Saturday, September 23, 2017

Minimalism - A Documentary about the Important Things: Minimalism

Make a list of the 10 most important objects in your life and then share it with a partner, explaining why they are so important. Finally, which one would you manage to get rid of more easily.

What is minimalism? If we had to sum it up in a single sentence, we would say,

Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom. People who  intentionally try to live with only the things they really need.

I. Discuss with a partner. How do you think minimalism helps minimalists accomplish the following tasks. Make guesses if you don't know the answer.

Minimalism has helped us,  minimalists…
  • Eliminate our discontent
  • Reclaim our time
  • Live in the moment
  • Pursue our passions
  • Discover our missions
  • Experience real freedom
  • Create more, consume less
  • Focus on our health
  • Grow as individuals
  • Contribute beyond ourselves
  • Rid ourselves of excess stuff
  • Discover purpose in our lives                                                                                                             
  • Inspired by these two awesome sites:

II. Now read the details of minimalist behavior and check how they apply to the items in the previous exercise.


It is marked by clarity, purpose, and intentionality. At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.


Minimalism brings freedom from the all-consuming passion to possess. It steps off the tricks of consumerism and dares to seek happiness elsewhere. It values relationships, experiences, and soul-care. 


 Minimalism slows down life and frees us from this modern hysteria to live faster. It finds freedom to disengage. It seeks to keep only the essentials.


While most people are chasing after success, glamour, and fame, minimalism calls out to us with a smaller, quieter, calmer voice. It invites us to slow down, consume less, but enjoy more.

III. Watch the segment ad talk about what you saw.

1. How did the minimalist life use to be like?

2. Why did he decide to change his life style?

3. How did he change it?

4. What does he usually say in his lectures?

5. Has he seen any changes in people regarding minimalism?

6. Would you like to be a minimalist? Why (not)?

7. Do you know anyone who lives by those principles, or at least most (some)  of them?


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Cast Away: Improvisation

Work in pairs:

1. How would you define improvisation?

The art or act of composing, uttering, executing, or arranging anything without previous preparation (

2. Do you consider yourself good at improvising according to the situation you are facing at the moment? Can you think of examples?

3. Brazilians are famous for their improvisation in adverse situations. There is even an expression for that (jeitinho brasileiro - free translation - Brazilian way of solving a problem not necessarily following pre-established rules). Do you think it is a quality or a handicap? Explain it.

4. What about the people in your country? Are most people good at improvising or do they have difficulties adapting to an unexpected situation?

5. Imagine you are lost in the middle of the forest. You find a bag with a few objects inside it. Think about different ways you can use the following objects to help you survive. These ways have to be different from the obect's original purpose.

- An umbrella

- A car

- Roller skates

- The bag 

- A helmet

- 10 pens

- 100  Red balloons 

- A soccer ball

Now watch the movie segment and make a list of how the main character improvised when using the following objects:

Federal Express Boxes

Video cassette tapes

Ice skates

The fabric of the dress

Bubble wrap