Friday, January 30, 2015

Hunting the Legend & Something in the Woods: Bigfoot, Cryptids

In cryptozoology , a cryptid (from the Greek "κρύπτω" (krypto) meaning "hide") is a creature or plant whose existence has been suggested but is unrecognized by scientific consensus and often regarded as highly unlikely.

I. Work in groups:

1. Do you know any other cryptids or mythological creatures from your cultures that people claim to have seen it?

2. Why do people believe in cryptids?

3. What do you know about Bigfoot?

4. Why do people visit American and Canadian forests in order to look for Bigfoot so often? Do these people believe it actually exists?
 II. Divide the class into pairs. One student reads a passage, claiming that Bigfoot is a feasible and living creature. Another student reads a passage, claiming that Bigfoot is a hoax. Then pair up both students, they share what they read, and decide whether the arguments presented are valid.


The first set of the big footprints usually more than 15 inches long were first discovered and reported by a British explorer by the name of David Thompson in 1811. Discoveries, sightings and claims of a humongous biped animal have therefore been in circulation for more than 3 centuries. As time has gone by there have been more footprints discovered and the frequency of the discoveries has significantly increased. The significant increase in these claims has been largely attributed to the spread of knowledge that there may be such a thing as a Sasquatch and thus the awareness has put a name to it and more people on the lookout. The continued improvement of methods of capturing images and video has also undoubtedly boosted claims as it is now easier for people to simply be prepared with a camera or voice recorder in the event of a sighting. The first alleged sighting of the Bigfoot was by Roger Patterson. This was in 1967 in the northern regions of Bluff Creek California.  Bigfoot was reported to have been in Asia in the mid-19th Century proving that the presence of the Bigfoot legend is not one that was limited only to America. The description given in Asia was that of a 7-10 foot tall biped covered in white fur with feet as long as 17 inches.  The first alleged picture of the Bigfoot dates back to the early 1950s and was taken by a wild life explorer named Eric Shipton. This was in the North Americas and gave way to the name of the Abominable snowman spotted roaming in the snow white landscape. The latest reported sighting of the Bigfoot is in Georgia in the year 2012 by a group of campers


 1. No 'Bigfoot' has ever been killed or captured and properly examined at an officially recognised museum or university. Until that happens, it's reasonable to assume that all sightings are either intentionally faked or are misidentifications of other creatures.  No skeletal remains which might be a 'Bigfoot' have been recovered and submitted to an officially recognised museum or university for analysis. Vague claims about bones in the woods are hardly reliable evidence.  There is no reliable photograph of a 'Bigfoot' and - in an age where everyone and his brother have digital cameras and Photoshop - it's much too easy to fake one. Even some of the old photos, and the famous cine-camera footage, are a bit dubious. People who try to convince us that a blurry lump filmed from 500m away at twilight is actually 'Bigfoot' aren't really helping their case. None of the alleged 'Bigfoot' hair and droppings have produced reliable DNA suggesting what they are. This may be due to contamination by the people bringing them in, but saying 'It's because Bigfoot is so closely related to humans' is a bit of a cop-out. No one has ever run down a 'Bigfoot' in their car, van or truck. Given the quantity of squashed wildlife which litters the roads, and the ever increasing amount of traffic, it does seem a bit odd that no-one has flattened one of these creatures.  No-one has - to my knowledge - explained where 'Bigfoot' fits into the eco-system of the area where it lives or, for that matter, found out what it eats. It's such an easy thing to fake - a furry suit and a video-camera are all you need - that there must be a great temptation among people of a certain mentality to try it.

Bigfoot Gigantopithecus

III. Watch the movie segment Hunting the Legend and discuss the questions:


1. Where are they?

2. What did the locals say about Bigfoot?

3. How does the population see the presence of Bigfoot in Camden, Alabama? Do they think Bigfoot is real or is it a hoax?

4. Which of the statements impressed you most? And least?

5. What's your opinion about the evidence they had? Are they trustworthy?

6. Would you like to visit a place where people have claimed to see Bigfoot? Would you be scared?

Watch the movie segment Something in the Woods


1. Describe the scene.
2. The movie says it is based on a true story. Do you believe it?
3. What would you do if you were in their shoes?



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Renoir: Impressionism, Creativity

Read the paragraph about Renoir:

Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s early work truly embodies the Impressionist style. Throughout the 1870s he worked with Monet studying light and movement, using broken colour to emphasis the sunlight hitting an object. "The Swing" is a great example of a painting that captures the essence of Renoir but also strongly embodies all the Impressionist features; light colours, delicate brush strokes and contrasting light and shadow. After he spent some time in Italy in the 1880s viewing classical and traditional art, he turned his attention to portraits and painting people rather than practising the plein air technique. This is often called his ‘Ingres Period’. Later on in his life he went back to using the thin brush strokes of the more typical Impressionist style, although he is often more abstract than many others.

Work in small groups. IMPRESSIONISM QUIZ. Answer True or False. The group that guesses most correct answers is the winner.

1.  Impressionism began in France when a group of young and talented artists decided to rebel against the established art critics.

2.  Impressionists wanted to capture a moment in time. Critics said that their work was merely "impressions" of reality and the name stuck. 

3.The Impressionist movement began in the 1760s and became most popular in the 1770s and 1780s.

4. The Impressionists wanted to capture a moment in time.

5. They were more concerned with the light and color of the moment than with the details of objects they were painting.

6. They often painted outdoors and worked quickly to capture the light before it changed. They used rapid brush strokes and often used unmixed color to save time. They used unusual visual angles and common everyday subjects.

7. When a critic called the art "impressions", it was meant as in insult.

8. The established art community was outraged when the young Impressionist artists held their own exhibition in 1874.

9. Their paintings were perfect reproduction of nature.

10. Many of the artists fled from France to England during the Franco-Prussian war.

11. Impressionists often painted the same view or subject over and over trying to capture different moments in light, color, and time.

12. By the late 1880's Impressionism was very popular and many artists throughout the world were taking up the style.

1. T
2. T
3. F The Impressionist movement began in the 1760s and became most popular in the 1770s and 1780s. False - 1860s, and popular in 1870s and 1880s.
4. T
5. T
6. T
7. T
8. T
9. F - They were impressions, not reproductions.
10. T
11. T
12. T

Watch the movie segments and discuss the questions.


1. What characteristics of Impressionism can you see in the segment?

2. How did Renoir's seeing difficulties interfere with his work?

3. What kind of models did he have?

4. How did you imagine Renoir use to paint his picture. Was it anyways similar to the way shown in the segment?


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Wreck-it Ralph: Heroes x Villains

Wreck-it Ralph simply rocks. I love the film and its characters. You can't miss it.

I. Work in pairs:

1. Describe a hero in your own words. Do the same to describe a villain.

2. Think about two famous heroes and two famous villains. What are their personality traits and character?

3. Many people believe that movie/soap operas villains are more interesting than heroes. Do you agree with it? Give examples.

II. Give each student with a slip with one of the definitions below. Then form groups of four students and share what their texts talks about.

Hot Hero: impulsive, brave, sometimes foolhardy, generous, often impatient, gregarious or solitary, prone to wild temper, pride and defiance but also with a basic sweetness to them: a good character who struggles to be good, it doesn’t come easily. They are often immediately or soon attractive to other good characters, as they have a certain charisma. Can be momentarily tempted out of a hero’s trajectory by a clever villain of either type, playing on their impulsiveness.

Cold, or more attractively, Cool, Hero: reserved, thoughtful, often solitary, self-controlled, ironic, stoical, brave, but without the impulsiveness of the ‘hot’ type. Or else, much less commonly, they can be sweet, dependable, kind, apparently accepting but inwardly resisting. This type of hero often emerges unexpectedly and has less outward charisma than the ‘hot’ type. A ‘cool’ type hero is a good character whose inner integrity really grounds them, they are less easily tempted, but the results when they are tend to be worse than for the ‘hot’ type.

Hot Villain: impulsive, reckless, ruthless, violent, arrogant (the extreme end of pride), physically intimidatory, often bullying, yet calculating. A fearsome opponent, but out in the open: the wolf in wolf’s clothing, if you like. This sort of villain is not to be thought of as stupid: real villains are always intelligent, in books, unless they are minor villains of the henchman type. They often attract hordes of followers as they have a certain violent, dark charisma. Usually defeated by clever heroes of the ‘cool’ type, or less often, the ‘hot’ sort who have learned self-control.

Cold Villain: self-controlled, calculating, deceitful, manipulative, ironic, cruel, ruthless. This is the wolf in sheep’s clothing: for my money, the most frightening enemy. They are highly intelligent and imaginative and often emerge unexpectedly, and though they often have fanatically devoted followers, they generally do not have obvious charisma. But a villain of the ‘cold’ type can sometimes masquerade behind the mask of an apparently warm and charismatic heroic type—and this can be one of the worst of all!

III. Think about one character/person that would suit each of the descriptions above.

IV. Watch the movie segment and discuss the questions.


 1. Describe the scene.

2. Are they villains or heroes. Hot or Cold?

3. What are some video games heroes and villains you are familiar with?

4. Do you like playing video games? What kind of video games do you enjoy?

5. What are some famous Television villains that became famous in your country?

6. What are some famous heroes that became famous in your country?