Thursday, January 25, 2018

Blended: Blended Families

Family that includes children from a previous marriage of the wife, husband, or both parents

Talk to a partner:

1. Do you live in a blended family? Do you know any blended families?
2. What are the difficulties a blended family may face?
3. What are the advantages of living in a blended family? And disadvantages?
4. Are blended families commonplace where you live?
5. Do you think blended families are good or bad for society? Explain it.

Watch the movie segment and observe what kinds of blended families you managed to see in the snippet.

What do you think about this kind of gathering of blended families in a resort? What is the main goal doing it? Would you join one?


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

What Happened to Monday: Birth Control, Explosion of population

Imagine that we are facing severe overpopulation problems, with scarce food for the population. People are  dying of starvation at a rate that it made the whole world act together. Only one third of the population must be alive and the other two thirds will have to starve to death because of food shortage. This situation won't change.

I. Talk to a partner:

1. Develop a plan to reduce the population. Decide how your plan is designed, all the steps the world must take, the consequence of such a plan, and what to do after the reduction of the population.


2. Read some of the birth control measures taken in different countries and decide if they were  effective/fair  plans, and express your opinions about it.

  • A marriage at a tender age leads to a long span for giving birth. Some governments have suggested that there would be a significant decline in world population if the legal age for marriage is made 20 years.
  •  End all policies that reward parents financially based on the number of children they have.
  • In 1979, China started the "one child per family policy" . This policy stated that citizens must obtain a birth certificate before the birth of their children. The citizens would be offered special benefits if they agreed to have only one child. Citizens who did have more than one child would either be taxed an amount up to fifty percent of their income, or punished by loss of employment or other benefits. Moreover, unplanned pregnancies or pregnancies without the proper authorization would need to be terminated.
  •  In the early '80's, sterilization target goals were set and made mandatory for people who had two children. At its peak in 1983, tubal ligations, vasectomies, and abortions amounted to thirty-five percent of the total birth control methods 
  • Inspired by
 3. Watch the movie segment.

  1. What is the situation our planet is facing in the segment?
  2. What happened to the plan of developing genetically modified food?
  3. What did the doctor propose to do with the children who will not comply with the one-only child policy?
  4. What's your opinion about that plan?
  5. Use your imagination. How will the children's grandfather cope with the seven children and hide them from the one-child policy controllers?

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Blended: Adventure

1. Work individually. You have one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘travel'. Share your list with a partner and mention which words are positive and negative.

2. Which of the following would you like to do? Which ones do you consider worth trying adventures. Justify your answers.
  1. Travel around the world.
  2. Live in the jungle for six months.
  3. Travel to very exotic or little known countries by the citizens of your country, such as Uganda, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Zambia, etc.
  4. Go to a a live concert of your favorite  star and join the party with him/her afterward.
  5. Parachute
  6. Climb Mount Everest
  7. Swim among sharks
  8. Be a journalist in Iraq for a month
  9. Go on a safari
  10. Bungee jump 
  11. Ride a camel on the Sahara desert for a whole day
  12. Go on a trip to outer space
3. Talk to your partner about the most exciting thing you have done in your life

4. Watch the movie segment and discuss the questions:

a. What was the unusual experience you saw?

b. Do you consider it an adventure? Would you like to try it?

c. Why didn't it end up well?

d. Do you think it really is a dangerous activity?


Friday, November 10, 2017

The Boss Baby: Life Changing Events

Take turns asking the following questions:

  • Do you like change?
  • What's the biggest change you have made in your life?
  • Are you good at dealing with change?
  • Do you think change is important? Why (not)?
  • What is the biggest change the world needs? And your country?
  • What things in your life would you hate to change?
  • What is the biggest change you would like to make in your life? 
  • What was your biggest life changing event?

Talk to your partner and tell him/her how the following events changed your life? (not all events are applicable, so choose one of your preference.

1. When you got married.

2. When you had your first baby.

3. When you started college.

4. When you moved to another city?

5. When you traveled for the first time.

III. Watch the segment and discuss these questions.

Talk to your partner and tell him/her how the following events changed your life? (not all events are applicable, so choose one of your preference.

1. How did the arrival of his new brother change Tim's life?

2. How would you describe his feelings?

3) What can his parents do to soften this problem? 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Ballerina: Dreams and Goals

If a person gives up on his or her dream, all that will surely follow is sadness and depression. You need to team up with someone who will encourage you to “never, ever give up”.

I. Discuss these questions:
1. What were your dreams when you were a child? What did you want to do for the rest of your life?
2. Did you pursue your dream? Why (not)?
3. What are your goals now? How do you plan to achieve them?
4. Are you persistent? Give examples of your persistence (or lack of it).
5. How do you think someone should act not to give up on their dreams and goals?
6. Do you agree with the statement in the beginning of the post?
Inspired by the awesome inspiring site:  

II. Work with a partner:
Here are 10 ways to help you achieve your dream. Check 5 items you consider to be the most important ones. Which ones would  you  NOT do?

Have a family/friend meeting. Explain how important this goal is to you and ask your family’s indulgence to allow you the time or money (or both) that you need to work on it.

Ask your family (or friends) what they believe would be fair in regards to time and money you need to spend on your project.

Once you’ve agreed on time and money, stick to the bargain. Take the time and money you need and that have been agreed to and diligently work to the maximum to achieve your goal.

Do not cheat yourself or your family/friend by not pursuing your dream, especially after they have “given you permission” to go for it.

Learn everything you possibly can. Spend a minimum of 1/3 your allotted time and money learning more about the subject you are pursuing. Become an expert in your field.

Commit to goals, short term and long term. Start with the end in mind – long term goal – and work backward when writing goals. (That’s another whole subject in itself!)

Work on your dream every day of your life. Fill all the minutes and hours you’ve allotted with serious determination one day at a time.

Give it all you can.  There will be days when you don’t feel like giving it your best. Give it your best anyway for that day. True, it might not be your “greatest” day, but give it all you have every day.

Keep a journal. Write down what you accomplish every day. Just a few words will do, or else you will create yet another job, which you don’t need.

Celebrate your achievements! Reward yourself with pre-determined gifts. Even a little bag of jellybeans would be a worthy reward for a short term goal! For your ultimate goals, give yourself the greatest reward. And then set new goals. You CAN achieve more!

III. Watch the movie segment and describe the girls dreams and goals. What are her major
 difficulties to achieve them? What advice would you give her?


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Founder: Innovative Ideas

I love t his movie and the way it shows how hard it is to innovate a brand. Leaders should watch it.

Activity inspired by the awesome sites:

Talk to a partner:

1. Do you consider yourself creative? Think of examples that shows you are (not) creative.
2. Think about the items below. What innovations do you remember that have taken happened to them until the version we have nowadays.

- Video games
- Cell phones
- Cars
- Fast food restaurants
- Computers
- Fashion

3. Read four crucial steps managers must have in mind when implementing a new idea in a company. Then explain their meaning in your own words.


Without step-by-step planning, change in an organization is likely to fall apart or cause more problems than benefits. You need to understand exactly what changes will take place and how those changes will occur. You also need to assign roles to individuals who are responsible for the change so all duties are covered.

Lack of Consensus

If you fail to get everyone on board with the corporate changes, you are likely to face barriers during the process. The decision to implement changes should come from the top level of the organization. All management level staff needs to be on board and able to deal with the changes or you may face dissension within the staff.


Failing to communicate with all employees invites rumors and fear into the workplace. Employees want to know what's going on, whether it is positive or negative news. The feeling of uncertainty when management doesn't communicate disrupts work and makes employees feel as if they aren't a part of the decision. Involve all employees as much as possible through meetings or brainstorming sessions to help during the planning phase.

Employee Resistance

In some cases, employees resist change. They become comfortable with the way the business is run. They know the expectations and their role within the company. When a major change disrupts their familiarity, some employees become upset. They don't want to relearn their jobs or change the way they do things.

4. Watch the movie segment and identify how McDonald's innovated the concept of fast food restaurants. Then talk about:


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Minimalism - A Documentary about the Important Things: Minimalism

Make a list of the 10 most important objects in your life and then share it with a partner, explaining why they are so important. Finally, which one would you manage to get rid of more easily.

What is minimalism? If we had to sum it up in a single sentence, we would say,

Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom. People who  intentionally try to live with only the things they really need.

I. Discuss with a partner. How do you think minimalism helps minimalists accomplish the following tasks. Make guesses if you don't know the answer.

Minimalism has helped us,  minimalists…
  • Eliminate our discontent
  • Reclaim our time
  • Live in the moment
  • Pursue our passions
  • Discover our missions
  • Experience real freedom
  • Create more, consume less
  • Focus on our health
  • Grow as individuals
  • Contribute beyond ourselves
  • Rid ourselves of excess stuff
  • Discover purpose in our lives                                                                                                             
  • Inspired by these two awesome sites:

II. Now read the details of minimalist behavior and check how they apply to the items in the previous exercise.


It is marked by clarity, purpose, and intentionality. At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.


Minimalism brings freedom from the all-consuming passion to possess. It steps off the tricks of consumerism and dares to seek happiness elsewhere. It values relationships, experiences, and soul-care. 


 Minimalism slows down life and frees us from this modern hysteria to live faster. It finds freedom to disengage. It seeks to keep only the essentials.


While most people are chasing after success, glamour, and fame, minimalism calls out to us with a smaller, quieter, calmer voice. It invites us to slow down, consume less, but enjoy more.

III. Watch the segment ad talk about what you saw.

1. How did the minimalist life use to be like?

2. Why did he decide to change his life style?

3. How did he change it?

4. What does he usually say in his lectures?

5. Has he seen any changes in people regarding minimalism?

6. Would you like to be a minimalist? Why (not)?

7. Do you know anyone who lives by those principles, or at least most (some)  of them?


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Cast Away: Improvisation

Work in pairs:

1. How would you define improvisation?

The art or act of composing, uttering, executing, or arranging anything without previous preparation (

2. Do you consider yourself good at improvising according to the situation you are facing at the moment? Can you think of examples?

3. Brazilians are famous for their improvisation in adverse situations. There is even an expression for that (jeitinho brasileiro - free translation - Brazilian way of solving a problem not necessarily following pre-established rules). Do you think it is a quality or a handicap? Explain it.

4. What about the people in your country? Are most people good at improvising or do they have difficulties adapting to an unexpected situation?

5. Imagine you are lost in the middle of the forest. You find a bag with a few objects inside it. Think about different ways you can use the following objects to help you survive. These ways have to be different from the obect's original purpose.

- An umbrella

- A car

- Roller skates

- The bag 

- A helmet

- 10 pens

- 100  Red balloons 

- A soccer ball

Now watch the movie segment and make a list of how the main character improvised when using the following objects:

Federal Express Boxes

Video cassette tapes

Ice skates

The fabric of the dress

Bubble wrap


Monday, August 28, 2017

Red Shoes and the 7 Dwarfs & Mirror Mirror: Body Shaming

This is a very important topic. Don't be judgmental and accept everyone's ideas.


The action or practice of humiliating someone by making mocking or critical comments about their body shape or size. The culture of body loathing and body shaming. 
Inspired by

I. Read the paragraph below and decide if you think body shaming really exists and if you have experienced it in your life.

The culture of body loathing and body shaming has reached epic proportions worldwide.
Lose weight, reduce wrinkles, fight cellulite; we’re constantly told to fight a battle to be someone other than who we are. Women and girls are constantly lead to believe they’re not as good as they should be. And why? Because every day they feel they’re being judged on their appearance and how far away it is from an unachievable ideal.

II. Read the paragraph below. Have you ever heard of this movement? Then talk to a partner, describe the movement and decide if you would support such a cause.

The Body Image Movement  are on a quest to redefine and rewrite the ideals of beauty. Their job is to facilitate positive body image activism by encouraging women to be more accepting of who they are, to use positive language regarding their bodies and others, and to prioritize health before beauty. Their goal is to reach as many women as possible around the world and speak to them about how they can learn to fully embrace and love their bodies.

 III. Work in pairs. Explain the reasons behind the items they say no to. Do you agree with them? Think of examples for each of them.

  • Excessive “Photoshopping” of body images in the media
  • Being programmed by the media and corporations into accepting unrealistic body images
  • Prescribing to the notion that being a certain weight determines whether you’re healthy
  • Sexualization of girls in the media and modern culture
  • The objectification of women
  • Society and advertising preying on women’s insecurities

IV. Watch this polemic and controversial trailer of the movie Red Shoes and the 7 Dwarfs. How is body shaming depicted here? Look at the poster as well and discuss if this kind of message should be spread among children and teens.

V. Watch the video below. Then discuss how body shaming influences men's and women's habits. Who's more concerned about body shaming? How differently are they affected by the rules of society?

IV. Watch the movie segment from the movie Mirror Mirror and discuss the questions.

1. What are some of the procedures that Ravenna, Snow White's stepmother, did in order to look beautiful.

2.  Are you not familiar with any of the things she did?

3. Is it worth it to go through such procedures? What are some of the things you have done (or still do) to conform to the aesthetics demands of society?


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Blended: First Impressions

This is a funny movie with interesting scenes that can be used in several ways in English classes.

I. Take turns asking each other the following questions:

A: Have you met someone who you hated right away even though you didn’t know them? How was it?

B: Do you make first impressions based on what people wear? How?

A: Do you make first impressions based on people's hairstyle or tattoos? Give examples.

B: What kind of impression do you think you make with your clothes? Is it the same you want to show when you choose what you will wear?

A: Do you try to make a different first impression now than you did in high school?

B: Have you ever tried to make a great first impression but completely messed it up?

A: In what jobs do people have to make very quick decisions based on first impressions?

B: What first impressions do you think someone should make in a job interview? How should this person act?

A: What kind of first impression do you try to make when you go to a party?

B: What kind of first impression do you try to make when you go on a first date with someone you are interested?

II.  Watch the movie segment and observe what kind of first impression each one of them want to make on their first date, and what were the first impressions they actually made.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Trolls: Superstitions

This is a lovely movie and both kids and adults enjoy it. I used this scene to talk about superstitions in a contextualized manner. I hope you like it. 

A superstition is a belief in something that is irrational, non-physical and does not follow the rules of science. It is often one action that leads to another without something directly linking the two. Superstition is often associated with luck. Superstitions differ among religions and cultures

Work in pairs:

Why do people believe in superstitions? What are some possible reasons for this behavior?

Are you superstitious? What are some of the superstitions you or your family members have?

Do you associate superstitions with religious beliefs? Explain it.

What are some popular superstitions in your country? 

Read the text about superstitions below. What do you agree and disagree with it? Share your ideas with a partner after you finish reading it.

People feel very desperate to find reasons for all the misfortunes they come across. Being superstitious helps them to hide their mistakes by blaming luck, which according to them no one can control except God. 

New studies have revealed that stress makes people not only believe in rituals but also in conspiracy theories and as a result, they are more likely to “see” things that actually do not exist.

Some more reasons which make people superstitious are as follows:

.... worrying about life

.... having a strong need of control
.... don't like ambiguity in their life 

Watch the movie segment and discuss with a partner the items below:

- Who is superstitious in the segment?

- What is the superstition? What are the consequences of the superstition?

- What do they do not to have misfortunes in life?

- How important is this superstition for that community?