Using Animated Shorts to Teach Characters and Settings

Teaching Reading Skills with Animated Short Films

If you are looking to add some high-interest activities for teaching characters and settings, try using the animated shorts Geri’s Game to teach reading skills. This post contains the animated short film Geri’s Game found on Vimeo and inserted in this post.

Teaching Character Traits Geri’s Game [4:52]

Geri’s Game takes place in a Paris park in early October. Soft music plays in the background as Geri plays a game of chess against himself. After each turn, he walks around the table to compete with himself. Geri’s personality changes as he moves to different sides of the table making this a great film for teaching character traits. The film speeds up to make the viewer feel like two players are playing the game. Several humorous events such as a faked heart attack will entertain students.

Film Information – Geri’s Game was released in 1997 by Pixar. The producers paired it with the movie A Bug’s Life. Geri’s Game won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1998.

The Handout 

Teaching Character Traits with Animated Shorts

In this animated short, students will describe the character traits of Geri as his personality changes while playing both sides of the chess game. 

 

I WANT THE HANDOUT.

 

What people are saying about the full unit…

Nicole

My students LOVE these lessons, and looked forward to a new one each week. Even though my students are in middle school, they enjoyed the videos and were totally engaged the whole time!

 

The handout includes the following information:

List two reasons the character with glasses is nicknamed White Geri.

White Geri plays with the white game pieces. He is also a “good” character. In old western films, a white hat signified the character who was good or of high virtue while the characters with black hats were bad or evil villains.

List characteristics and personality traits of White Geri.

  • wears glasses
  • appears to be a deep thinker
  • looks worried – scratches his head
  • appears nervous – hands tremble

Name two things this character does to earn the nickname Black Geri.

Black Geri plays the chess game using the black game pieces. His personality appears more like the ‘bad guy’ as he makes fun and teases his opponent.

List characteristics and personality traits of Black Geri.

  • grins and laughs as he makes moves during the game
  • taunts White Geri by shaking his finger in a motion that ‘says’ wrong move/bad decision
  • gives the appearance of having a lot of confidence at playing chess by using boastful expressions

Describe Geri’s mental state.

This is a good question for discussion. Geri could be considered senile by playing a game with himself. Geri could also be bored or lonely, so he ‘invents’ a friend to play a game with.

Describe how the story is ‘told’ without any words.  

Mannerisms, gestures, facial expressions, and the interaction between the two characters are ways the filmmaker shows the personality of each of the characters.

More Samples from the Teaching Reading with Animated Shorts Series

Teaching Reading and Writing Skills with Animated Shorts Pt 1 Digital+Printable
Teaching Reading and Writing Skills with Animated Shorts Pt 2 Digital+Printable
Teaching Reading and Writing Skills with Animated Shorts Digital Christmas
Teaching Reading and Writing Skills with Animated Shorts Digital Bundled

 

 Writing Series
Teaching Narrative Writing Skills with Animated Short Films Digital + Printable
Teaching Reading and Writing Skills with Animated Shorts Pt 2 Digital+Printable
Teaching Informative Writing Skills with Animated Shorts Digital + Printable
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teaching-Writing-Skills-with-Animated-Short-Films-Digital-Printable-5042619

 

Teaching Reading Skills with Animated Shorts

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1 comment

  1. Wow! This is a great resource and an amazing site. Thank you so much. Love it. Suzanne

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