Friday, December 11, 2009

Akeelah and the Bee & Bad Words: Spelling Bee

The Spelling Bee is a big event here at the Casa Thomas Jefferson. These two segments are perfect to activate schemata and to give students an idea of how important these events are in the USA. Spelling Bee is already a tradition at Thomas!





I. Talk to a partner:

1) What do you think when your teacher says you’re going to do some spelling?

2) Is learning spelling in class interesting and fun? Should it be?

3) How important is spelling compared with pronunciation, vocabulary, punctuation, etc?

4)What strategies do you use to remember the spelling of difficult words?

5) Have you ever heard of the Spelling Bee contest? What do you know about it?


B. Now check the alternative you believe is correct. The winning group is the one who scores the most points.

1. The National Spelling Bee contest started in ______


a. 1925
b. 1935
c. 1945
d. 1950

2. The 1st National Spelling Bee Contest had ______ participants.

a. 5
b. 9
c. 90
d. 150

3. The term Spelling Bee refers to:

a. The sound bees make.
b. The busy social life of the bees for a single activity.
c. Bees skipping from letter to letter on television programs broadcasting the contest .
d. No one knows why it is called Spelling Bee.

4. Spelling Bee contests are popular in ______.

a. Most countries in the world.
b. English speaking countries.
c. The USA only.
d. In England only.

5. Which one of the alternatives is true?

a. No Black Americans have won the National Spelling Bee contest in the USA.
b. No foreigners have won the National Spelling Bee contest in the USA
c. New York is the state that has had the greatest number of winners of the National Spelling Bee contest in the USA.
 d. 70% of the winners in this contest have been females.


Answer Key: 1a, 2b, 3b, 4b, 5d

III. Watch the movie segment and answer the following questions.


video

1. Describe what happened in the segment.



2. How would you describe the participants' feelings?



3. And the audience's?



4. Are participants excited about the contest?



5. How do the participants feel when eliminated?



6. Would you like to participate in such a contest? Why (not)?



7. Is it important to participate in competitions like this one? Why (not)?



8. How important is the contest in American society? What did you see in the segment that justifies your answer?


PPT SLIDES - Prepared by my colleague Daniela Lyra


IV. Watch the movie segment from the movie BAD WORDS and answer the questions.


video

1. Describe what happened in the segment.

2. How would you describe the participants' feelings?

3. And the audience's?

4. Are participants excited about the contest?

5. How do the participants react to the adult who is participating in the contest? And how does the adult react to his own and the other's participation? How do you describe his attitude?

6. Should he be allowed to participate? Why (not)?

7. How do you compare both Spelling Bee contests? What do they have in common and what are the differences between them?

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - AKEELAH AND THE BEE

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - BAD WORDS


9 comments:

  1. Hello Claudio,

    I find your blog very interesting and useful, particularly the Akeelah and the Bee's segment.
    However, I have a question: They spell the word XYOEM but when you look it uo in the dictionary, there is no such word for the given definition but XYLEM or XYLON. What do you think? Is there a mistake in the movie?
    Thanks
    Patricia in Argentina
    porsi@fibertel.com.ar

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Patricia,

    I think you're right. I checked it in an unabridged dictionary and I got the same response you did. I think you might be right. If someone could give us feedback on this issue, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I found the word in the wikipedia, and it matches the definition given in the movie:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xylem

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ah, and it can also be found in the Cambridge dictionary online:
    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/xylem

    ReplyDelete
  5. Patricia, he's saying L. The American pronunciation of the letter L sometimes sounds like ok. When I say "ELL", some students think that I'm saying "ELO" unless I'm very careful to exaggerate my pronunciation.
    ~Heather

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agree--I watched it again-- He is saying "L". It may just be his accent that makes it sound a little different. It would really be something if a spelling bee movie spelled a word wrong. But he is definitely saying "L".

    ReplyDelete