Friday, September 25, 2015

The Good Lie & Home: Jokes

The Good Lie is one of my favorite movies. It is a touching story and the drama the characters are involved with is food for thought. Home is animated movie that everyone must see. It is funny and the music is just wonderful. I recommend them both.

Jokes are a form of verbal humor, including one-liners, riddles, and other things that make us laugh. It is a funny, made-up story with a punchline told by one person. 

It is distinguished from an anecdote, which may be a funny story and have a punchline, but is about a real or true incident. Because it is a form of story, it has some of the attributes of a story, such as a beginning, middle, and end. 

Jokes structures:

The Setup — Establishes the premise of the joke by providing the audience with the necessary background info. The setup should be as tight as possible.

The Punchline — Wham! The laugh line. The setup led the audience in one direction, and you surprised them by suddenly going off in a different direction. That twist, that element of surprise, is a punchline’s chief ingredient.

Understanding a joke involves background knowledge necessary for making the inferences to get the joke (a matter of pragmatics). If the listener does not understand the culture, behavior or the context of the joke, he/she may not understand it.

I. Watch the movie segment from the great movie The Good Lie and answer the questions that follow.

The Good Lie

1. What is the setup of the joke?

2. What is the punchline?

3. Did the characters understand the joke? Were they familiar with the pragmatics of the joke?

4. In your opinion, is this joke funny? (Why (not)?

II. Watch the movie segment from the movie Home  and answer the questions that follow.



1. What is the setup of the joke?

2. What is the punchline?

3. Did the ET understand the joke? Was he familiar with the pragmatics of the joke?

4. In your opinion, is this joke funny? (Why (not)?

III. Write down a joke you know (or invent one) and tell it to the class. Don't worry if it is not funny at all. However, you must include the setup and the punchline.


Original comic strips are copyright Paws, Inc. and are used here only as a vehicle for education.
Creative Commons License

Setup- Garfield, the lazy cat, is working out.

Punchline - So much for "push". Tomorrow we work on "up".

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Big Hero 6: Innovations in the Workplace

This is certainly one of the best animated features in 2014. The movie's plot is sensational and breath-taking. I recommend it to all ages.

A clear focus area.

When running an innovation workshop in the workplace, it’s important to know the difference between creativity and innovation. Whereas creativity has no boundaries, innovative ideas have to meet certain organizational criteria. These criteria are determined by leaders or sponsors within each organization. They could include ideas that:

  • ·   Will provide value to important customers.
  • ·   Help the company become more profitable.
  • ·   Support the organization's strategy and values.
  • ·   Solve important business or operational problems.
  • ·   Create new markets, or new products or services.
New knowledge

To get at team to think creatively about the future, you need to provide them with a new way of looking at the world.
You need to supply them with information that will show them that the old way of doing things no longer applies - and that their customers’ expectations are changing, and new competitors are emerging who are doing things differently.

  • What is changing in the global economy.
  • New technological innovations and social networking trends.
  • New social trends.
  • How your industry is changing.
  • What your competitors are doing.
  • What delights and frustrates your customers.
Ask the right questions.

Innovation is more than just creativity. We need our groups to be imaginative in a way that helps them to create ideas that will meet the criteria they will be judged on. What strengths do we have in our team, department or organization? How can we use these strengths to create new products or services for our customers?

I. Read the three main points of innovation in the workplace above, watch the movie segment and discuss the questions that follow.


1. What is the workshop about? What kind of company is it?

2. What is the major difference between Hiro's and the other inventors' projects?

3. How do you view the difference between INNOVATION and CREATIVITY in the segment?

4. What was he offered?

5. What's your opinion about Hiro's project?

6. How would you describe Hiro's project. check the items you believe apply to his product. Explain how/why it they apply to the situation.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Rapa Nui - Easter Island's Moais: Easter Island - Mystery

This movie is not so good, but  it shows a lot of interesting facts and behavior of the people who once inhabited the Easter Island.

The 887 giant statues on Easter Island have turned one of the most isolated islands in the world into one of the most well known—and most mysterious.

Answer the quiz: Don't miss visiting the awesome site

Fun Trivia

 Where is Easter Island located?

a - Indian Ocean
b – Atlantic Ocean
c – Pacific Ocean
d – Caribbean Sea

What is the meaning of "Moai", the famous rock statues on Easter Island?
A -  Stone Tatues
B – Living Faces
C – Rock Heads
D – No smile

What is the original name of Easter Island, their people and their language?
A – Rapa Nui
B – Repa Hoa
C – Rapa Iti
D – Raparenga

How do you say "Hello" in Native Easter Island language?

A – Mahalo
B – Aloha
C – Iorana
D – Maururu

In terms of weight, what is the name of the largest completed statue on Rapa Nui?

A – Pukao
B – El Gigante
C – Paro
D – Rano Raraku

After the statue was fully erected and in place, a pukao was placed on top of the statue. What was a pukao?
A – A Garment
B – A Religious Symbol
C – A  Topknot
D – A Ring

Answers - Pacific Ocean, Living Faces, Rapa Nui, Iorana, Paro, Topknot

II. Watch the movie segment and discuss the questions:


1. Describe Easter Island.

2. How are they moving the statues?

3. Do you think that is the real way they moved them? Why (not)?

4. What are the workers expectations? And their leader's?

5. What is the leader's decision?

6. Do you think that is the real reason why there are so many rock faces on Easter Island?

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Bucket List: Bucket List

This is a touching, emotional movie. I truly recommend it. This scene is simply a must! Jack Nicholson at his best!

Bucket List - Definition:

A list of things to do before you die. Comes from the term "kicked the bucket".
I need to remember to add skydiving to my bucket list.

I. Take turns asking each other the following questions:

  • What if you were to die tomorrow? What would you wish you could do before you die?
  • What would you do if you had unlimited time, money and resources?
  • What have you always wanted to do but have not done yet?
  • Which countries, places or locations do you still want to visit?
  • What are your biggest goals and dreams?
  • Who do you want to see in person?
  • What experiences do you want to have / feel?
  • Are there any special moments you want to witness?
  • What would you like to say/do together with other people? People you love? Family? Friends?
  • What do you need to do to lead a life of the greatest meaning?
II. Individual work. Make a bucket list of 10 things you would like to do (or people you would like to meet, projects you would like to develop, etc) before you die. Let's suppose you have unlimited resources for your dreams, but very little living time.

III. Group up in trios. Share your lists and come up with a new list with 10 items selected from your lists. You all must agree on the items. Then share them with the class.

IV. Watch the movie segment and discuss the questions:


1. Describe the scene.

2. Why did the character decide to make a bucket list?

3. What's on the list?

4. How do you explain the choices?

5. Would you select the same things? Why (not)?

6. How do they feel while skydiving? Isn't it too dangerous for people at their ages?

7. What would the top priority of your bucket list be? Justify it.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Book of Life: Day of the Dead

I love the Mexican culture and the way they celebrate the Day of the Dead. This movie is really cute and worth a try. Enjoy it.

The days of the dead are a truly celebration of life. When children dance with caricatures of death, eat skull sugar molds and learn to respect that life is brief, they learn there is a circle to life and to not fear death and then are free to enjoy and appreciate every moment. It is celebrated in Mexico between October 31st and November 2nd.

Talk to a partner:

1. How do you celebrate the Day of the Dead in your country? Is it a happy or sad day?

2. Do you think it is important to celebrate the Day of the Dead? Why (not)?

3. Do the people in your country have the following Day of the Dead Traditions? 

  • The most common way to celebrate it is to put an altar in the home to welcome the spirits who are believed to return on this date.
  • Visit the cemetery. Before the Holiday, they clean and do any necessary maintenance.
  • Think of your dearly departed and their favorite food, what they liked in life and keep them present on the day of the holiday.
  • make sugar skulls
  • Decorate the party with colorful skulls.

4. Watch the movie segment and discuss the questions


1. Where did the children go on the Day of the Dead?

2. What did they learn about the Day of the Dead?

3. How is "La Muerte" described?

3. What's your opinion about Mexican Day of the Dead? Do you prefer the way it is celebrated there or the way it is in your own country:? Why?

4. Do you think there should actually be a holiday to celebrate the Day of the Dead.

Monday, July 20, 2015

American Sniper: Gratitude

I liked the movie a lot despite the way the main character is portrayed in the story. Clint Eastwood is a great director and made a highly effective movie. I just did not like the points of view regarding the sniper's personality and heroism. Well, that's me. The film is really good and this scene is a perfect introduction to the topic GRATITUDE.

Gratitude: The feeling of showing or expressing thanks, especially towards another person. It is also a central component of most religions, They encourage gratitude towards others, but specially towards God. It is also one  of the most effective methods for increasing long-term life satisfaction.

Talk to a partner;

1. Do you like showing gratitude towards a person? How do you do it?

2. Do you think people show gratitude the way they should? Why (not)?

3. Decide if you think these statements are true or false. Justify your answer.

  • Gratitude brings us happiness because it boosts the feeling of optimism, joy and pleasure.
  • Gratitude reduces anxiety and depression.
  • Gratitude is good for our bodies because it lowers blood pressure, and makes us less bothered by aches and pain.
  • Grateful people have more hours of sleep.
  • Gratitude helps people recover from traumatic events, such as post-war trauma.
  • Gratitude makes relationships stronger, bringing people closer together.
  • Gratitude is good for kids because they feel more connected to the community.
4. Watch the movie segment and describe the scene.

5. Why is the war veteran so grateful?

6. How does he show gratitude?

7. How does the main actor react to the veteran's gratitude demonstration?

8. What would you do if you were the handicapped war veteran?

9. What would you do if you were the "hero"?


Friday, July 10, 2015

Interstellar & Pixies: Murphy's Law

Murphy's Law is a popular adage that states that "things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them a chance," or more commonly, "whatever can go wrong, will go wrong." 

Work in groups. Come up with a theory of why the expression is called Murphy's Law? Be creative. 

Then share your idea with the class.

Now read how the expression was born and decide who came up with the closest idea.

Murphy's Law ("If anything can go wrong, it will") was born at Edwards Air Force Base in 1949 at North Base.It was named after Capt. Edward A. Murphy, an engineer working on Air Force Project MX981, (a project) designed to see how much sudden deceleration a person can stand in a crash. One day, after finding that a transducer was wired wrong, he cursed the technician responsible and said, "If there is any way to do it wrong, he'll find it." The contractor's project manager kept a list of "laws" and added this one, which he called Murphy's Law. Actually, what he did was take an old law that had been around for years in a more basic form and give it a name

I. Work with a partner:

1. Watch the movie segment and explain the girl's feeling. Why does she feel the way she does? Is she right to feel that way?


II. Think about a day in your life in which everything that could happen or go wrong did happen or did go wrong. Explain why Murphy's Law applied to that situation. Think about a trip that went wrong, a bad date, an unfortunate lie or anything you have experienced. Then share your stories with the class.

III. Watch the movie segment from the movie PIXIES. According to the segment, who is responsible for Murphy's Law unfortunate events? What happens to the main character during the past days?




Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Boxtrolls: Social Etiquette

This is a lovely movie with a moving story. It is a must. You can't miss this British animation.

I. Work in pairs:

1 - What would you recommend someone if you knew he/she were going to a formal party, but he/she doesn't know anywhere there?

2 - What about an informal party? Would your recommendation change?

3 - Have you ever done something in a party that you regretted having done? Talk about it.

4 - What is something someone should NEVER do in  a party?

II. Watch the movie segment and complete the chart. Write 5 pieces of advice that were given to Egg.



1 -
2 -
3 -
4 -
5 -

III. Work in groups. Talk about the mistakes Egg made during the party. 

1 - What shouldn't Egg have done, but he did? Mention as many things you can remember.

2 - What should he have done, but he didn't? Mention as many things as you can remember.

IV. Imagine Eggs is going to the following places. Make a list of social etiquette recommendations he should follow, according to your own culture.

1. A wedding
2. A funeral
3. Church
4. Christmas Dinner
5. Theater
6. Plane trip

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Ivan the Incredible: Marketing & Ethics

This animated movie is amazing and the message it carries is really constructive. I recommend it.

Marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers for the purpose of selling the product or service. It is a critical business function for attracting customers

I.  Watch the movie segment below and answer the questions.


1. What is Ivan selling? What about his competitor?

2. What are their strategies to compete against each other?

3. Are they real competitors?

4. What kind of customers are  they looking for?

5. How successful are they? Justify it?

6. What should Ivan do to make his product more attractive to the public?

II. Read the items below. They all have to do with marketing  ethics and strategies .They are some ethical procedures professionals must follow when marketing a product. Decide if these rules are followed by the characters in the segment you have seen.

( ) Avoidance of misleading or false advertising.
( ) Avoidance of sales promotions that use deception or manipulation.
( ) Not using coercion.
( ) Not practicing predatory pricing.
( ) Describing the product accurately in order to prevent misleading purchasing.
( ) Using your own ideas to promote a product.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Darkness Falls & Tooth Fairy: Tooth Fairy

The Tooth Fairy is not a very popular folklore tale in Brazil. Everything is pretty new for us, Brazilians. I selected two completely different scenes about the tale. One is a pretty scare version of the story - Darkness Falls (Adults only,please) - and the second one - The tooth Fairy - has a naive, but popular view of the subject. I hope you like them.

I. Divide the class into three groups. Each group reads one of the passages about the tooth fairy below. Then have one person from each of the groups form a new group and share what they read about the tale.


The tooth fairy is a fantasy figure of early childhood.[1] The folklore states that when a child loses a baby tooth, if he or she places it beneath the bed pillow, the tooth fairy will visit while the child sleeps, replacing the lost tooth with a small payment.[2]

The tradition of leaving a tooth under a pillow for the tooth fairy to collect is practiced in various countries.
74 percent of those surveyed, believed the tooth fairy to be female, while 12 percent believed the tooth fairy to be neither male nor female and 8 percent believed the tooth fairy could be either male or female. One review of published children's books and popular artwork found the tooth fairy to also be depicted as a child with wings,  two little old men, a dental hygienist, a potbellied flying man smoking a cigar, a bat, a bear and others. 


Ratón Pérez, "Pérez Mouse" in English) is a figure popular in Spanish and Hispanic American cultures, similar to the tooth fairy, originating in Madrid in 1894. As is traditional in some English-speaking countries, when a child loses a tooth it is customary for him or her to place it under the pillow, so that Ratoncito Pérez will exchange it for a gift. The tradition is almost universal in Spanish cultures, but takes different forms in different areas. He is known as "Ratoncito Pérez" in Spanish speaking countries, with the exception of some regions of Mexico, Peru and Chile, where he is called "el Ratón de los Dientes" (The Tooth Mouse), and in Argentina, Venezuela, Uruguay and Colombia, he is known simply as "El Ratón Pérez". In Italy, the tooth fairy is also often replaced by a small mouse. In France, and in French-speaking Belgium, this character is called la petite souris ("the little mouse"). From parts of Scotland comes a tradition similar to the fairy mouse: a white fairy rat who purchases children's teeth with coins.


In some Asian countries, such as India, China, Japan, Korea and Vitnam, when a child loses a tooth, it is customary for him or her to throw it onto the roof if it came from the lower jaw, or into the space beneath the floor if it came from the upper jaw. While doing this, the child shouts a request for the tooth to be replaced with the tooth of a mouse. This tradition is based on the fact that the teeth of mice grow for their entire lives, a characteristic of all rodents. In Japan, a different variation calls for lost upper teeth to be thrown straight down to the ground and lower teeth straight up into the air; the idea is that incoming teeth will grow in straight. In Middle Eastern countries, there is a tradition of throwing a baby tooth up into the sky to the sun or to Allah. This tradition may originate in a pre-Islamic offering, and dates back to at least the 13th century. 

II. Watch the movie segments below. Then answer the questions that follow.


Darkness Falls:

1. How is the legend of the Tooth Fairy shown in the segment?

2. Is the Tooth Fairy similar to the ones you read about? Explain it.

3. Is it a child's story? Why (not)?

4. What does this story have in common with the texts you read about?

The Tooth Fairy:


1. How is the legend of the Tooth Fairy shown in the segment?

2. Is the Tooth Fairy similar to the ones you read about? Explain it.

3. Is it a child's story? Why (not)?

4. What does this story have in common with the texts you read about?

III. Imagine that you are interviewing the Tooth Fairy.

Student 1 interviews Student 2 - the Tooth Fairy of the Darkness Falls segment.

Then switch roles.

Student 2 interviews the Tooth fairy in the Tooth Fairy segment. Use your imagination to answer the questions.

What do you do with all the teeth?

How do you get through windows? 

I lost a tooth, and I can't find it. Will you still come visit me?

How do you travel from house to house?

Where do you get all your money to trade for the teeth?

Where do you live?

Can I be a Tooth Fairy?

Why didn't you come and get my tooth?

How do you know my name and where I live?

Do animals lose their teeth? If so, do you collect those teeth?

Is there more than one Tooth Fairy?

How old are you?

How do you get my tooth without waking me up?

How did you become The Tooth Fairy?

IV. Finally, check the real Tooth Fairy answers at the end of the post. The answers are on the same site and the answers are really creative.

Taken from the awesome and creative site

What do you do with all the teeth?
The Tooth Fairy Helpers put the teeth in special boxes designed just for each child's lost teeth. We use the teeth to build just about everything at Tooth Fairyland. Sometimes the teeth shine so bright, you can see them as stars at night. You can even pick out and name your own star.  Look Here:  Name a Star  

How do you get through windows?
Part of being The Tooth Fairy is that I have special magic. I can use my magic to go right through your window. But it only works if you are sleeping. 

I lost a tooth, and I can't find it. Will you still come visit me?
Of course I will. As long as the tooth is lost, the Tooth Fairy will know about it. Usually I will dispatch Tooth Fairy Helper Argyle to find the lost tooth. He is the best lost tooth finder in all of Tooth Fairyland. Often a child will write a special note for me and leave that note under the pillow. Here at Tooth Fairyland a note from a child is just as magical as the lost tooth. 

How do you travel from house to house?
I'm a magical fairy and I travel on the mystical energy of fairy flight. Sometimes you can see the trail I leave way up in the sky when the night is as dark as it is going to get. But, most children are fast asleep at this hour of the night. 

Where do you get all your money to trade for the teeth?
There are several secret and loving adults that have a lot of money. They give money to me so I can trade it for your lost teeth. Maybe one day when you get older you will be able to donate money to me so I can trade it for other children's teeth. 

Where do you live?
I live at Tooth Fairyland -- hidden away up in the sky. 
Can I be a Tooth Fairy?
Maybe one day, you can be a Tooth Fairy Helper. But, those are jobs for grown ups. For now, I need you to be a child. You should enjoy growing up, making friends, learning at school, and ALWAYS be sure to take care of your teeth.

Why didn't you come and get my tooth?
Even though I can fly as fast as Fairy Speed Eleven, I just can't get to every lost tooth in one night. Sometimes there are so many lost teeth to collect. Sometimes the weather (especially blizzards and hurricanes) causes me to have to slow down, and I get behind. Just remember to leave your tooth for me, and I will get to it. Sometimes I have to work overtime on the weekends to get caught up. But I'll always come and get your lost teeth. 

How do you know my name and where I live?
Tooth Fairyland is full of Tooth Fairy Helpers. One such helper is Tooth Fairy Helper Emma. She is the keeper of the names, address, and map books. Emma and the other Tooth Fairy Helpers who work with her spend their days and nights making sure they know all the children's names and where they live. Every night, before I go to collect teeth, Tooth Fairy Helper Emma gives me the list of names and addresses to visit. 

Do animals lose their teeth? If so, do you collect those teeth?
Many animals do lose their baby teeth. However, there is a completely different Animal Tooth Fairy who collects those teeth. And, believe it or not, he leaves special little treats for the animals to eat when they wake up. The Animal Tooth Fairy is so busy that I hardly ever get to see him. But sometimes we meet up for a healthy snack. 

Is there more than one Tooth Fairy?
Nope. I am the only Tooth Fairy for people. Remember that there is an Animal Tooth Fairy. 

How old are you?
I know I look like a child, but I am very very, very, very old. I'm so old, that I stopped counting. I don't really remember when my birthday is. But every year on January 1st, the Tooth Fairy Helpers and I celebrate my birthday. I'm so old that I can remember when people didn't even live in houses. 

How do you get my tooth without waking me up?
Part of being The Tooth Fairy is that I have Tooth Fairy Magic. Using my magic, I can move very quiet and very fast. So quiet and so fast that you don't wake up when I get your tooth...even if it is under your pillow! 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Hotel Tansylvania, Delivery Man & The Change-up: Parenthood

I. Talk to a partner:

1. Do you have children? Talk about them.
2. What were (are) the most difficult moments while raising your child? 
3. If you don't have a child, what do you think your greatest challenges would be?

II. Here is a list of what a research showed parents believe were/are their greatest concerns about parenthood. Talk to a friend a write 1 to 5. 5 being extremely difficult and 1  no  concern at all.

  • Sleepless nights
  • Having patience
  • Getting children to eat the right foods
  • Give your child what they want without spoiling them
  • Getting children to clean their teeth properly
  • Dealing with an ill child
  • Leaving your baby for the first time
  • Getting a baby to sleep through the night
  • Getting children to do their homework
  • Going back to work after having a baby
  • Keeping an eye on your child 24/7
  • Trying to stop children spending too much time in front of a computer/TV
  • Bed-wetting
  • Getting a toddler to stay in bed
  • Getting time off work when your children are ill
  • Your child’s first ever day at school
  • Teaching them the value of money
  • Keeping a lid on bad language
  • Getting to school on time
  • Keeping an eye on what your children are looking at online/watching on TV etc
  • Preventing children from smoking or using drugs
  • Coping when you’re child’s first pet has died and knowing what to say

II. Watch the movie segment from the movie Hotel Transylvania and answer the questions:

1. How did he cope with parenthood?
2. What were his major difficulties?
3. Which item in the previous exercise did he have the hardest time at?
4. What advice would you give him?

III. Watch the movie segment from the movie The Change up  and answer the questions:


1. How did he cope with parenthood?
2. What were his major difficulties?
3. Which item in the previous exercise did he have the hardest time at?
4. What advice would you give him?

IV. Watch the segment from the movie Delivery Man and answer the questions. Dracula had a different situation and had a different task with his daughter.


1. How did he cope with parenthood?
2. What were his major difficulties?
3. Which item in the previous exercise did he have the hardest time at?
4. What advice would you give him?