Saturday, March 26, 2011

Big Fish & Water for Elephants: Circus

Big Fish is wonderful movie is a great source for activities. This one is great to talk about circus. You may use it with children, but you must simplify the tasks. Water for Elephants is a must, a love story with all the ingredients to win you over. Don't miss it.






A. Look at some of the attractions a circus may have and match the vocabulary with the description:

1. Acrobatics


2. Trapeze


3. Contortionism


4. Stilts


5. Juggling


6. Plate spinning


7. The rolling globe


8. Clowns


9. Daredevil


10. Human cannonball


11. Fire eater


12. Knife throwing


13. Magic


14. Sword swallowing 1


 15. Animal acts


( ) It is the performance of extraordinary feats of balance, agility and motor coordination.


( ) It is a performing art that entertains an audience by creating illusions of seemingly impossible or supernatural feats, using purely natural means.


( ) It is an ancient performance art which the performer passes a sword through the mouth and down the esophagus towards the stomach.


( ) It is a show with cats, dogs, lions, or others.


( ) It is an unusual form of physical display which involves the dramatic bending and flexing of the human body.


( ) They are are poles, posts or pillars used to allow a person or structure to stand at a distance above the ground. Walking stilts are poles equipped with steps for the feet to stand on, or straps to attach them to the legs, for the purpose of walking while elevated above a normal height.


 ( ) It is is a skill involving moving objects for entertainment, in which someone throws objects up to catch and toss up again.


( ) The performer places flaming objects into their mouth and extinguishes them. He also practices controlling and transferring the flame.


( ) It is an art in which an artist skilled in the art of throwing weapons at a target.


( ) It is a circus manipulation art where a person spins plates and bowls on poles, without them falling off.


( ) A performer balances atop a large sphere, sometimes taller than the performer.


( ) They are comical performers, stereotypically characterized by their appearance: colored wigs, makeup, unusually large shoes red-nose, etc., who entertain spectators by acting in a hilarious fashion.


( ) A performer is ejected from a specially designed cannon.


( ) He is someone who performs dangerous stunts. They look dangerous while still having safety mechanisms, but often they are as dangerous as they appear to be.



Answer key: 1, 13, 14, 15, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 12, 6, 7, 8, 10, 9
I. Check the artists/activities you can see in the segment.





 Acrobats





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 Trapeze swinger





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 Contortionist





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 Stilts walker





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Juggler





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 Daredevil





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Clowns







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Human cannonball





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Fire eater






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 Magician





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 Animal acts





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Tightrope walker



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Lion tamer



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Ringmaster





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B. Now watch the movie segment from the movie Big Fish and check the items in exercise A that you could identify there.

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C. Now talk to a partner about the following questions:

1. Describe the scene.

2. What's your opinion about this kind of circus?

3. What's your opinion about the use of animals in a circus? What should be done about it?

4. Do you like going to the circus? Why (not)?

5. What's your opinion about circuses that don't allow animal acts, such as Le Cirque de Soleil?

6. What's your opinion about a circus that show deformed people as attractions? Should it be forbidden? What should happen to the owners? Will it be better or worse for these people, who have difficulties finding ordinary jobs.



C. Watch the segment from the movie Water for Elephants and discuss the questions:




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1. Which artists and attractions in A did you manage to see in the segment?

2. What's your opinion about this kind of circus?

3. Would you like to attend that evening performance? Why (not)?

4. How do you compare this circus with modern ones? Explain it.

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - BIG FISH

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - WATER FOR ELEPHANTS

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mr. Bean's Holiday: Luck

This Mr. Bean's scene is great to warm-up topics about luck or coincidences. Mr. Bean is great for all sort of activities. My students had a blast.






A. Read the definition of LUCK below and discuss the questions that follow:


Luck or fortuity is good or bad fortune in life caused by accident or chance, and attributed by some to reasons of faith or superstition, which happens beyond a person's control.



1. Do you agree with this definition?


2. Does luck exist or is it just coincidence? Explain it.


3. Does luck really exist was it it fate, which is supposed to be pre-determined in our lives? Explain it.


4. Look at the kinds of luck described below. Can you think of practical examples for each one of them?


a. Constitutional luck, that is, luck with factors that cannot be changed. Place of birth and genetic constitution are typical examples.


b. Circumstantial luck—with factors that are randomly brought on. Accidents and epidemics are typical examples.


c. Ignorance luck, that is, luck with factors one does not know about. Examples can be identified only in hindsight, the ability to understand an event only after it happened.




5. An approach to luck includes the application of the rules of probability, and an avoidance of unscientific beliefs. Do you agree with it? Why (not)?


6. Do you agree with this statement: Some encourage the belief in luck as a false idea, but which may produce positive thinking, and change one's responses for the better. Why (not)?


7. People who believe in good luck are more optimistic, more satisfied with their lives, and have better moods. Do you agree? Why (not)?


8. Do you believe in good luck charms? Give examples of some popular luck charms people believe in where you live.


9. A penny, a rabbit's foot, a rock, a necklace, any coin can be consider to be a good luck charm.The four-leaf clover is the best known lucky symbol around the world and across many very different cultures. It is the most common yet the hardest to find. Do you have any luck charms?


10. How are superstitions and luck connected?



B. Watch the movie segment from the movie Mr. Bean's Holiday. Then answer the questions that follow.


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1. Describe the scene.


2. Was Mr. Bean lucky or was it just a coincidence?


3. What kind of luck was it, according to the item 4 in exercise A? Constitutional, circumstantial, or ignorance? Justify it.


4. What was the prize Mr. Bean won?


5. How surprised was he?


6. Have you ever won a bingo or the lottery? What was your luckiest prize?


7. Do you consider yourself a lucky person? Why (not)?


8. What about Mr. Bean? Is he lucky?

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - MR BEAN'S HOLIDAY

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Clash of the Titans: Greek Mythology

This is movie has made many teens start enjoying learning about the Greek Mythology. I liked it and these activities are culturally enriching and fun too.



I. Before watching the segment, make a guess, matching the Gods and their names.


1. Zeus

2. Poseidon

3. Hades

4. Hera

5. Ares

6. Athena

7. Apollo

8. Aphrodite

9. Hermes

10. Hephaestus



( ) Tricked by Zeus to rule the sickening Underworld in chaos and terror.

( ) King of the Gods

( ) The Lord of the Seas

( ) She is Zeus's wife and sister. She is the protector of marriage and takes special care of married women.

( ) He is the son of Zeus and Hera. He was disliked by both parents. He is the god of war.

( ) He is the son of Zeus and Leto. He is the god of music, playing a golden lyre. The god of light. The god of truth, who can not speak a lie.

( ) She is the daughter of Zeus. She is the goddess of the city, handicrafts, and agriculture.

( ) She is the goddess of love, desire and beauty. She has a magical girdle that compels anyone she wishes to desire her.

( ) Hephaestus is the son of Zeus and Hera. Sometimes it is said that Hera alone produced him and that he has no father. He is the only god to be physically ugly. He is also lame.

( ) He is the son of Zeus and Maia. He is Zeus messenger. He is the fastest of the gods. He wears winged sandals, a winged hat, and carries a magic wand. He is the god of thieves and god of commerce.


3, 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 6, 8, 10, 9

II. Play a game. Decide if the statements below are TRUE or FALSE. The winner is the groups that scores most correct answers.

1. ( ) The role of the hero is mapped out in such recurring themes as the separation from the mother, the overcoming of obstacles, and the finding and supplanting of the father.

2. ( ) The gods were differentiated from the heroes not so much by their strength as by their supernatural power.

3. ( ) Greek myth attempts to explain the origins of the world and details the lives and adventures of a wide variety of gods, goddesses, heroes and heroines, and other mythological creatures.

4. ( ) In the wide variety of myths and legends that Greek mythology consists of, the gods that were native to the Greek peoples are described as having ideal bodies.

5. ( ) The Greek gods are persons, not abstractions, ideas or concepts.

6. ( ) Ancient Greek gods have many fantastic abilities; most significantly, the gods are not affected by disease, and can be wounded only under highly unusual circumstances.

7. ( ) The Greeks considered immortality and unfading youth as the distinctive characteristic of their gods.

8. ( ) Each god descends from his or her own genealogy, has differing interests, a certain area of expertise, and is governed by a unique personality.

9. ( ) The stories generally suggest that relationships between gods and mortals are something to avoid; even consenting relationships rarely have happy endings.

10. ( ) The Greek people used myth to explain natural phenomena, cultural variations, traditional enmities and friendships.



Answer key: All are true.



III. Watch the movie segment and discuss the scene:



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1. Describe the scene.

2. Which Greek gods, heroes or myths were mentioned in the segment?

3. What's your opinion about Greek mythology?

4. According to the scene, how would you describe the main characters?

5. Would you like to have lived in Greece in those times? Why (not)?

6. How different are the Greek gods and heroes from the ones in your own culture?


MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - CLASH OF TITANS

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Precious, Jumper, You Again & ParaNorman: Bullying

Precious is a dramatic, but well-made movie. Jumper is a great adventure. You Again is a funny movie that revolves around the topic bullying and its consequences in an average, ordinary person. Finally, ParaNorman is simply awesome. I used these scenes, which show bullying in different situations and degrees. Bullying must be curbed from schools and talking about it is a great start.






Read the definition for Bullying below. Taken from http://www.behavioradvisor.com/Bullying.html


Bullying can be defined as ongoing verbal and/or physical harassment/abuse that occurs in community and/or school settings. Bullies use aggression or threat of it, to gain control over peers. They tend to target children who are weaker in physical or verbal ability than they. Non- assertive youngsters who will not defend themselves or seek assistance often become prey too. 


I. Read some facts about bullying in the USA and check which ones are true.

1. ( ) More than 1 in 3 middle and high school students say they don't feel safe at school, and generally, boys are more fearful in school than are girls.

2. ( ) 27% of middle school students and 31% of high school students said they "agree" or "strongly agree" that it is acceptable to hit or threaten someone who makes them angry.

3. ( ) More than 16% of U.S. school kids say that they have been bullied by another youngster during the current school term.

4. ( ) Bullying appears to occur most often in the 6th through 8th grades.

5. ( ) There appear to be no differences in bullying rates between rural, suburban, town, and urban areas.

6. ( ) Students in grades 6-10 reported being bullied through belittling one's looks or speech, being the subject of rumors, being hit, slapped or pushed, being the subject of sexual comments or gestures, being belittled about their religion or race,

7. ( ) A great deal of absenteeism is believed to be due to avoidance of bullying.

8. ( ) 60% of former bullies have at least one criminal conviction by the age of 24.


Answer key: All are true.


II. Check the items that are considered bullies.

- Lacks empathy and concern for others

- Demonstrates a strong need to dominate and subdue others

- Hot tempered, quickly becomes enraged

- Teases others in a hurtful manner

- Picks on others who are weaker; not done in self defense

- Intimidates others through threats or reputation

- Commits acts of physical aggression

 - Defiant, oppositional, and aggressive towards adults


III. Watch the segment from the movie Precious and answer the questions below:


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1. Describe the scene.

2. Which weaknesses were pointed out by the bully?

3. How did the bullied react?

4. Who was right? Justify your answers.

5. What actually happened? Check the items in Exercise II that took place in the observed scene.

6. What should the consequences be for the people involved in the scene?

IV. Now watch the segment from the movie Jumper and answer the questions that follow.

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1. Describe the scene.

2. Which weaknesses were pointed out by the bully?

3. How did the bullied react?

4. Who was right? Justify your answers.

5. What actually happened? Check the items in Exercise II that took place in the observed scene.

6. What should the consequences be for the people involved in the scene?


V. Watch the segment from the movie You Again and answer the questions.


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1. Describe the scene.

2. What kind of aggression did the main character receive.

3. What would you do if you were in her shoes?

4. What kind of trauma do you think she will have to deal with in the future?

5. Should there be any kind of punishment in this case? Why (not)?

6. Do you think this is bullying or just an innocent practical joke? Why?


VI. Watch the segment from the movie ParaNorman and discuss the questions:



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1. Describe the scene.

2. What kind of aggression did the main characters receive?

3. What would you do if you were in their shoes?

4. What kind of trauma do you think they will have to deal with in the future?

5. Should there be any kind of punishment in this case? Why (not)?

6. Do you think this is bullying or just an innocent practical joke? Why?

7. How do the bullied characters react to bullying?


Here is a site which is a great resource called BestOnlineColleges.com with wonderful scenes and movies you can use to illustrate the topic BULLYING and others as well.

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - PARA NORMAN

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - JUMPER

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - PRECIOUS

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - YOU AGAIN