Verbstaubt (Dusty)

Age Range: 5 - 11
By: Sam Collins

Genre(s): Comedy

A short movie about a clumsy vacuum cleaner who has to deal with an unforeseen disaster.

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Write an explanation of how a hoover or a washing machine works, or how the photo frame might work.
  • Write instructions to use a washing machine.
  • Stop the film at various points and discuss how the hoover is feeling - for example 0:33, 0:46, 1:07, 2:01 and 2:10.
  • Compare the body language of the family in the family photo at 0:34, 0:38 and 1:25. How are they feeling? What adjectives could you use to describe them?
  • Write the story of the family’s reaction when they get home. Are they pleased about the red furnishings?
  • Create an advert for an intelligent hoover or the photo frame in the film.
  • Write a description of each member of the family.
  • Make a story map of the film.
  • Write a review of the film.
  • Write the story from the point of view of one of the family members.


  • Set some time problems. For example, if the hoover puts the rug in the washing machine at 12:30 and a wash take 1 hour 30 minutes, what time will it be finished?
  • The utility room floor is covered in square tiles. Have a look at this nrich challenge to investigate squares further.


  • Watch this video which shows how the images are built up in layers. Could you use graphics / video software and experiment with the layering options?

  • Use an animation package to make a new title sequence for the film.
  • Look at the film’s website and then design your own website for the film.

Design Technology

  • Find out how a hoover works and draw a diagram of it.
  • Read “Until I met Dudley” by Roger McGough.
  • Design your own intelligent hoover. What features would it have?


  • Try drawing in sand or colouring over a piece of paper in writing pencil and then rubbing out to get the same effect as the dust in the title sequence.
  • Discuss the effect of the different colours used. Try drawing a room in your own house of school but using different colours. How does it change the room?
  • Give children a very simple template of a room to furnish with pictures that have been cut out of a furniture catalogue or home interior magazine.
  • Look at the bird’s eye view of the room at 1:44. Draw a similar view of a room in your home or school. 


  • Watch the film with the sound off. How do the sound effects and music help to tell the story?
  • Write your own score (music and sound effects) for the film.


  • Verstaubt means 'dusty' in German. It is an adjective; research some useful adjectives in the language you are studying.


  • Think of a time when you have accidentally broken something or hurt someone. How did you put it right?
  • When he first realises that the rug has been dyed red, the hoover panics (2:00) but when he calms down and thinks about it, he comes up with a solution. What can you do when you have a problem to help you find a solution?


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