If you are looking to add some high-interest activities to your lessons, try using animated shorts to teach problems and solutions.
This post contains the animated short “Taking the Plunge” found on Vimeo and inserted in this post. In this animated short, the main character has a problem he must solve. Handouts, leveled for upper elementary students, with graphic organizers encourage students to think about problems and solutions.
Teaching Problems and Solutions with the Animated Shorts – Taking the Plunge [6:43]
A man selects a romantic setting, on a dock over the ocean, to propose to his girlfriend. When he takes the ring out of his pocket, he is shaking so much he drops the ring, and it rolls into the deep ocean.
Film Information – This animated short was published in 2015 by students at the School of Visual Arts.
On this graphic organizer, students state the main problem and steps to reaching the solution.
What people are saying about the full unit…
This is such a phenomenal resource, my students and I both LOVE it!! I never know there were so many different animated shorts. This resource had made learning reading comprehension FUN, and real for my students. Thanks
The handout includes the following information:
A man selects a romantic setting, a dock over the ocean, to propose to his girlfriend. When he takes the engagement ring out of his pocket, the man is shaking so much he drops the ring. It rolls into the deep ocean.
The man puts on scuba diving gear and jumps into the ocean to retrieve the ring.
As he chases the ring which is slowly floating downward, an octopus gets in front of him, and the man loses sight of the ring. To let the octopus know his mission, the man motions to his ring finger. The octopus makes a heart shape with its arms showing he will help.
The octopus guides the man to a lookout where he can see a line of fish taking ‘treasures’ to a shark. The man sees his ring on the back of one of the fish.
The octopus intervenes by grabbing the ring from the top of the fish and letting it fall into the ocean where the man can get it. The nervous octopus lets off a puff of black ink. This causes the shark to chase both the octopus and the man.
The man and octopus hide. When the shark spots them and tries to eat them, a large rock gets lodged in his mouth preventing him from closing his jaws. The defeated man goes back to the dock without the ring.
After the man goes through hunting for the ring, he gives up and comes to the dock. He then proposes to his girlfriend without a ring. At the end of the film, the octopus is seen holding the ring up above the ocean’s surface. The audience can infer that the man will get the ring back.
What is the double meaning behind the title of the film?
The man literally plunged into the ocean to get the ring he dropped. Also taking the plunge is an idiom that means to marry someone.
More Samples from the Teaching Reading with Animated Shorts Series
- Main Idea and Details
- Point of View and Perspective
- Characters and Setting
- Cause and Effect
- Compare and Contrast
- Problems and Solution
- Christmas Shorts
- Mood and Tone with Christmas Shorts
Check out all six products in the Reading and Writing Series. Units are also available as bundles.