To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction

Martin Luther King (1957-1968)

The Maroon (Morehouse College Student Paper), 1947

Natty Narration

Choice Card: Natty Narration
Observation, speaking quickly
experienced older children and up
Various (video length)
Class Size:
Groups of 2-4
Energy Level:
video, pack of cards or dice


Method of play

Players take random turns speaking about a video put on mute. The preferred method is to use playing cards. Then the aim of the game can be to play as many cards as possible within the time limit of the video. Each player chooses a suit. If there are only two players they get two suits each, either red cards or black cards. For three players one suit is wild. If a wild card is drawn it belongs to the player who last spoke.

When suits are decided. The deck is shuffled and the video is started with the sound on mute. The first card is turned over. If it is a court card the player whose suit it is makes a past tense sentence about something just seen. otherwise the player makes a present continuous sentence about something that is happening on the screen. Once a grammatically correct and accurate sentence is completed the next card is turned over. That's it!


Instead of a present continuous sentence the task can be made easier by making any sentence about what is on screen, "That man has a blue shirt", "The room is big" etc. Or just make a past sentence for every card or make any kind of sentence for any card.

For extra practise put the video into repeat mode and keep going until the whole deck of cards is used up

Instead of using cards players can use a dice. After making a sentence that player rolls the dice and uses the result to count clockwise around the group to find the next speaker. This is more random, time-consuming and lacks the target of getting through the whole deck but can accommodate larger groups.

Further thoughts

It can help to into duce some vocabulary to describe camera movements, panning left, panning right, zooming in, zooming out. When introducing the activity for the first time use something relatively simple, for example a 3-5 minute YouTube cooking video with little change of scene. You can build up to something like the following. This is a 7:41 Titanic exercise! The original video complete with sound can be found on YouTube.


It's not necessary to play the video a second time with sound, that depends upon how easy and useful the vocabulary actually is. Also, depending up the group and their experience some leeway can be given about sentence accuracy - natty or nice?