The Fault in our Stars: cancer in children and teens within the USA and Norway


A lesson plan for this film can also be found on the fremmedspråksenteret website/ressurshefte

This is a joint assignment involving English and vocational education (Programfag 2HSHE, 2HSBUA). The assignment is based on the film and/or book "The Fault In Our Stars," by John Green. Both the film and book (best seller) are very popular and tackle the difficult issue of terminal cancer in children and teenagers. The questions which all relate to the film, approach it from different perspectives. Some questions are based on vocational learning aims (programfag læringsmål) whilst others are based on English learning aims and some use both. Questions can be answered in Norwegian and some in English.

Students learn: English names for important concepts and vocational terminology; cancer statistics amongst children/teens in the USA + Norway; how to approach children/teens who have cancer or family members with cancer; how to analyse films/books as well as writing skills.

Follow the link below.

Pre-film activities: there are a number of activities that could be carried out (see for example the fiosteaching file). We discussed it in both the English and Programfag classes and approached it from a vocational perspective.

Some suggestions: find out how much your class knows about cancer in children or teens in Norway.

Do they know of anybody who has had to deal with childhood cancer?

How many children/teens are affected?

How would they approach such a person for example in a nursery (barnehagen) or hospital?

How would they feel if it was themselves? How would they want to be treated? What would they miss the most?

Give your students the task hand-out before they watch the film and help them identify areas/concepts that they should be looking out for and noting down.


Film: 12 rating and takes 120 minutes

Post-film: you can discuss aspects of the film that relate to the hand-out task, or you can discuss film analysis for example. It depends on how much time you have and which direction you want to take your students in. (see for example TASKS file). There are a number of useful websites on the TFIOS assignment sheet (file)

To get the most of this task requires good co-operation between the English and Vocational teachers. It works best if you run the project when the students in HSHE are learning about cancer. The students really like the film, some of them re-watch it many times and those who read the book really enjoyed it. The tasks do require a lot of reflection and some students struggle with this, so you need to go through the issues thoroughly in class before the students start writing up their tasks.

The tasks require students to use a lot of the basic skills (grunnleggende ferdigheter) and can be challenging, but they gain a wealth of useful iinformation and skills that can help them in their future professions.

Students need access to a computer. The teacher needs access to a DVD player or computer (if streaming) and copies of the Book 'The Fault In Our Stars," if using.