Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides, Red Riding Hood & Dolphin Tale: Legends

I like all the three movies, especially Red Riding Hood. Perfect scenes to discuss legends.

I. Read the characteristics of a legend below.

-Tells how something came to be

- Narrative fiction (a story, not an article)

- Nature related

- Usually teaches a lesson

- Has a specific SETTING: a time, and a place.

- They often include beliefs and ideas of a culture.

- Untrue or magical parts (e.g., animals have personalities and talk)

I. Watch the movie segments from the movies Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides and Red Riding Hood. Then go over the characteristics in I and identify them in both segments.

Pirates of the Caribbean in Stranger Tides:

Red Riding Hood

III. Half of the class will work with the segment about the Werewolf (Pirates of the Caribbean). The other half will work with Mermaids (Red Riding Hood). Read the descriptions of their traditional legends and decide how accurate the movie is, according to the original legend. What extra information about the legend is presented in the segment?


- Werewolves are people with the ability to shapeshift into a wolflike creature, most commonly under the influence of a full moon.

- Ever since the early centuries, tales of werewolves have been recorded but none was truly ever captured for scientific dissection.

- Legends has it that people drink water out of a wolf's footprint to morph into one, or rub magical lotion onto their bodies.

- Werewolves are scared of silver objects, mainly silver swords or bullets.

- Once bitten by a werewolf, forever a werewolf.

2. Mermaids 

- The mermaid is a legendary sea creature with the upper body of a woman and the tail of a fish.

- Mermaids in some legends have been said to enchant sailors by singing beautiful songs, thus distracting them from their work and causing them to walk off the deck, taking them down the sea into their underwater kingdoms.

- In modern times, mermaids are said to be tales conjured up by bored sailors at sea, and theories have also been put forward which suggest that the "mermaids" are actually manatees.

- Mermaids are beautiful and seductive.

Work in small groups and come up with a legend about dolphins. Some people believe that Dolphins are humans. How can a legend explain it? Use the characteristics of a legend in I to help you imagine the legend.

Now watch the segment from Dolphin Tale.

1. What is the legend about dolphins shown in the segment?

2. Does it have anything in common with the legend you created? Explain the similarities and differences.

3. What's your opinion about the legend in the segment? What is its message?




Saturday, February 18, 2012

License to Wed & Death at a Funeral: Making a Complaint

I. Watch the movie segments from the movies License to Wed and Death at a Funeral. Both scenes are very funny, but they show consumers who are dissatisfied with the service they were provided with. When you watch the scene, make sure you observe what the problem was and how you would like the problem to be resolved.

License to Wed's Scene:


 Death at the Funeral's Scene:


 Imagine now that you are the characters from the segments you have just seen. Put yourself in his shoes and write a letter of complaint to the company who provided you with the service. Choose one of the scenes to complain. Follow the guidelines below: 

An introduction that clearly identifies the subject of the complaint. In the first paragraph you should identify what the issue is and any relevant information that you believe is important. Be sure to include the following information if it's applicable to the situation: the date/time of the issue, location, name of person on duty, name of product, what the problem was, your account number, model number, price, warranty information and reference number. Be sure to stick with the facts and avoid putting emotions into your letter.

A body paragraph that (a) clearly and specifically explains the nature of the complaint, and (b) provides the reader with all of the information needed to provide an appropriate response. It should state what you would like done to resolve the situation. If you received poor service, you could request an apology or a coupon. If a product malfunctioned, you could request that you could exchange the product for a new one or request a refund.  

 A conclusion that clearly states what actions are needed to remedy the problem. The last paragraph should thank the reader for the time. You can also throw in some compliments about something you liked about their company's product or service. You should include your telephone number/e-mail address after your printed name so that they can contact you ASAP if necessary. Be sure to keep a copy of the letter for yourself and include photocopies of any relevant documents and enclose them with your letter.



Saturday, February 11, 2012

A.I. Artificial Intelligence: Artificial Intelligence

Read the definition for Artificial Intelligence and decide what you understand about it.

Artificial Intelligence is the attempt of computers to mimic or outperform the human brain.

There are four requirements for a machine to be human-like. Match them with the explanations that follow

Four requirements that differentiate humans from machines.

1- Human emotion.

2 - The ability to create it's own data associations in order to make decisions and differentiate between true and false.

3 - Self-consciousness, which involves identity, a track of time, and a sense of the world around you. We have 5 senses and a sense of time, and a sense of who we think we are or might become.

4 - Creativity and imagination, something that will probably be the last thing to be implemented properly.

( ) Some people do not understand why we even have them; some even try to hide them most of the time. The reality is, it is an evolutionary trait that makes us have a purpose in life. Without it, we would not reproduce, complete our daily tasks, or interact with other humans. An artificially intelligent machine would still only be a simple calculator without it. Ability to Create Data Associations and Decide

( ) It is what's important with AI. Computer programs need to find ways to adapt and collect all data available to connect ideas. Most likely many of these things will be accomplished once natural language and communication is understood by AI developers.

( ) This is probably the hardest things to create. However, I think it is based on things we've already know and seen, then minor variations on those ideas, and since everything is very related anything is possible.

Answer key: Human emotion, the ability to create its own data association, creativity and imagination.

I. Watch the segment and discuss the questions:

1. Describe the scene.

2. Do you think robots will be so perfect in the future that they will become part of the family? Why?

3. Will robots ever have emotions? Will they be able to fall in love, for example?

4. What about people? Will they be able to fall in love with robots?

5. What is the future of robots? How present will they be in our lives?

6. What's your opinion about Artificial Intelligence?


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Rio: Carnival

This movie is lovely and the way the director, who is Brazilian, depicts Rio is pretty close to my view. I used this scene to talk about Brazilian's most popular holiday - Carnaval. This post was prepared for Brazilian students, so you may have to adapt it.

I. Work in pairs:

1. Do you like Carnival? Why (not)?

2. What about the rest of your family?

3. In your opinion, where is the best carnival in Brazil? Why?

4. What do you know about Carnival in other countries?

5. What are the best and the worst things about carnival?

II. Do you recognize where the following carnival celebrations take place. Match the places and the pictures.

1. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2. Salvador, Brazil
3. Recife, Brazil
4. Trinidad and Tobago
5. Venice, Italy
6. Croatia
7. Munich, Germany


III. Watch the movie segment from the movie RIO and discuss the following questions:

1. Describe the scene.

2. What are the characteristics of the Carnival in Rio, according to the segment.

3. Have you ever experienced anything similar to the Schools of Samba Parade?

4. Would you like to participate in one?

5. What are the good and bad things about the parade, according to the segment.

6. Describe people's costumes. What's your opinion about them?

7. Have you ever worn costumes for a party? Talk about it.