The Cartoon Character’s House

- Technology in English

Antònia Vidal, subject teacher
Catherine Cobb, Language 2 class teacher (English)

IES Son Pacs
Palma of Majorca, Majorca (Balearic Islands), Spain
18.42  minutes
Download film on Vimeo

This CLIL-Technology lesson is part of a three-week project about architecture (scales and floor plans), called “The Cartoon Character’s House”. The two teachers have been working together for several years in joined projects implementing the CLIL approach at their school.

In Technology classes students learn by doing. The teachers use real-life contexts so that the students can get involved in what they are learning.
In this particular project the teachers focuse on the acquisition of both technology skills (scales and plans) and language skills (communication, accuracy and vocabulary).

The development of this lesson is carried out according to the following stages:

  1. Introduction of the project 
  2. Thinking about hypothetical clients
  3. Drawing the cartoon character’s house
  4. Presentation of the project


1   Introduction of the project

Both teachers are in charge of the introduction. The students are supposed to be architects who have to draw and sell houses. The L2 teacher presents three main points that real-life architects must bear in mind when planning a house: What does the client look like, what the client is like and what the client likes. The teachers use aids such as PowerPoint-slides to visualize these main points.

2   Thinking about hypothetical clients
The language teacher is in charge of this part. The students are invited to make decisions about the cartoon client they want to build the house for and to describe him/her. Miming, intonation and visual aids are some of the scaffolding techniques frequently used by the teacher.

3   Drawing the cartoon characters’ house
The subject teacher is in charge of this part of the project. Once the students have chosen and described their client with the English teacher, the Technology teacher asks them to draw his/her ideal house according to each character’s needs and using the appropriate scale.

4   Oral presentation of the project
At the end of the project students are invited to make a presentation of their projects. They pretend to be architects by dressing formally, using business cards and giving thorough presentations of the houses they plan to build. The teachers also act as architects and ask the students follow-up questions after their presentations.


Questions to discuss

  1. Try to identify the different scaffolding strategies used by the teachers in the film.
  2. What would you do differently in a similar CLIL – Technology project?
  3. Describe other real-life contexts suitable for a Technology project which enables students to learning-by-doing.



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