The king was pregnant.

Ursla Le Guin (1929-2018)

The Left Hand of Darkness, 1969

Natty Narration

Choice Card: Natty Narration
Observation, speaking quickly
experienced older children and up
Various (video length)
Class Size:
Groups of 2-4
Energy Level:
video, pack of cards


Method of play

Players take turns speaking about a video as determined by the lay of the cards. The aim of this game is to play as many cards as possible within the time limit. The time limit is the length of the video. Each player chooses a suit. If there are only two players they get two suits each, either red cards or black cards. For three players one suit is wild. If a wild card is drawn it belongs to the player who last spoke.

When suits are decided. The deck is shuffled and the video is started with the sound on mute. The first card is turned over. If it is a court card the player whose suit it is makes a past tense sentence about something just seen. otherwise the player makes a present continuous sentence about something that is happening on the screen. Once a grammatically correct and accurate sentence is completed the next card is turned over. That's it!


Instead of a present contineous sentence the task can be made easier by making any sentence about what is on screen, "That man has a blue shirt", "The room is big" etc. Or just make a past sentence for every card or make any kind of sentence for any card.

Further thoughts

It can help to intoduce some vocabulary to describe camera movements, panning left, panning right, zooming in, zooming out. When introducing the activity for the first time use something relatively simple, for example a 3-5 minute YouTube cooking video with little change of scene. You can build up to something like the following. This is a 7:41 Titanic exercise! The original video complete with sound can be found on YouTube.


It's not necessary to play the video a second time with sound, that depends upon how easy and useful the vocabulary actually is. Also, depending up the group and their experience some leeway can be given about sentence accuracy - natty or nice?