A tiny robot comes to life and spots an inquisitive bird outside the window. But how can he reach it when his power cable is so short?
Watch this video with your children, and then try some of our teaching and activity ideas below.
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Stop the film on the titles (0:08). What do you think this film is going to be about? Does it remind you of any other films or stories?
- Stop the film at 28 seconds. Describe the setting.
- Stop the film at various points during the story (for example, 01:05, 01:45, 03:00). What is the robot thinking? What is the bird thinking? How can you tell?
- Rewrite the story from the viewpoint of the bird.
- Write a narration for the film.
- Write an email from the person in the film describing what happened from their point of view. How do they think the robot got to the window?
- Write an alternative ending. What might have happened if the robot had gotten to the bird?
- Write a character profile for the robot. What adjectives would you use to describe it?
- Use an animation package (e.g. Pivot Animator) to make a simple animation of a robot running across the desk.
- Talk about peripherals that can be added to computers to perform specific tasks (e.g. mouse, microscope, visualiser). How many can you think of? Make a poster showing them what they are for.
- What do you think this robot is designed to do?
- Using a graphics package, try adding different-shaped frames to photographs. What effect does the frame have?
- Design your own robot. Can you give it flexible arms and legs like the one in the video?
- Stop the film at about 0:26. Draw or paint a picture of a setting through a window. Then stop it again at 0:28 and draw the same setting from inside, with the view out of the window. Display the two pictures side by side.
- Look closely at the colours used in the film. They are mostly shades of grey. Investigate mixing white and black to mix different shades and paint a grey picture.
- Stop the video at a point where you can see the scene from the robot’s point of view (e.g. 01:45). Use card viewfinders with a circle cut out to look at a scene, then draw or paint it. What effect does the frame have?
- Make a storyboard of the film.
- Listen carefully to the accompanying music. What instruments can you hear? How does the music help to tell the story?
- Compose a different soundtrack for the film. What kind of instruments would you use?
- The music that accompanies the film is Floe by Philip Glass. His work is often used in films. Why do you think the director chose it? Listen to some other works by Philip Glass.
- What time of year does this video take place? How do you know?
- Describe the local environment.
- Look at the ways the robot moves in the film. Try moving like that. For example, as if you were being held back by something or breaking free from something.
- Create your own dance based on the film.
- Dance to other Philip Glass music.
- Why do you think the robot wants to get to the bird?
- In the film, the cord is holding the robot back. What can you do if you find that something is holding you back?