Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Escape from Planet Earth: Stereotypes

This is a fascinating animated movie. The story is gripping and their assumptions witty. I hope you like it.

A stereotype is “...a fixed, over generalized belief about a particular group or class of people.” (Cardwell, 1996). 
The use of stereotypes is a major way in which we simplify our social world; since they reduce the amount of  thinking we have to do when we meet a new person. By stereotyping we infer that a person has a whole range of characteristics and abilities that we assume all members of that group have. Stereotypes lead to social categorization, which is one of the reasons for prejudice attitudes. Most stereotypes probably tend to convey a negative impression.  Positive examples would include judges (the phrase “sober as a judge” would suggest this is a stereotype with a very respectable set of characteristics), overweight people (who are often seen as “jolly”) and television newsreaders (usually seen as highly dependable, respectable and impartial).  Negative stereotypes seem far more common, however.

I. Discuss the questions with a friend.

1. Based on the description above, how would you describe the stereotypes of the following groups of people?

  • Americans
  • Brazilians
  • Muslims
  • Baianos (for Brazilians only)
  • Japanese
  • Doctors
  • Artists
  • Models

2. If you were a person from another planet and you had to describe your stereotyped vision of human beings to the people from your planet, how would you describe us?

3.  We also have a stereotyped vision of ETs. What is the image/characteristics of ETs?


4. Watch the movie segment and make a description of how humans are seen by the eyes of extra-terrestrials. Then decide which characteristics are true (or partially true) and why they have that point of view about us.


video

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Lone Survivor: Pushing Yourself to Your Limits, Motivation


This movie is a must. It is gripping from the first to the last scene. It is a must-see.


I. Read the quotes below about pushing yourself to your limits and motivation. In pairs decide what they mean and if you agree with them. Justify your answers:

from: http://addicted2success.com/motivation/23-rare-motivational-quotes-that-will-knock-your-block-off/

1. “No one said this would be easy, just know that nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment.”

‎2. ”Turn those dreams into ACTION …action turns into results… sooner or later you will be living the dream.”

3. ‎”Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit…. KEEP GOING!!”

4. “Hardwork can out-do genetics!!”

5. ‎”Our fears don’t stop death,… they stop life.”

6. “Kick yourself in the ass, or someone else will.”

7. “The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret.”

‎8. ”I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy… I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.”

9. “Tears will get you sympathy, sweat will get you results.”

10.“You can have results or excuses. Not both”

11. “You will never know your limits until you push yourself to them.”

12. “Pain is just weakness leaving your body.”

13. ‎“Failure does not mean defeat; to succeed you must fail first.”
II. Think about a situation in which you had to push yourself to your limit. Think about the situations below.

1. At sports

2. At school

3. At work

4. During a special moment in your life

III. Watch the movie segment and discuss the questions.


video














1. Do you think you would manage to accomplish the objective of that military program? Why (not)?

2. What strategies did they made use of to motivate the soldiers and keep them going?

3. Is that kind of training necessary for their future? Why (not)

4. Are they pushing themselves to their limits? What is the reward in the end? Do you think it is worth doing it?

5. Is it fair to treat people like they did in the segment? Why (not)?

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - LONE SURVIVOR

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Kindergarten Cop: Father's Day



This is a classic. Funny and thrilling. It takes place in Astoria, Washington, USA. I spent a few days there a few years ago and had a great time with friends. The city is lovely, and so is the movie.


I. Work in Small groups. First read the way some countries celebrate Father's day and then try to match them with the country.


1) Thailand
2) Mexico
3) Japan
4) South Africa
5) Germany

 

( ) It  is celebrated along with the birthday of the King  on December 5. The King is very much beloved and considered 'The Father of the Nation.' Tradition holds that everyone wears yellow on Father's Day, the "official color" of Monday, the day of the week the King was born. The children start the day off by presenting their fathers with a Canna flower, which is considered to be a masculine plant.

( ) It began in the Middle Ages as a religious procession. The celebration in modern days usually begins with a Male's only hike accompanied by wagons filled with regional food, beer and wine, which are pulled by the men. The gentlemen party has taken on a more urban tone, with men going to beer gardens to drink all day. Father's Day is always celebrated the Thursday about 40 days after Easter. They  organize a group of dads who enjoy golf, cycling or even wine-tasting and let Dad make a day of it.

( ) Similar to a typical Father's Day celebration in the U.S., children present their fathers with gifts such as flowers, cards, neckties and other novelties. They often enjoy picnics on Father’s Day, or spend the afternoon fishing in hopes of securing a catch for dinner. The emphasis of the day is on celebrating the role of fathers in the lives of their children.

( ) Flowers are an integral part of a Father's Day celebration. Children also give their dads handmade beer glasses and candies or a box of sweets. Lunch or dinner is almost always a dish of crab, prawns or other seafood. Personalized champagne and beer bottles and sandals also comprise many of the gifts. Fathers enjoy gifts of perfume as well.

( ) It is celebrated much as it is in the U.S. with prepared meals and distribution of gifts to dads or father figures in appreciation of all that they do for their families. As in the U.S., there is a strong emphasis on family values when celebrating Father's Day. There is a city-wide 21-kilometer race that takes place in an area of open-space used for hiking and jogging.

Key:

1, 5, 4, 3, 2


II. Watch the movie segment and answer the questions with a friend.



video














1. What is the game the teacher decided to play with the students?

2. What did the children talk about their parents?

3. Do they have a good interpretation of their dad's lives and jobs?

4. How do you assess a game like this in a classroom? The fact that many children do not know their parents would cause an embarrassment to those children? Explain it?


Prepare a speech about your dad. Make sure you include these questions while preparing your speech. Then make a presentation about your dad.

Talk about your dad. Who is he? What does he do? What are his greatest qualities? What would you change in him? How close is your relationship? Do you have a picture of your dad on your phone? If so, show it to your friends. What physical and personality traits did you take after your dad? How do you usually celebrate Father's Day? Choose one word that would best describe him.

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - KINDERGARTEN COP

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mr. Peabody & Sherman: French Revolution, Historic Moments





I. Work with a partner. The French Revolution is one of the most important historic moment of all times. Discuss the following questions.

1. What do you know about the French Revolution?

2. Did you study about this historic moment at school? Why do you think history should be taught at school?

3. Do you like studying history? What is your favorite/most most important historic moment of all times?

4. Would you like to have lived in a period in which radical changes are taking place?




GAME:


Read the statements below and decide if they are true or false. The winner is the group with most correct answers.

1. The French Revolution took place in the 19th century.

2. France was one of the richest and most powerful nations in Europe before the French Revolution.

3. Only in Great Britain and Portugal did the common people have more freedom and less chance of arbitrary punishment.

4. A popular rebellion executed the king Louis XVI and, later, his wife Marie Antoinette.

5. Many factors led to the revolution.

6. During The American Revolutionary War. there was much contact between the Americans and the French, and revolutionary ideals spread between the groups.

7. The clergy wanted the Revolution to take place, which motivated peasants to rebel.

8. Food scarcity in the years before the revolution was crucial for the revolution



Watch the movie segment. Then  work in small groups.



video

1. Describe the scene.

2. What features in exercise I (True or False) did you manage to see in the segment?

3. What are the characters' social importance?  

4. Do you like this kind of movie? Why (not)?

5. What would you rather do? See a musical about the French Revolution, or watch similar stories as a drama, an animated movie or a comedy? Why?



 Answer key:

1. The French Revolution took place in the 19th century. (F - 18th century)

2. France was one of the richest and most powerful nations in Europe before the French Revolution. (T)

3. Only in Great Britain and Portugal did the common people have more freedom and less chance of arbitrary punishment. (F - Great Britain and the Netherlands)

4. A popular rebellion executed the king Louis XVI and, later, his wife Marie Antoinette.(T)

5. Many factors led to the revolution. (T) 

6. During The American Revolutionary War. there was much contact between the Americans and the French, and revolutionary ideals spread between the groups. (T)

7. The clergy wanted the Revolution to take place, which motivated peasants to rebel. (F)

8. Food scarcity in the years before the revolution was crucial for the revolution (T)

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - MR PEABODY AND SHERMAN

Sunday, July 20, 2014

42: Aggressive Behavior, Motivation

A great movie and a great story full of pleasant moments. I recommend it. 





I. Discuss the quotes with a partner. Do you agree, disagree or partially agree with them? Justify your answers.


1. People who are rude a couple of times and seem to be acting out of character may be upset at something else in their life, and simply taking their frustration out on you for no reason. Although that individual should know better than to let their emotions get the best of them, we all have our moments of irrationality. It's a very human quality.

2. Aggressive behavior  most commonly occurs with strangers, who don't expect to see you again and probably don't care about what you think of them. They don't bother to consider your feelings, especially if they're already emotionally bogged down by something else in their lives.

3.  When the person in question does something rude or offensive to you, politely but firmly call them out on their inappropriate behavior. Look at the them in the eye and ask them to please stop provoking you.

4.  If you think that the rudeness is based on a resolvable misunderstanding, you can extend the confrontation by asking them why they are behaving this way.

 5. Some people genuinely don't realize they're being rude. They may not have learned certain social skills. In case you have encountered someone like this, you may want to politely inform that they have been rude. You'll generally get an apology straight away.

II. Rank the types of aggression below, according to what you believe are most offensive to you. Rank 1 is the most aggressive and 9 the one that hurts you the least.


  • Shouting
  • Swearing
  • Personal insults and name calling
  • Racial or sexual comments
  • Verbal threats
  • Posturing and threatening gestures
  • Abusive phone calls, letters, online messages
  • Emotional abuse
  • Sarcasm

 III. There are three major theories that explain aggressiveness. Try to match the theories and their descriptions.

1. Theories that see aggression as an instinct.
2. Theories that suggest frustration is an important factor in aggression. 
3. Theories that suggest aggression is learned behaviour.

(  ) This theory argues that aggressive behaviour is not inborn, rather it is something that is learned, either through direct experience or through observation or imitation of others.  The more that an individual’s aggression is rewarded, perhaps by getting what is wanted or by parental approval, the more likely that person is to be aggressive in the future. 

(  ) There are a number of theories which attempt to explain aggression by suggesting that aggressive behaviour occurs because each individual is born with an aggressive instinct. Such theories suggest that aggression is innate, i.e. inborn, and, therefore, unavoidable.  

(  )  This theory proposes that aggression occurs as a result of disappointments in not achieving their aims.  Such individuals are motivated to be aggressive towards whoever or whatever is standing in their way. 


IV. Watch the movie segment and then discuss the questions that follow.




video 
 1. Describe the scene.

2. What types of aggression in exercise II did you manage to see in the segment?

3. What was the reason of the aggression?

4. How did the baseball player react to the insults?

5. What were the consequences of the aggressive behavior in the baseball player?

6. Does this kind of strategy work when the objective is affecting another person behavior? Did it work that time?

7. How would you react in that situation?

8. What should be done in that case? Do you think that that kind of aggressive behavior is acceptable when it comes to sports, for example? Why (not)?



Answer key:
III. 3, 1, 2

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Surviving Picasso: Picasso, Creativity


 Adapted from the great site
http://www.neatorama.com/2008/10/25/10-fun-facts-about-pablo-picasso/#!jX69u

 QUIZ ABOUT PICASSO:

I. Work with a partner and choose the best answer. The winner is the group that guesses most correct answers.

1) How many names did Picasso's full name had?

a) 8  b) 11 c) 13 d) 23

2) Picasso's first word was in Spanish, of course. What word was it (in English)?

a) Mom  b) Dad  c) Pencil  d) Pen  e) Car

3)  Picasso's first painting was at  the age of ____________













a) 9  b) 12  c) 13  d) 15

4) Picasso's first job was as a:

a) painter
b) carpenter
c) locksmith
d) cook

5) Who founded the Cubist movement with Picasso?













a) Degas
b) Braque
c) Chagall
d) Basquiat

6) How many "official" wives did Picasso have?

a) 3
b) 5
c) 9
d) 17

7)  Where is Picasso buried?

a) Barcelona, Spain
b) Malaga, Spain
c) Vauvenargues, France
d) Grenoble, France

8) Where was Picasso born?

a) Barcelona, Spain
b) Malaga, Spain
c) Madrid, Spain
d) Bilbao, Spain

Check your answers with your teacher.

II. Watch the movie segment and discuss the questions:


video

1. Is the scene about Cubism? Why (not)?

2. How do you think his creativity works?

3. What's your opinion about Picasso?

4) Does Picasso deserve the fame his has? Explain it.

5) If you found a lost painting of Picasso's, would you sell it to make a lot of money or would you hang it on one of your walls to decorate the house? Explain your decision.

6) Who are your favorite painters?

70 Are there any Brazilian artists you admire? Talk about their work.


Answer key:

Picasso's Full Name Has 23 Words
Picasso was baptized Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso. He was named after various saints and relatives. The "Picasso" is actually from his mother, Maria Picasso y Lopez. His father is named Jose Ruiz Blasco.

Picasso's First Word: Pencil
It's like Picasso was born an artist: his first word was "piz," short of lápiz the Spanish word for 'pencil.' His father Ruiz, an artist and art professor, gave him a formal education in art starting from the age of 7. By 13, Ruiz vowed to give up painting as he felt that Pablo had surpassed him.

Pablo's First Drawing

Le Picador by Pablo Picasso (1890)
At the tender young age of 9, Picasso completed his first painting: Le picador, a man riding a horse in a bullfight.

6. Picasso's First Job

A painter. Picasso signed his first contract in Paris with art dealer Pere Menach, who agreed to pay him 150 francs per month (about US$750 today).

Cubism: Full of Little Cubes

Le Guitariste (The Guitarist) by Pablo Picasso (1910)
In 1909, Picasso and French artist Georges Braque co-founded an art movement known as cubism. Actually, it was a French art critic Louis Vauxcelles who first called it "bizarre cubiques" or cubism, after noting that Picasso and Braque's paintings are "full of little cubes."

Picasso was a Playboy
Being a famous artist certainly helped Picasso get the girl. Girls, in fact - many, many girls. Here's a short list of known "official" wives of Picasso. 9 official wives.
- Fernande Olivier (Picasso's first love, she was 18?; he was 23)
- Marcelle Humbert AKA Eva Gouel (she was 27, Picasso was 31)
- Gaby Lespinasse (he was 34, I don't know how old Gaby was, but she was young, that's for sure!)
- Olga Khokhlova (Picasso's first wife; she was 26 and he was 36 when they met)
- Marie-Thérèse Walter (she was 17, he was 46)
- Dora Maar (she was 29, Picasso was 55)
- Françoise Gilot (she was 21 when she met Picasso, who was 61)
- Geneviève Laporte (one of Picasso's last lovers. She was in her mid-twenties and a French model of Picasso, who was in his seventies when the affair started)
- Jacqueline Roque (who became Picasso's second wife. She was 27 and he was 79)

Where is Picasso buried?

Picasso was buried in the grounds of a chateau that he bought on a whim in 1958 in the village of Vauvenargues in the south of France
Where was Picasso born?

Malaga, Spain

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - SURVIVING PICASSO

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Vacation

Dear Readers,

I will be on vacation during  the next month. Soon I will be back with new activities. See you soon!!!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Carrie: Telekinesis, Mind Power

Carrie was my favorite movie and book when I was younger. The book is still one of my favorite ones - Stephen King is my favorite author - but this new version of the movie is not as good as the original version. The plot, though, remains wonderful and well told. It talks about telekinesis and this scene illustrates it effectively.

Taken and edited from the awesome site

http://learn-telekinesis-training.com/

Telekinesis denotes the paranormal ability of the mind to influence matter, time, space, or energy without the use of any currently known type of physical means.


 Divide the class into two groups - half the class reads text 1 and the other half reads text 2.


TEXT 1 - TELEKINESIS - FACTS


Telekinesis is generally considered limited to the movement of matter which would include causing an object to move, shake, vibrate, spin, break and to create heat or cold in an object via the speeding up or slowing down of the atoms an object is made of. A controversial metaphysical ability in which an individual can physically manipulate an object remotely using only the mind and without exerting any direct physical force. Telekinesis or 'psychokinesis' has been a staple of magic acts and illusionists for centuries but there are those who claim to be able to perform the feat through no tricks or illusionary means. There have been a growing number of claims in recent years in particular from young adults who claim to be able to perform telekinesis and other psychic feats. Numerous videos have appeared on-line purported to show individuals moving objects or manipulating a psi-wheel under a glass bowl.  Many people believe that there is physiological or psychological evidence for the human brain's capacity to do far more than we imagine: after all, they say, we only use 10 percent of our brains. They claim that psychic powers, including telekinesis, are merely the result of psychics being able to use more of their brains than others. After all, they ask, what wonders could we accomplish by tapping the other 90 percent of our brains?



TEXT 2 - TELEKINESIS - FICTION


The history of telekinesis is a history of frauds and fakery, both proven and suspected. Even many researchers studying psychokinesis admit that the data fall far short of scientific standards of proof. But they face an even bigger problem: there is no known mechanism by which the human mind could move or bend material objects. Even if our brain waves could somehow influence objects, the laws of physics demonstrate that the waves don't extend beyond a few millimeters from the skull. People who claim to have telekinesis are mostly a thing of the past. Of course, if people really did have the ability to move objects with their minds, they would likely not waste their time being tested in laboratories but instead becoming rich in Las Vegas altering dice rolls at craps, or as top sports stars fixing golf shots. In spite of results of various studies in Russia, the United States, and elsewhere that seem to indicate telekinesis is a real phenomenon, the mainstream scientific community feels that there is not enough quantifiable evidence to prove the existence of telekinesis or other psychic phenomenon. Researchers continue to work to prove or disprove psychic phenomenon. Recent theories have attempted to relate psychic phenomenon to quantum theory. Until definitive evidence is discovered, however, telekinesis will remain unproven. James Randi's psychic challenge offered to pay a large cash sum to anyone who could prove the existence of psychokinetic phenomena. No one has ever been granted the prize money, which sums up to more than 1 million dollars.

Edited from these great informative sites. Wonderful optional reading.

http://www.life123.com/hobbies/magic-illusion/mind-reading/telekinesis-facts.shtml
http://www.livescience.com/28119-telekinesis.html

Pair up the one student from each group and have them share the information they read.

Watch the movie segment and discuss the questions that follow.



video

1) Describe the scene.

2) What are some of Carrie's telekinesthetic powers?

3) What did she do to find out about her powers?

4) What's your opinion about telekinesis? Is it a fact or mere fiction?

5) Would you like to have such a skill? Why (not)?

6) What advantages/disadvantages would this kind of power bring to one's every day life?

7) How different would our society be if everyone could do telekinesis? Would life be better or worse?


MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - CARRIE

Friday, June 20, 2014

Titanic: Hindsight



Hindsight: the ability to understand, after something has happened, what should have been done or what caused the event.


I. Work with a partner:

1. What do you know about the Titanic?

2. Why is it such a famous shipwreck?

3. According to the definition of hindsight, what can we understand about the accident, making use of hindsight? Read the chronology and facts below before you answer this question.




II. Read the chronology of the happenings concerning the sinking of the Titanic:

Taken from:

  • http://blog.sensiblesafetysolutions.co.uk/the-titanic-an-accident-waiting-to-happe

    April 11th - Titanic departs on her first Atlantic crossing. Calm clear seas.
  • April 12th - Calm clear seas, fine weather. Ice warnings are given by other ships.
  • April 13th, 22.30 - Heavy ice warning is given by a passing ship Rappahannock which already
    reported some damage from ice. In total, Titanic receives 6 such warnings.
  • April 14th - Captain Smith delays a scheduled change of course by 30 minutes.
  • Scheduled lifeboat drill was cancelled by the Captain. Reasons are unknown but some people think it was to allow passengers to go to church. Lookouts were sent to the crows nest. Apparently the lookouts had no binoculars. At that time, some ships captains approved the use of binoculars whilst others did not.
  • April 14th at 23.40 - Titanic is 5 miles south of where she should have been had she been perfectly on course. Titanic and the iceberg collide some 1,500 miles south of the Arctic Circle.
 

The iceberg photograph below may have been the Titanic sinking iceberg
taken on the morning of April 15,1912 by a passenger on the German ocean
liner SS Prinz Adalbert, unaware of the disaster on the previous night.




The water temperature on the night of the Titanic sinking was thought to be about 28 degrees Fahrenheit, just below freezing - lethally cold for all those passengers who had been forced to take to the open water to
escape the sinking ship. There were insufficient lifeboats to hold all the passengers and crew, they totalled only 20, comprising of 16 wooden, 4 collapsible. Harland And Wolff wanted 64 lifeboats. By the end of 1912, or sometime in 1913. In all likelihood, the iceberg that sank the Titanic was itself doomed to dissolve imperceptibly in the waters of the North Atlantic.


II. Discuss:

What do you think that could have been done to prevent it from happening?


III. Divide the class into four groups. Each group reads about one of the four most important characters of the Titanic disaster listed below. Then reorganize the groups so that each student works with three other students who read about the other characters. Students tell each other about their characters' stories and why they were held responsible for the accident. Finally, they have to negotiate and decide who is the person who had the greatest responsibility for the accident and be able to justify their answers.


It was Captain Smith's fault:

This was Captain E.J. Smith's retirement trip. All he had to do was get to New York in record time. Captain E.J. Smith said years before the Titanic voyage, "I cannot imagine any condition which would cause a ship to founder. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that.”



It was the Shipbuilder's fault:


When the ship hit the iceberg, the force of the impact caused the heads of the rivets to break and the sections of the Titanic to come apart. If good quality iron rivets had been used the sections may have stayed together and the ship may not have sunk. About three million rivets were used to hold the sections of the Titanic
together. Some rivets have been recovered from the wreck and analysed. The findings show
that they were
made of sub-standard iron.

It was Bruce Ismay's fault:

Bruce Ismay was the managing director of the White Star Line and he was  aboard the Titanic. Competition for Atlantic passengers was fierce and the White Star Line wanted to show that they could make a six-day crossing. To meet this schedule the Titanic could not afford to slow down. It is believed that Ismay put pressure on Captain Smith to maintain the speed of the ship.

It was Thomas Andrew's fault:


The belief that the ship was unsinkable was, in part, due to the fact that the Titanic had sixteen watertight compartments. However, the compartments did not reach as  high as they should have done. The White Star Line did not want them to go all the way up because this would have reduced living space in first class. If Mr Andrews had insisted on making them the  correct height then maybe the Titanic would not have sunk.

 III. Watch the movie segment and discuss the questions: 



video

1. Describe the scene.

2. What were some of the problems that you saw in the segment that should have been dealt with differently, now that you can use hindsight?

3. Why is the use of hindsight so important in the case of the Titanic sinking?

4. What has changed in traveling security after the accident?

5. Think about a situation (or situations)  in your life in which you would have acted differently if you had had the chance to use hindsight?


MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - TITANIC