Lesson: Using Our Emotional Vocabulary

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Lesson Objective

Students demonstrate mastery of emotional vocabulary and employ this to analyze short films and take vocabulary and essay assessments

Lesson Plan


Vocabulary Notebook

Computer with Internet Connection

Access to YouTube

White Board or Overhead Projector

Pocket Chart with Vocabulary Words



9-10LA2.5 Extend ideas presented in primary or secondary sources through original analysis, evaluation, and elaboration.

9-10LA3.3 Analyze interactions between main and subordinate characters in a literary text (e.g., internal and external conflicts, motivations, relationships, influences) and explain the way those interactions affect the plot.


Anticipatory Set:

Begin by reviewing vocabulary. Display words from the Project Vocabulary Notebook on the board or in a pocket chart.  Ask students to choose the words they find the most elusive or challenging, and then find volunteers to come up and draw a drawing and/or give an explanation to that word. You might find 5-10 words with low mastery that can be reviewed in this way.



Tell students we are going to put everything we’ve learned to use. You may choose to administer the Vocabulary and CAHSEE essay assessments before doing this project, but I recommend the opposite, as this project provides additional practice with recognizing, naming, and understanding character emotions.


Explore these instructions with the class to get them thinking about what to pay attention to while watching the films. http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Movie-Review Explain that their review should take the following format (display this in writing)

  • Introduction
    • Information about the film (name, year, creator, etc.)
    • The main story point and emotion(s) --- keep this brief
    • Summary
      • Explain who the characters are (as much as we can tell about them)
      • Tell the events of the movie
      • Emotional Content
        • Describe how emotions are communicated in this movie (sound, faces, light, music, etc.)
        • Name the emotions communicated and explain what effect each emotion has on the story (“Because he is so heart-broken, he decides to ….”)
        • Conclusion
          • Summarize the main emotions
          • Summarize the main events
          • Summarize your opinion



Guided Practice:

Watch “The Red Shoes” with the class once through, then poll the class about what emotions they saw. You may get answers such as “excitement,” or “seriousness,” but try to steer students to using the unit vocabulary as much as possible. Then, show the movie again and pause as you write out what you see in an outline. After you finish, engage the class in turning the outline into an essay, so that they will have models for what words to use in their own essay. It may be good to leave this displayed as a model for them.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2CffTu0LH0&feature=email


Independent Practice:

Show “Post-It Love” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsKghhQ41FM&feature=email and “The Black Hole” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5_Msrdg3Hk&feature=email each once through and allow students to choose which they would like to review. This will work best if they can each go to a computer to rewatch and then type their work. Otherwise, once the group is divided, show each movie again once or twice while they take notes.


Students write reviews and seek feedback from peers. Peers can use attached rubric for feedback if time permits.




Circulate and provide feedback to students as they shore up and publish their ideas.  Administer  attached Vocabulary and Essay assessments at an appropriate time for your class’ schedule. 

Lesson Resources

CAHSEE essay rubric.pdf  


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