Saturday, September 24, 2011

Animals United: Global Warming

Global warming is a topic we should always address when talking about environment in the classroom. I used this good-humored segment to lead in this important topic.

The term ‘Global Warming’ refers to the rising temperature of the earth due to an increased amount of greenhouse gases. The scientific community as a whole has determined through all research that global warming is a problem caused by human influence. The burning of fossil fuels emits greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. These gases trap the heat from the sun and cause the temperature of our planet to rise. This warming of the globe could potentially alter sea level, crop yield and rain fall, and could increase the intensity and frequency of natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and droughts.

Explain what global warming is, using your own words.


1.How concerned are you and your family about global warming?

2.What do you do in order to change this situation?

3. What do you think about your country's stand on this issue?

4. Read the explanation about the Kyoto Protocol:

The Kyoto Protocol: 37 industrialized nations including Japan and several European countries have all committed themselves to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 33%.

An American citizen viewpoint:

"The Bush Administration decided not to sign the Kyoto Protocol for one reason – the economy. President Bush has said on many occasions that the Kyoto Protocol sets unrealistic goals and would hurt the American economy. And so, we’ve become a country that intentionally lowers our expectations to increase our chances of meeting our goals. We’ve become a country that has made it a practice to do what’s profitable, what benefits our economy the most, rather than what’s right for the world. Most of all, we’ve become a country that seems to have more loyalty to ourselves than to the larger whole of which we should be a part – we care more about how we as a country are doing financially than we do about how our world is doing environmentally."

Group work:

What do you think about his opinion? Do you agree with it? Why (not)?

Decide whether the facts below are facts or fiction about global warming:

1. For centuries there has been a thick sheet of ice covering much of the Arctic, but recently it has been discovered to shrink at an increasing rate.

2. Fisheries are forced to move from one coast to another to keep up with the shifting marine life. For example, plankton and algae increase in certain areas, but disappear in others

3. Since the ice is melting, animals living in the region become endangered. This is also a threat for polar bears. The reason for this is that these animals need the thick ice sheet for their survival, as they often use it for traveling across and hunting for food. If there is less ice to walk on, quite simply, polar bears will have trouble finding food.

4. Experts claim that by the year 2050 the effects of global warming in Canada could actually make it a global superpower, while the rest of the world suffers.

5. Canada and global warming is not a new issue on the block, and it is little wonder. Canada has so much unused territory at the moment and it is just begging to be utilized in an efficient way. Canada is projected to have a growing population and a more developed north, as well as shipping lanes going through the Arctic Ocean, which was impossible before. Other effects of global warming in Canada include freeing up natural resources hidden in the north, such as fresh water, gas and oil. This will lead to building more infrastructure and attract more immigrants.

6. The tropics that are now considered “lungs of the planet” are projected to become complete desert, which will have catastrophic effects on the earth’s overall well-being.

7. The impact of global warming is greater in Antarctica than anywhere else in the world. There has been an almost 5 degree F rise in temperature over the past 50 years in Antarctica, and it is leading to a shrinking of the surface area thickness of the ice shelves

8. climate change and global warming have a largely negative impact on rain forest animals. Some tropical species like amphibians are already becoming extinct, and many more species of animals and plants are projected to be put on the danger lists of complete extinction in the 21st century.

9. There is a number of predicted effects of global warming, including extreme weather conditions like droughts, floods, hurricanes, wildfires, and heat waves. Melting ice caps are also among the predictions, with the consequent rising sea levels that will threaten the lives of millions inhabitants living along the coastlines.

Key: All the items are facts.

source : Don't miss visiting the site. It is awesome. Also:

Watch the segment from the movie Animals United and discuss:

1. What is the viewpoint shown in the segment?

2. What is the message given?

3. How do you relate what was discussed in class with the segment?

 Visit the link below. Make sure you visit the site, because it is really informative and attractive. Read the info graphic about global warming and climate changes. Select the information you consider most relevant and prepare a speech to share with the class.


Friday, September 16, 2011

27 Dresses: Unusual Weddings

This is an attractive romantic comedy that talks about weddings, a perfect theme for our English classes.

I. Talk to a partner about the following questions:

1. Have you ever been to an unusual wedding? Describe it.

2. What are some of the unusual weddings you have heard of?

3. Would you like to be a guest of an extremely unusual wedding ceremony? Why?

4. What's your opinion about this kind of wedding?

5. Would you like your wedding not to be a traditional one? Why (not)?

6. Which kind of marriages last longer? Those in which ceremonies are traditional according to their culture or one in which the ceremony does not follow the usual conventions set by culture? Why?

You may have more warm-up questions about weddings and vocabulary related to it in these two posts published months ago here in the blog.

II. Watch the scene from the movie 27 Dresses. Work in teams. Make a list of all kinds of weddings you manage to remember from the segment.


III. Complete your list with the information collected by the other members from your group. Who scored more correct answers?

IV. Decide:

Which one is _________________?

the most unusual

the funniest

the most traditional

the most interesting

the craziest


Friday, September 9, 2011

Rio & Rise of the Planet of the Apes: Poaching

Rio is an amazing movie and it addresses a serious topic, poaching, in a romantic, but informative way. Rise of the Planet of the Apes is too far fetched, but the original idea is clever and the movie breathtaking and thought-provoking. The information for the following exercises was taken from the wikipedia page


Poaching is the illegal taking of wild plants or animals contrary to local and international conservation and wildlife management laws. Violations of hunting laws and regulations are normally punishable by law and, collectively, such violations are known as poaching.

I. Explain poaching in your own words.

II. Talk to a friend.

1. Does your country face problems with poaching? Which ones?

2. What are the problems poaching may bring to the society?

3. Here is a list of what makes hunting illegal - poaching. Decide if the reason is fair enough or if it not.

- It may be illegal and in violation because:

- The game or fish is not in season; usually the breeding season is declared as the closed season when
wildlife species are protected by law.

- The poacher is illegally selling the animal, animal parts or plant for a profit.

- The animal is being hunted outside of legal hours.

- The hunter used an illegal weapon for that animal.

- The animal or plant is on restricted land.

- The right to hunt this animal is claimed by somebody.

- The type of bait is inhumane. (e.g. food unsuitable for an animal's health)

- The animal or plant is protected by law or that it has been listed as extinct or endangered and similar laws/treaties.

- The animal or plant has been tagged by a researcher.

Note that only wild animals can be poached. Stealing or killing domestic animals is considered to be theft, not poaching.

III. Watch the movie segment from the movie Rio and answer the questions:


1. Describe the scene

2. What animal is being poached?

3. Why is it considered poaching? Take a look at the previous exercises to help you.

4. How serious is the situation shown in the segment? Explain it.

5. Are any of the characters committing a crime? How innocent is a person who possesses a wild animal at home? What if this wild animal is very well-treated by the poacher? What if it is not well-treated? What should the punishment be, if any?

IV. Watch the scene from the movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes and discuss the questions.


1. Describe the scene

2. What animal is being poached?

3. Why is it considered poaching? Take a look at the previous exercises to help you.

4. How serious is the situation shown in the segment? Explain it.

5. Are any characters committing a crime? What if the animal is being taken for animal testing, for example to find the cure of an incurable disease, like Alzheimer?

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Queen & Paparazzi: Paparazzi

The Queen is a wonderful movie which deals with Lady Diana's death and the Royalty's reaction to the press in a unique manner. Paparazzi is another interesting movie about Paparazzi, and these shocking scenes are food for thought. I used it to talk about paparazzi.

I. Match the vocabulary and its definition:

1. Footage

2. Inquest

3. be swarmed

4. Tip off

5. Onlookers

( ) an official process to discover the cause of someone's death

( ) a secret warning or piece of secret information

( ) large numbers of people moving around someone

( ) people who watch something that is happening in a public place but is not involved in it

( ) (a piece of) film especially one showing an event

Answer Key: 2, 4, 3, 5, 1

II. Now read the latest developments about Lady Diana's death and complete the paragraph with the words from exercise I.

Jurors at a London court have been shown previously unreleased video ___________ of the last moments of Diana, Princess of Wales, and her partner Dodi Al Fayed. The couple were seen rushing into the hotel on the evening they both died in a tragic car crash in a Paris tunnel. They _____________ by paparazzi and __________and dived into the hotel to avoid the photographers’ flashes. The new pictures reveal Diana and Dodi sharing intimate moments in the hotel’s elevator on the way to their fateful car journey. The focus of the ___________ is now on the actions of Henri Paul, the head of security at the Paris Ritz. There is speculation that he _____________ the paparazzi to exactly when and from where Diana would leave the hotel the evening she died. 

Answer key: footage, were swarmed, onlookers, inquest, tipped off

III. Watch the movie segment from them movie The Queen and discuss the questions that follow:

1. Describe the scene.

2. What were some of the moments that Lady Diana was caught by the paparazzi's cameras, according to the segment?

3. How did her death happen?

4. Was it an accident or murder? Explain it?

5. How responsible were the paparazzi?

6. Were the paparazzi important in Lady Di's life? Or were they only harmful to her? Why?

7. How could the accident be prevented from happening?

8. What are the celebrities that are mostly chased by paparazzi nowadays?

9. What would you do if you were a celebrity chased by restless paparazzi?

10. What are the limits for paparazzi?

11. Can paparazzi film famous people children and publish their photos/videos without the celebrities' permission? Why (not)?

12. Do celebrities depend on paparazzi? What are some celebrities you believe profit from the paparazzi's news?

13. What are the recent news you have seen that were published by paparazzi?

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

1. Describe the scene.

2. How would you describe the fans and their idol's (Bo's) contact?

3. What do you think about the picture in the newspaper? Do you think it is a worth-reading piece of news?

4. How would you describe the paparazzi?

5. What do you think about Bo's reaction?

6. Who's right? 7

. What would you do if you were in Bo's shoes?

8. What would you do if you were in the photographer's shoes?

V. Now watch the second scene from the movie Paparazzi and discuss these questions.

1. Describe the scene.

2. How do you compare this scene with the first one from the movie The Queen.

3. Was it an accident or murder?

4. How would you describe the actions of the paparazzi before, during and after the accident?

5. What should happen to the paparazzi?