Collaborative idea generation for ELT

An extra Infinite ELT Ideas prompt this week, shared by Laura Patsko on Twitter, and too good to resist! It’s a two-minute video of ‘Batman’ being pulled over by police in Maryland, shared on the BBC News site.


What would you do with this video in your classroom? You can make any assumptions you like about the context it is used in. Post your ideas in the comments below. All ideas are welcome (there are no wrong answers!)

Click here to find out the idea behind this blog.

Comments on: "‘Batman’ pulled over by police in Maryland" (4)

  1. Excellent! Honoured to have inadvertently contributed to your infinite ideas, Sandy! 🙂

    As for me, I would…

    1. Play the beginning of the video (up to the rib-cracking moment at 00:45) without sound (so they don’t catch the words “Batman” or anything and ruin the surprise). Get students to speculate on what might be coming. What sort of things do the police pull people over for? What happens next? etc.

    2. Play them the video from the beginning (with sound) to check their ideas. Pause it before the next roll-on-the-floor moment at 1:37.

    3. Pause at 1:37. Students speculate one more time on what might happen next in the video. How do they think the policemen will leave this guy? What might the guy do? What would you do, if you were ‘Batman’/the policemen?

    This whole sequence might take a few minutes, might take more, depending on your students.

    I might then follow it up with this video – another cracker in the ‘cops pulling someone over’ genre, but this time from the POV of the people in the car:

    Then I might get students to role-play similar situations with different roles. Quite an easy context to subvert and make interesting – just like this guy in his Batman outfit did!

    Sadly, I’m on holiday this week but when I get back, I’m definitely gonna show this to my students!


  2. Wow… Laura gave a bunch of great ideas! So, I’m going to go a different way and use the video to trigger discussion. 🙂

    1. Get SS to wonder why he was wearing a Batman costume. What are likely / unlikely reasons for driving in a superhero costume. As a follow up SS could collaboratively write the story until the cops pulled him. You could use to practice modals or adverbs.

    2. Start a discussion of being a hardcore fan of something. Do they know anyone like that? Are THEY huge / fanatic fans of anything? How far can fans go? Follow up might be an article on the topic for a school newsletter or a paper.

    3. Stop the video right after he steps out of the car and have students come up with the excuse he is going to give to being dressed as Batman.

    Am definitely going to use it with my students as well!

  3. what strikes me most about this video is that at no point in the clip do the police ask the guy to remove his Batman mask. we can clearly see that the chin of the guy is white and reading around the story the guy is apparently a rich local businessman.

    this would make an interesting critical skills lesson (being at the fore of my mind after reading a tyson deburn blog post) whereby students could be prodded to step away from the surface humour and explore deeper issues that arise.

    the other thing that could be explored apart from race, class and police behaviour would be the public relations angle e.g. is there an upcoming release of a new batman film? (funnily enough there is).

    cheers mura

  4. Economic crisis and downsizing.

    You could discuss the effects of the crisis on people and how they’d had to downsize to cheaper houses, goods and cars. Then play the video and discuss if batman’s downsizing was effective and what would have happened if he had kept the batmobile. You might then move on to other super heroes on the police and how they have had to cut back on equipment, cars and man hours and if this has changed their productivity or if it is actually allowing more crime to happen and thus in the long term creating more costs.

    I’d round off with groups creating their own solution to the crisis in their countries.

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