If you haven’t seen the movie, Elf, you need to rent it this holiday season! This weekend I watched the movie with my family and thought of some ways on how to utilize this movie with my older middle school students. Here are some of the clips from the movie with my ideas!
My Favorite Elf Scene
Use this clip to identify non-verbal signals that the characters are showing and what message they are sending with their body language. Have the students generate questions to ask each other in the group about what they thought about the clip and discuss what Buddy should have done when he saw the raccoon.
Perspective Taking and “Thought Bubble”
This clip is great for talking about what is in the character’s “thinking” bubbles as well as a way to talk about expected vs. unexpected behaviors at the dinner table.
Students with language goals can practice describing the “setting” or the “characters” of the movie using the EET tool or an attribute wheel. I made some visuals for some of my lower kids to help with identifying expected vs. unexpected behaviors. We also worked on “what are we thinking about Buddy?” with my visual thought bubble.
This clip is hilarious! If your students haven’t seen this movie, you can target making inferences about what might happen next. Have the students document clues they see in the clip to help them make social inferences about what the characters are feeling and/or thinking.
This clip has some good expected vs. unexpected behaviors in it! It is a great way to talk about the expected way to cross the street, go up an escalator and what to do in a bathroom stall. Buddy does have some expected behavior in this clip as he is walking through the mall.
Do you have any kids on your caseload that like to pick up gum off the ground and eat it!? Well, I actually work with a student that I caught doing that at lunch. This is a great clip to show and talk about why it’s gross to pick up gum/food off the ground to eat. Kids can share what’s in their “thinking” bubble when they see Buddy eating gum off the subway railing.
I love this scene because the other person on the elevator has some great non-verbal signals about how he is feeling. Buddy also does one expected behavior on the elevator, but overall, everything he does in this clip would make someone really annoyed!! Students that need to work on articulation carryover can retell the story clip while practicing their speech sounds!
You can also have students write complex sentences about what happened in each clip! Give them a “challenge” word to add in each sentence such as an adjective, conjunction or transitional phrase.
Find my Elf movie playlist on YouTube
If you need a playlist of all the movie clips, you can use mine on YouTube. Hope you can use these in your therapy room for the last couple days of school! My kids stayed engaged and enjoyed watching all of Buddy’s shenanigans!!