Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Nanny Diaries, The Back-up Plan, Rabbit Hole & License to Wed: Support Groups

These three movies are worth-seeing, but Rabbit Hole is outstanding and has one of Nicole Kidman's best performances. I used it to talk about support groups, or maybe when you have a lesson about overcoming difficulties.

In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic. The help may take the form of providing and evaluating relevant information, relating personal experiences, listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks. A support group may also work to inform the public or engage in advocacy. (Wikipedia)

I. Work in Small groups. Read the sentences below and decide whether you agree or disagree with the statements. Then decide whether they are advantages or disadvantages of support groups.

1. Support Groups allow you to share not only problems you may be having but also possible solutions with others who may be going to the same problems as you.

2. Support Groups are a great way to meet others who go through the same ups and downs that you experience.

3. Support Groups are an excellent way to build up friendships.

4. Support Groups allow you and others who care for you to express their feelings.

5. Support Groups tend to bring together people who share only criticisms of people who deal with the problems they are facing.

6. Support Groups leave the attendees feeling worse because they are not given any hope to overcome their problems.

7. Support Groups sometimes have attendees that whine and complain about how bad their problem is, but can not do anything to change it.

8. Support Groups give you hope that things will truly be alright.

9. Support Groups sometimes can lead to arguments and disagreements which can be very harmful to a person's progress who has been facing these problems

10. Support Groups do not always give you useful coping strategies and sometimes leave you feeling empty.

11. Telling their story can be an important part of healing, but hearing someone else's story can be traumatic. Memory is very complex. Hearing a graphic story of someone's trauma can trigger memories, thoughts, and feelings of one's own trauma.

12. Support groups can encourage you to seek professional treatment if you haven't yet. They also may encourage you to take a more active role in your treatment or stick to your treatment plan when you feel like giving up.

13. You may be nervous about sharing personal issues with people you don't know.

II. Talk to a partner.

1. Have you ever participated in a support group? Would you consider joining one? For what reasons?

2. What's your opinion about them?

3. Read some kinds of support groups listed below. Which ones do you consider worth trying in case someone has a problem? Justify your answer.
  • Women who love too much
  • Nannies
  • People who have lost their children
  • Single mother

III. Watch the segments below. They're from the movies The Nanny Diaries, The Back-up Plan, Rabbit Hole, and License to Wed. For each of the segments, answer the following questions.

1. What is the support group for?

2. Who is conducting the meeting?

3. What kind of audience does it have?

4. How excited are the participants?

5. How helpful do you consider this support group?

6. What are the good the negative sides of the support group?

7. Would you like to be part of the group? Why (not)?

8. What do the movie scenes have in common and how different from each other are they?








Saturday, March 24, 2012

Death Becomes Her: Aging, Magic Potions

This is a classic that makes us reflect upon people's obsession to look younger and younger. Great actors, great plot, great scene. It is great to talk about aging.

Work in small groups. Talk about these questions:

1. What's your opinion about aging? Is it the same thing as getting old? Explain it.

2. How afraid of aging are you? Why?

3. What would you do to delay your aging process?

4. What wouldn't you do?

5. Would you like to live until you are very very old? Why (not)?

6. Would you be a volunteer for a scientific experiment on anti-aging drugs, even if you did not know anything about its results or consequences? Why (not)?

7. What if a stranger offered you a "magic potion" that would make you look like you do now for the rest of your life? Would you take it even if you did not know what it was? Justify your answer.

8. Read the statements taken from the site Riding the Rollercoaster. They are reflections upon her aging process experience. The author defines herself as "I'm a proud military spouse, riding that crazy roller coaster called military life. But I'm also a mother, a writer, a teacher and everything in between." Decide whether she believes they are pros or cons of aging.

10) Age is gradually stealing my memory.

9) Age is gradually offering me wisdom.

8) My body doesn't bounce back from illness, injury, or a tough workout as quickly as it used to.

7) I take better care of myself and my health.

6) I've seen a lot of friends come and go in my life.

5) I can recognize which friendships to hold on to and which ones to let go.

4) I wonder where the years have gone.

3) I no longer take time for granted.

2) I'm watching myself change on the outside. And I don't like it.

1) I've learned who I am on the inside. And I like it.

Watch the movie segment from the movie Death Becomes Her. Then answer the questions.

Death Becomes Her

1. Describe the scene

2. What was the doctor (Bruce Willis) offered?

3. What was his decision?

4. Why did he decide to do that?

5. What would you do if you were in his shoes?


Saturday, March 17, 2012

City of God, The 'Burbs, Blue Velvet & The Stepford Wives: Suburban Life

Talking about city life includes talking about the suburbs. In Brazil living in the suburbs is very different from other countries, such as the USA. Before you show the segment City of God, make sure the language used is appropriate for your adult audienc.

I. Talk to a partner.

1. What are the good and bad things about living in a big city?

2. Do (Would) you like to live in a big city? Why?

3. How is the suburban area where you live?

4. Suburbs in Brazil consists of a highly populated surrounding area with less privileged citizens. What do you know about the suburbs in the USA?

II. Read the characteristics below and decide whether they apply to a Brazilian suburb - favela or comunidade - to American suburbia, or both

- Younger buildings than the inner cities

- Traffic is slow to make cities safe

- As the land is less expensive, people have gardens

- Urban violence is a drawback

- Housing is improvised and unplanned

- Housing is comfortable and within commuting distance

- More open space and parks

- Less pollution than in the center of the city

III. Watch the segments below. Three of them show American suburbs and their lifestyle. City of God does the same with a Brazilian suburb in Rio de Janeiro. Then decide which characteristics in II apply to each of the segments.

City of God:

Blue Velvet:

The Stepford Wives:

The 'Burbs

V. Discuss the questions:

1. How do you think the economic crisis has affected suburban life in America?

2. Has suburban life improved in Brazil? How so?

3. Are the suburbs shown in the segment an accurate view of those countries' realities? Explain it.





Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Great Gatsby, Mr. Woodcock, 27 Dresses, License to Wed & Sex and the City 2: Embarrassing Situations

Talking about embarrassing situations is wonderful. If you show segments with embarrassing situations, the students will remember their own moments more easily, fostering communication.

I. Work in pairs:
1. Talk about one embarrassing situation you have experienced. What happened and how did you deal with it?

2. What makes you feel embarrassed?

3. Rank the following situations below. 1 is the most embarrassing one.

- Being under dressed at a party.

- Being overdressed at a party

- Being the only one not wearing a costume at a party.

- Being the only one wearing a costume at a party.

- Falling in front of everyone.

- Not remembering someone's name.

- Asking something the listener dislikes.

- Being accused of something you did not do in front of others.

- Dumping a lover.

- Being dumped by a lover.

Watch the segments below and answer the same questions about all the segments.

1. What is the embarrassing situation?

2. How did the characters deal with them? 3. How would you react in that situation?

4. How could have the situation been prevented from happening?

SITUATION 1: Mr. Woodcock

Segment 2: 27 Dresses

Segment 3: License to Wed

Segment 4: Sex and the City 2

Segment 5: The Great Gatsby

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hop & Rise of the Guardians: Easter

I love animated movies, but Hop is not one of my favorite films. These scenes, though, are great for the coming Easter holidays.

I. Go to this quiz page and do the quiz about Easter. Check how much you know about Easter.

II. Learn and play the Easter vocabulary game here.

III. Discuss:

1. Does Easter have a religious or festive meaning to you?

2. How do you celebrate Easter?

3. What do you usually eat in Easter time?

IV. Watch the segment and answer the questions.

1. What Easter elements do you see in the segment?

2. What are the most interesting things in the factory?

3. Describe the factory.

V. Watch the next segment and answer the questions:

1. What does this scene have in common with the way you celebrate Easter?

2. Describe the scene.

3. What do you dislike about Easter?

 VI. Watch the segment from the movie Rise of the Guardians and answer the questions:

 1. How do you compare the Easter Bunny in both segments?

2. What does the "egg factory" do in Rise of the Guardians?

3. Does it resemble to the way you celebrate Easter in your country?