Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Movie Talk Script - Bear Story

After my post on Movie Talk and EdPuzzle, I received a number of requests for Movie Talk scripts which I have used in class. I am by no means an expert on doing Movie Talks, but today my colleague Bob Patrick and I recently did a Movie Talk which I think went extremely well with our Latin 1 students. As a result, I thought that I would share it with folks. 

I was wanting to do a Movie Talk which I could use to introduce family words, such as mother, father, son, etc., so I consulted Jason Fritze's Movie Talk database. If you have not seen this, then I highly suggest that you take a look at it and bookmark it! This summer, Jason Fritze began to create a list of Movie Talks using Google Docs, and then he shared it publicly for others to add additional Movie Talks. The database is sorted by possible target nouns, verbs, and adjectives, so I did a search for the terms mother and father, and I found this absolute gem of a movie short. 

The movie short is called Bear Story, and it recently won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short. This Chilean short movie (made with help from Pixar) is incredibly powerful and absolutely emotional yet heartwarming - when I first saw Bear Story, I found myself so vested in the storyline emotionally. Watch it on your own, and see what you think - Link to Bear Story (note - I cannot guarantee how long this link will remain active before it is removed for copyright violations). Katya Paukova says that the best movie shorts are those which appeal to the emotions, because then students will be more engaged in them. Wow, Bear Story definitely had me engaged!  

Anyhow, Bob and I used this movie short today to introduce the words mother, father, and son, as well as some other target words. I am providing two different Movie Talk scripts: one in Latin, and one in English so that it can be adapted to your target language. NOTE - any movie short can be adapted to your own target words/structures if you watch a movie short closely enough.

Movie Talk script English

  1. Do NOT show the full movie short prior to the Movie Talk. Students will not be as engaged in the Movie Talk if they know the ending! You do not want to spoil the ending.
  2. Many of my students were on the verge of tears as they watched Bear Story.
  3. Due to the massive amount of repetitions and to the emotional engagement, I was surprised by how many of the target words students had acquired in this Movie Talk.
  4. The ending may seem ambiguous to students - the big question which many had was "Did the bear actually return to his family? or did he create his own fantasy ending in his picture box show?" My take: the bear does indeed return to his family. Although the bear is alone in the beginning of the movie short, it appears that his wife and son are not home. Pause it at 1:23, and you will see an imprint of both bears' bodies in the bed, and they are holding hands! Plus at the end of the movie, the father bear smiles, as looks at the picture of his family. Again, this is my take on it. 
  5. Explain the story behind the making of Bear Story to your students after you view it. It makes the animated short all the more powerful. 
I hope that you will be able to use this Movie Talk with your students!

P.S. Quite ironically, Anabelle Allen (who is my current IFLT heroine) today posted in her blog about doing Movie Talks - I highly recommend that you read her post here! I always learn so much from her!


  1. Keith, this is sheer folly. I just couldn't talk to my students while watching this movie, I wasn't on the verge of crying, but literally poured a river :) keep up with the movie talks script now and then, it's a great source of inspiration!

  2. Just watching this I found several shorts that look promising. I used to do this years ago with Gilligan's Island: iuvenis, senex, domina, femina pulchra, puella, gubernator, magister, insula, navis, tempestas, mare. Can't wait to see how MovieTalk has become a thing!