Think in English with Adah

A TEFL blog: You have to train yourself to think in English

Lesson Plan on the Movie Inception

I’d like to share with you a lesson plan that I created for the movie sessions that we did 2 weeks ago. This wasn’t the first time for me to design a lesson plan based on a movie. So far I’ve gained enough experience in designing English training worksheets on family-friendly movies such as Kung Fu Panda, Romona and Beezus, and this time, the ultimate intellectual heist movie – Inception.  Call me an avid movie fan of Christopher Nolan!

Worksheet on the Movie Inception – Created by Adah Huang 

1.      Warm-up discussion

(1)   What do you like about the movie Inception? You may talk about the plot, action, visual effects,  emotions and music,  etc.

(2)   Which scene is your favorite? Describe what happens before, during and after. Explain why it is your favorite scene.

2.     Characters and roles match-up

 Draw lines between the characters and their corresponding roles in the heist dream: 

Question: Who is your favorite character? Why? Describe this person by mentioning their physical appearance, personality and how they remind you of someone in your real life.

3.      Analysis of the various layers of the heist dream 

The following graph is designed by me based on the director Christopher Nolan’s graph detailing the team’s path through the various layers of the heist dream.  

Please fill in the blanks in the graph marked by a question mark “?”by recalling what you have seen in the movie and getting information from your partner(s). I have filled in some suggested answers that are highlighted in blue.  

4.      Hypothetical questions “If I were/ could …, I would…”

(1)     If you were Cobb who is capable of entering the dream of a target person, whose dream would you go into? What information would you extract from that person’s subconscious mind?

(2)     If you were Cobb, would you shoot Mal who is just a projection in the hospital? 

(3)     If you could design a totem for yourself, what would it be?

(4)     If you could build your own world in your dreams, would you refuse to wake up to the real world and choose to live in your dreams? How long would you live in your dreams?

 Vocabulary list:

1.       heist [haist] n. the act of stealing or robbery

2.       point man: a soldier who goes in front of the others to look for danger

3.       to take point: to take the first and most dangerous position in a military team; to lead the challenge

4.      forger n. a person who makes illegal copies of money, documents, etc. in order to deceive people

5.      projection n. a form or structure for inner thoughts and feelings

6.      to sabotage /ˈsæbətɑːʒ/ v. to deliberately destroy, damage, or obstruct (something)

7.      architect  n. a person who is responsible for planning or creating a building, an idea or a situation

8.      labyrinth /ˈlæbərɪnθ/ n. a maze; a complicated series of paths, which it is difficult to find your way through

9.      to con: to trick somebody, especially in order to get money from them or persuade them to do something for you

10.   sedative /ˈsedətɪv/ n. a drug that makes somebody go to sleep or makes them feel calm and relaxed

11.   kick n. the sensation of falling, hitting water or a sudden rough movement that can wake the sleeper up

12.   corporate hotel (phrase) a hotel that belongs to a company

13.   avalanche /ˈævəlɑːnʃ/ n. a mass of snow, ice and rock that falls down the side of a mountain

14.   limbo n. a deep subconscious level where they may lose their grip on reality and be trapped indefinitely

15.   totem n. a personalized small object whose behavior is unpredictable to anyone except its owner to determine whether they are in another person’s dream