Zimmer Twins is a website that allows you to create great videos with fun characters. You can create your own cartoon movies from scratch or you can use the starters provided by the site and end the story using your imagination and storytelling powers. You can tell your stories by choosing actions, characters, emotions, props and backgrounds.
It can be used without registration but you will not be able to save your stories. No changes can be made to your creation once you save it and it cannot be embedded.

Why I find it useful?

  • It has the advantage that as a free user the page is restricted to certain vocabulary items and this will benefit beginner and elementary students who have limited knowledge of vocabulary.
  • Students can use language naturally in suitable contexts.
  • It can be very useful when teaching how to develop a story. It helps students express ideas in the format of beginning, development and ending.
  • It uses animation and pictures that help students to visualize verbs and emotions.

Possible uses:
  1. You can ask students to create animations which incorporate specific language points or vocabulary.
  2. Tell jokes: get the characters tell jokes, after searching for online joke sites to find something they like.
  3. Demostrate concepts: you or your students can create movies based around ideas like fear, happiness, boredom, and get the students guess the concept.
  4. Students can create and edit movies individually or work together in groups creating collaborative movies.

How to use Zimmer Twins

1- Visit www.zimmertwins.com

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The following is the page to create an account in Zimmer Twins website by entering the information demanded:

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After creating an account, this is the page to log in by entering your nickname and password. The password will be send to you by e.mail. You can then change your password by editing your account.


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After logging in, you can enter: ‘My movies, my favourites’, if you want to watch a movie



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If you want to create your own movie, you can click on the item: ‘Make a movie’ on the menu.

You will be provided with several story starters that allow you to create your own movie endings or you can create a movie from scratch. The animations are based on the three characters available: Eva and Edgar, the 12 year old twins, and their black cat called 13.
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You can piece together clips of the twins and the cat interacting and speaking through thought bubbles. Or you can add clips with actions, emotions and transitions:



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Talk bubble clip: use this clip to make the character sing, talk,

whisper, yell, etc.



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Action Clips: make the character play, sit, jump, etc.


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Close-up clips: they make the character act bored, angry, etc.



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3- Star clips: you can make them do fun things like typing a newspaper headline.


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You can add clips by clicking on the clips you want. If you want to delete the clip you just click on the ‘x’ button on the clip. You can preview your movie whenever you want by pressing the play button.

When you are happy with your movie, click on ‘Save Movie’.


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You will need to write a title and you can add a description for your movie.

After you save it you will be able to watch it clicking on 'My movies'.



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Here you can find a sample movie:

Zimmer Twins Movie sample


An activity with Zimmer Twins- Unbelievable Homework excuses

Level of the students: Intermediate, upper-intermediate

Age: 14- 15

Grammar focus: to practice unreal conditional in the past, ‘if I had, I would have…’. ‘if I had not, I would have/would not have’.


Activation

The teacher will introduce the topic of the activity: Homework excuses. She will talk with the students about the most common excuses made by students. After this, the teacher will direct the students to a website where they will find more examples funny homework excuses:

We have all resorted to making excuses to skip a situation or to save our face at some point or the other. Sometimes these excuses are intended to be serious but they turn out to be hilarious while at other times, funny excuses are made deliberately to lighten the atmosphere. Which do you think is the commonest ‘I could not do my homework’ excuse?

This excuse is most often given by primary to middle school children. This is how it goes: "I had completed the homework/assignment last night but my dog ate it this morning."

You can find more funny homework excuses in the ‘You can be funny’ website:

Funny homework excuses


Application


After this introduction to the topic, the students will be told they will make a story using Zimmer Twins in groups. The story should be an imaginary situation that will be a funny excuse for one of the characters for not doing his/her homework. In order to do this, the teacher will direct the students to the Zimmer Twins tutorial about how to make a movie. They will be able to make their movie from scratch or use the following starters:

Charming 13

Run

Mystery Box

Gem Jest

Foiled

Idol Hands

When the students finish their stories, they will save them and share them with the class. The whole class will then vote on the funniest story.

As a ‘What’s next’ activity, the students will be asked to write a short paragraph like the one below for their own movie:


Sometimes we daydream about the way our lives might turn out If only...

Do you think this excuse would get you off doing lines?

If my mum hadn’t crashed the car on her way home from work and been so shaken upthat she forgot to feed the cat,then the cat wouldn’t have broken my pencil, and I would have been able to do my homework.