Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Verbstaubt (Dusty)

by Mark Warner
0 comment
Ages: 5-11
Sam Collins

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

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

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 with 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 takes 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.


  • 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 with a writing pencil and then rubbing it 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 or 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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