Friday, May 24, 2024
Contre Temps

Contre Temps

by Mark Warner
0 comment
Ages: 7-11
Sam Collins

A man and a girl meet in a mysterious submerged city. Use our teaching ideas to explore this animated film.

Watch this video with your children, and then try some of our teaching and activity ideas below.


Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Collect vocabulary and phrases related to time, for example, adjectives, adverbs, adverbial phrases.
  • Write the prequel – how did the city get submerged?
  • Compare this to other books and films set underwater, for example, The Little Mermaid,  The Rainbow Fish. What common themes can you find?
  • Compare the setting with The OceanMaker where there is too little water.
  • Write the story from the point of view of the girl.
  • Write some dialogue between the characters from 3:23 to 3:55.
  • Write character sketches for the characters; Noe (the man)  and Kia (the girl). Explore this site for some illustrations of them.
  • Discuss the two meanings of “contre temps”; the literal french meaning of “against time” and the English meaning of “a small argument”. Is it a good title for the film? Can you make up a different title?
  • Contre temps is a french phrase commonly used in English. Can you find out any more? For example, deja vu, au fait.
  • Describe the setting of the story in a poem.


  • Look at different clock displays – how do we convert from analogue to digital, or 12 to 24 hour?
  • Set some time word problems based on the film. For example, if high tide is at 10:00 am and the time is now 8:30 am, how long is it until high tide?
  • Look at some tide tables – what patterns can you see? Set some word problems based on the tides.


  • Where in the world do we find coral? What kind of habitat does it need?
  • Research tides and create a fact file. Why do we have high and low tides?
  • Investigate how pendulums work by making them from string and a weight (for example, some plasticene). How long does it take to swing from one point to another? What happens if you change a variable (the weight of the pendulum, the length of the string)?


  • Design a webpage to promote the film. What images would you include to make people want to see it?

Design Technology

  • Investigate clockwork mechanisms. How do they work?


  • Stop the film at 1:47. Look at images of staircases and try drawing your own. This step-by-step video will help.


  • Listen to some music on the theme of water, for example, Handel’s Water Music. How does the music make you think of water?
  • Compose a soundtrack for the film. Which instruments would you use?


  • Water is essential for human life. Research how people in different parts of the world get their water. For example, what is the difference between hot countries and cold countries?
  • Compare a place near the sea with a place very far away from it.
  • Look at public clocks in your area. Why have they been placed where they are?


  • Find out about some submerged cities. For example, Lion City in China was purposely submerged to form a reservoir and divers can now explore it.
  • Watch this video from the British Museum about the history of telling the time.

Physical education

  • Create your own dance based on the story.


  • Find out time words in the language you are studying.

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