Saturday, January 30, 2010

Signs: Crop Circles

Watch the first movie segment and discuss the following questions with a partner.


1. Describe what happened in the scene.

2. What do you think actually happened before the scene took place?

3. What would you do if you were one of the characters in the segment?

4. The family was alone on their farm. Is it possible that vandals had done it without their noticing it? What about aliens?

5. What will happen next?

6. Do you believe in aliens or UFOs? Why (not)?

Watch the second segment from the same movie and discuss the questions that follow.


1. Describe the scene

2. What are the characters' guesses for the happening?

3. Do you agree with them?

4. Would you continue living on that farm? Why (not)?

5. Would you try to make contact with an alien if you saw one near you? Why (not)?

6. What do you know about crop circles?

Work with a partner. Check the alternative that you believe is correct. The information was collected from the thought-provoking site below. Read the abstract taken from it. Myths-Dreams-Symbols-Crop Circles

Crop Circles are unexplained designs that are imprinted over the span of usually one night in fields of mostly wheat & corn, but have also occurred in barley, oats, rape (canola), grass, trees, and even snow. In other words, any organic material in which a distinguishable impression can be made. They occur in crops during the spring & summer seasons throughout various regions of the world, such as in the U.S., Canada, throughout Europe, South America, Asia and Australia.

1. What are the only two countries where crop circles have never been reported?

a. Brazil and Guatemala
b. Tunisia and Chile
c. South Africa and China
d. Iran and Syria

2. Where do most of the complex formations occur?

a. The USA and England
b. Ireland and Scotland
c. France and Canada
d. Russia and Ukraine

3. Where and when was the earliest known formation?

a. England, 1647
b. Scotland, 1888
c. The USA, 1931
d. Ireland, 1959

4. When did the circles become complex pictograms composed of straight lines and spiral rings?

a. 1975
b. 1980
c. 1985
d. 1990
Answers: 1.c - 2.a - 3.a - 4. d
Decide with a partner. What is the best explanation to the crop circles? Justify it.
1. Natural phenomena
2. Extra-terrestrials
3. Hoaxes
Work in pairs. Here are some reflections taken from the thought-provoking site Crop Circles: Fact or Fiction , a serious investigative website. Read some of their reflections and prepare a theory to explain each one of them
1) Although some crop circles have been made by man, decades (and even centuries) of cereal crop circle events as well as most of the 10,000 + formations in the last 10 to 12 years occurring in at least 34 countries scattered all across the globe is beyond human connivance.
2). England has a very rich spiritual/religious history. Ninety percent of all crop circles worldwide have appeared within a forty mile radius of the ancient Stonehenge sacred rock monument in England’s Wiltshire county. Likewise, most of the Canadian crop circles have been located on lands of those of strong spiritual persuasions such as regular church attendees and native people’s ancient sacred sites.
3) Scientific studies have proven that genuine formations are created with unknown technologies using unknown energies causing weird anomalies in the soil, plants and subsequent seed germination rates. These anomalies can’t be explained away by any conventional science.
4) Other unexplainable physical anomalies such as spinning compasses, equipment failure from drained batteries and balls of light have been seen and photographed many times in and/or near fresh formations. This has been increasing in intensity in the last few years and is backed up with photographic proof.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dolan's Cadillac: Gun Purchase

I. Work in small groups and discuss the following questions:

1) How violent do you consider the place you live in? Explain it.

2) How is gun purchase restrictions in a country related to its crime rates?

3) Do you know the rules to buy a gun in your country? What exactly do you know about it?

4) What are the consequences if you are caught carrying a gun that was bought legally at a public place in your city? Do you agree with it? Why (not)?

5) What are the consequences if you are caught carrying a gun that was bought illegally at a public place in your city? Do you agree with it? Why (not)?

6) Do you think that forbidding gun selling will solve or lower crime rates? Why (not)?

II. Look at some of the rules a citizen must obey when buying a gun in the USA. Talk to your group mates and write F if you think the law is fair enough, L if you think it is too lenient, and S if you think it is too strict.

1. ( ) Some states (hard states) require you to attend a weapons safety class before you can purchase a weapon.

2. ( ) Other states (easy states) don't have any special training requirement to purchase a gun.

3. ( ) If you buy a weapon in an "easy" state and transport it to a "hard" state, the weapon
is technically illegal.

4. ( ) The age at which you can purchase a weapon depends on the weapon.

5. ( ) Shotguns are easier to purchase than rifles and handguns. That's because they're primarily used for hunting.

6. ( ) In most states, carry permits are issued by counties. Whenever you purchase a weapon, you're supposed to inform it so the weapon can be tracked. However, not all of the states require it.

III. Now decide what the best regulations of gun trade would be. Make a list of rules that should be followed by everyone and share it with the rest of the class.

IV. Watch the movie segment and answer the questions that follow:


1. Describe what happened in the scene.

2. What is the customer looking for and what is he offered?

3. Is the customer eligible to buy a gun?

4. Was it difficult to purchase it? Why (not)?

5. Do you think the customer is prepared to handle a gun? Why (not)?

6 - Do you think the guns shop is prepared to sell guns? Why (not)?

7 - Would this scene be possible where you live? Explain it.

8 - Is there anyone right or wrong in this situation? Explain it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Freedom Writers: Teaching

I. Talk to a partner.

1. What are the characteristics of a good teacher. Make a list of at least 8 qualities he must have.

2. What are some characteristics a good teacher can't have. Make a list of 5 of them.

3. Who is your favorite teacher? Why?

4. Have you ever had problems with a teacher? Talk about it.

5. In your opinion, what are the greatest difficulties a teacher faces?

6. How different is it to teach at a regular public school and at a private school? Explain it.

7. Are teacher's pay fair where you live? If not, why not?

8. Are teachers acknowledged the way they deserve? Justify it.

9. Is teaching dangerous where you live?

10. How will teaching change in the future?

Watch the movie segment. Then discuss the following questions:


1. Describe the scene.

2. What are the adversities this teacher will face during the term?

3. How should she handle the situation?

4. How would you describe this group of students?

5. How would you describe the teacher?

6. Is it possible to teach with such a group of students? Explain it.

7. How different is this reality from where you study? Explain it.

8. What would be the ideal school like, in your opinion?


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Mall Cop: Obesity

I. Watch the movie segment and answer the questions that follow.


II. Talk to a partner:

1. Describe what happened in the scene.

2. What were the ladies figthing over?

3. Why was the lady so offended?

4. Do you think the security guard's comment was offensive or inappropritate? Why?

5. Why do you think people get so offended when they are called fat or by similar derogatory names?

6. How are fat people seen by the society?

Student 1 asks the questions below to student 2

1. Why is obesity bad for the health?

2. What should governments do to fight obesity? Should they do anything at all?

3. Are parents responsible for their children's obesity?

4. Should schools prohibit junk food to the students? Why (not) ?

5. Is obesity a problem in your family? How so?

Student 2 asks the questions below to student 1

1. What is worse? Obesity or anorexia? Why?

2. Is there a relatinship between obesity and video games? How?

3. Is obesity a disease or a choice?

4. Is it fair that obese peóple have speacial seats on theaters, buses oand airplanes? Why (not)?

5. Have you ever been discriminated or mocked because of your weight?

6. Do very thin people suffer with discrimination too? Explain it.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - Terracotta Army in China

I. Work in pairs to answer the following questions. Write T (True) or F (False) about facts related to the Army. Information taken from - wikipedia.

1 ( ) Terracotta army is also know as the City of Death.

2 ( ) It is a semi-subterranean mausoleum with an army of 7.000 clay terracotta warriors.

3 ( ) There are sculptures of soldiers, chariots, horses and dragons.

4 ( ) The statues have real life sizes.

5 ( ) The statues were vividly painted.

6 ( ) Only about 1.000 soldiers have been excavated so far.

7 ( ) It was discovered in 1924.

8 ( ) The emperor's ambition was to recreate the empire for his after life.

9 ( ) Half the soldiers have been seriously damaged during the excavations.

10. ( ) All the soldiers look exactly alike.

Incorrect answers:
3. Not dragons -
7. 1974 -
9. Almost none of them -
10. don't look alike

II. Now watch the movie segment and answer the questions.

1. Describe what happened in the segment.

2. What do you think would happen to them if they had been the ones who actually discovered the secret army?

3. By looking at the army, what do you think was the emperor's intention building them?

4. Visitations to the mausoleum are not allowed. Do you think it is a right policy? Why (not) ?

5. What should the Chinese government do about the army? Justify your answer.