Monday, April 15, 2024
Wire Cutters

Wire Cutters

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

A chance encounter proves fateful for two robots mining on a desolate planet. Share this fantastic video with your children and try some of our suggested teaching ideas!

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

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Stop the film at different points (for example, 0:57, 4:13, 4:17, 6:03-6:04, 7:36). What are the robots thinking?
  • What do you think the material is that they are mining? What is it used for? Make a “fact file” about it.
  • Does this remind you of any other films (for example, Pixar’s Wall-E)? Compare and contrast the robots in the films.
  • How would you describe the setting of the story? Use a thesaurus to collect adjectives to describe the planet. Contrast this with the scenes showing the atmosphere above the clouds.
  • The filmmaker intended the story to be a fable – which other fables do you know? Can you write your own fable?
  • Write a narration for the story.
  • Write a report about mining on the planet.
  • Write a dialogue between the two robots.
  • Write a newspaper report describing the incident.
  • Write an alternative ending for the story where the robots find a way to resolve their conflict.
  • Write a balanced argument discussing the pros and cons of mining on another planet.


  • Research rocks and soils. What do we use rocks for? How do we mine for rocks on earth? How might it be different on another planet?


  • Watch this behind-the-scenes video and make some simple line animations as shown in the first 40 seconds of the film:

  • Create your own planetscape in Minecraft.

Design Technology

  • Design your own mining robot. What features would be important to make it efficient?
  • Research different mining equipment
  • Find out about solar energy and how it can be used.


  • Draw your own planetscapes. Think about which art materials you could use to get the right effect.
  • Make a storyboard for the film.
  • Draw your own robot. Think about how the filmmaker has conveyed emotion using just the robots’ eyes. Draw four different versions showing different emotions.
  • Make a poster to advertise the film.


  • The first half of the film only has sound effects – can you compose some music for that part of the film?
  • Listen to the music in the second half of the film. What instruments have been used? What effect does it have?


  • What is the impact of mining on the environment? What are the benefits of mining? Write a report about it.


  • Research mining in history. How was mining done before machines? What kinds of materials have been mined?


  • Can you think of examples where you have worked with another person to do something you couldn’t do alone?
  • What goes wrong in the relationship? What could the robots do to put it right?
  • The little robot lets his anger get the better of him, and it leads to a tragic end. What can you do when you are angry to help you deal with it?

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