Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Unborn: Nightmares

Although this movie is not a masterpiece of horror, it can be really spooky at times. If your class is too sensitive, do not use it. Check it out first. The scene is extremely attractive. All my students loved it. I hope you do too. A. Talk to a partner about the following questions:

1. Do you dream every night?

2. Do you remember your dreams?

3. Which kind of dream do you remember with more details? Dreams or nightmares?

4. Do nightmares have meanings? Do you believe your nightmares are telling you something?

5. If you had a horrible nightmare about a plane crash the night before you were going to fly to another city, would you change your plans? Why not?

6. Has any of your nightmares ever come true? If so, describe it.

7. What are recurrent dreams or nightmares? Have you ever had any?

B. Watch the first segment of the movie. This is the main character's nightmare. Try to figure out what it means. What do the objects, animals and people mean? What is the nightmare trying to tell her?

C. Share your guesses with the whole class.

D. Now watch the second segment. The main character asks her friend to give her some explanations about the dream.

E. Talk to a partner:

According to her friend:

1. What does the dog mean?

2. What does the baby mean?

3. What do you think the nightmare means now, combining both pieces of information? Be creative.

4. What will happen next?

5. Would you like to share one of your nightmares with the class?

6. What's your opinion about their interpretation of the dream?


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Role Models: Community Service - Alternative Sentencing

Community service is an act by a person that benefits the local community. People become involved in community service for many reasons: for some, serving community is an altruistic act, for others it is a punishment. (Wikipedia)

A. Class Discussion:
What is your opinion about Community Service as Alternate Sentencing of convicts?

B. Work with a partner. Read the following statements about alternative sentencing and decide if you both agree or disagree with them. Justify your answers.

1. Expensive fines should be reduced in exchange for a certain number of hours of community service.

2. The convicts should be able to choose their community service.

3. Sentences should be ordered by the court, deciding which services convicts must do.

4. The sentencing should be specifically aimed at the convict's crime, for example, a litterer may have to clean a park , or a drunk driver can be asked to talk to school groups to explain why drunk driving is a crime.

5. Minor offenders should be required to work for city departments under the supervision of the police on weekends, as an alternative to jail.

6. A service to the community is more beneficial than punishment .

7. The community sees a benefit, saving costs associated with incarceration.

8. It is a way to educate the convict in what is acceptable behavior.

9. It is a bad example for other groups, such as young people, because they may become reluctant to do it voluntarily.

10. It is too light a sentence for the crimes.

C. Make a list of five alternative sentences you would consider fair.

D. Watch the movie segment and answer the questions that follow. Take turns asking them.


1. Describe what happened in the segment.

2. What were their sentences? Were they fair or should they go to jail? Why?

3. What were some of their crimes?

4. What's Sturdy Wings?

5. What did Sturdy Wings do to Gayle's life? How different is her life now?

6. What's your opinion about the commercial? Is it effective? Why (not)?

7. Is Sturdy Wings really worse than jail?


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Crossing Over: Immigration

I. Work in small groups of students. Prepare a list with 5 advantages and 5 disadvantages of immigration.

II. Share your list with the rest of the class and check if you had the same ideas.

III. Work in pairs now. Give each student a card with different questions for them to interview each other. Student 1:

1. Is immigration good or bad? Why?

2. Was immigration successful in Brazil (your country)? Explain it.

3. Would you like to live in or move to another country? Why?

4. Do you think illegal immigration is a serious problem in Brazil (your country)? Justify it.

Student 2:

1. How different would the world be if there were not any rules to regulate immigration?

2. What would you do if you knew that your neighbor is an illegal immigrant? Justify it?

3. In your opinion, which country has the greatest control of immigration? Is it fair? Why (not)?

4. Is immigration a serious problem where you live? Give examples.

IV. Match the vocabulary and the definitions:

1. Alien

2. Deport

3. Detainee

4. Emigré

5. Immigrate

6. Nativism

7. Naturalization

8. Refugee

( ) A person who is not a citizen of the country where he or she resides. He or She can be in the country legally or illegally.

( ) An alien in the custody of the government temporarily.

( ) A person forced to emigrate for political reasons.

( ) To force someone out of the country.

( ) To enter a country for the purpose of living there

( ) The process whereby an immigrant becomes a national citizen.

( ) A person who leaves his land because of persecution or danger.

( ) A policy of favoring those born in America over immigrants.

 Key - 1, 3, 4, 2, 5, 7, 8, 6

V. Watch the segment now and answer the questions:

1. What happened in the scene? Why were the factory workers so desperate? What were they afraid of?

2. Do you think the Mexican lady was telling the truth about her children? What makes you believe that?

3. Is it fair that the police break into a factory to look for illegal immigrants? Why?

4. What should the government do with those illegal employees that were arrested there?

5. What do you think will actually happen to them?

6. What about the Mexican young woman? And her children?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Knowing: Fate - Predicting the Future

A. Watch the first segment of the movie KNOWING.


B. Talk to a partner. Have in mind that the first scene took place 50 years ago: 1. Is Lucinda writing numbers consciously? How do you know it? 2. Why is she doing it? 3. What do you think those numbers mean? C. Watch the second part now:
D. Talk to a partner. This second scene takes place nowadays, 50 years after the first scene.
1. What do those numbers actually stand for?

2. How did the main character solve the puzzle?

3. Why did he get so terrified in the end of the scene?

4. What will happen next?

5. Is it possible that someone manages to predict the future like Lucinda did?

E. Talk to a different partner now. Take turns asking the questions.

1. Do you believe it is possible to predict the future?

2. Are there people who can actually see what will happen?

3. What do you know about Nostradamus? What's your opinion about him?

4. Do you think things are pre-determined to happen? Or is it just coincidence?

5. Do you believe in fate?

6. Would you like to know your future? Why (not)?

7. Would you like to know when/how you are going to die? Why (not)?

8. Do you think that there will be a big catastrophe that will terminate or seriously harm mankind? Explain it?

F. Read the quote below written by Liz on her inspiring and extremely thought provoking site



Read Cambridge's dictionary definitions for fate and destiny.

Fate - What happens to a particular person or thing, especially something final or negative, such as defeat or death. (Cambridge dictionary)

Destiny - The force that some people think controls what happens in the future, and which cannot be influenced by people. (Cambridge dictionary)

Class Discussion:

Do you think Liz is right? Do you agree with her?