The Great Mousetrap Rescue

When Vine first appeared, the way that you recorded video was by holding a finger on the screen of your device for as long as you wanted to film. So, if you wanted to record 6 seconds, you just had to touch the screen and keep your finger there for the duration of time. If you took your finger off the screen, recording would stop. This made it very easy to start and stop recording. It’s also, I believe, one of the prime factors that has lead to the platform being very well suited to creative use of cutting and thus creating ‘Vine magic’.

The Great Mousetrap Rescue

Level Pre-intermediate +
Type of student Teenagers, Young adults
Language Talking about problems with devices, Adjectives, Passives
Possibilities CLIL: computers



  • Ask your students if they have a computer at home, or if they have ever used one.
    • Although you’re probably unlikely to come across someone who has never used a computer before, you may do. Use the opportunity to discuss the merits of having a computer or not.
  • Ask your students to list all the advantages and disadvantages of having a computer.


Advantages Disadvantages
Can find information on the internet, saves paper, easy to transport a lot of information (e.g. on a memory stick), etc. Need electricity, can crash, need an internet connection, can be expensive, etc.

Main stage

  • Ask your students to draw and label a computer. Their drawing may look something like the image at the top of this post. Some words you should expect to come up during this activity, and that you may have to teach, are: monitor, screen, CPU, mouse, keyboard, speakers, power cable, etc. Here is a useful glossary of some computer terms from English Club.
  • Next, get your students to brainstorm possible problems that can occur when using computers. Here is a series of pages on BBC Skillswise that talk about computer-related hazards.
  • If you have computers where you teach, you might get your students to design a health and safety poster incorporating some of the points they will have come across in these sources from English Club and the BBC.

Video stage

  • Play the Vine video below, which can be accessed at the following URL:
  • Discuss what kind of problems Zach had in the video with his computer mouse (it was stuck) and what problems he might now have with his real live mouse (it might escape, it might make a mess).
  • If you want to, focus on the language by asking your students to write down what Zach says in the video after they have watched it a couple of times.

A little mouse got stuck. Come here, buddy. Here, be free.

  • Here you could discuss the use of language:
    • the passive structure got stuck and compare this with little mouse was stuck
    • the imperatives come here and be free and how this shows us how he’s talking to the mouse as if it were a child

Post video stage

  • Ask your students to write a paragraph on what they think will happen next to the mouse in the video.

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