
  • Use the video and data to write persuasive letters to stop people abandoning dogs. 
  • Write a guide for people about what to consider if they want a dog. 
  • Create a set of instructions for how to look after a dog.
  • Create a script to film their own version of the film about another animal - cat for example. 
Please share any further ideas or examples of children's work if they use the video in class.


  1. What was the name of the video as it seems to have disappeared?

  2. Hi this a really great video and an excellent idea! I'll be using it in my literacy class this week.

    Mike the name of the video is "Gift" & here is a direct link.


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