Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Morning Glory: TV Ratings, Expressing Opinions

This is a wonderful segment with multiple possibilities, especially if you want to talk about TV shows. Because TV is a controversial topic, I used it to make students practice expressing opinions in a genuine manner, without using the expression "I think...". Be careful with your audience. It is a segment for adults.

I. Watch the movie segment and discuss these questions in small groups.

RATINGS: a list of television and radio programmes showing how popular they are

1. What were the changes she decided to implement in order to raise the TV shows ratings?

2. Why did the ratings go up?

3. Are there TV shows like the one in the segment in your city? What are they? Do you watch them? Why (not)?

II. Let's practice expressing opinions without saying the expression "I think...". Of course that saying it to express an opinion is fine, but you can enrich your language if you use certain ways to vary your language production. This is called functional language.

What can you say instead of "I think" ?

I would say

In my opinion
To my mind
I am of the opinion that
I hold the opinion that
As far as I'm concerned,
I understand that
From my point of view, 
I'm not sure, but I suppose
That's an interesting question, 
I believe that

Now work in small groups and express your opinions about the questions below. YOU MUST NOT USE the expression "I think". You must also use all of the expressions above to answer the questions.

1. Do you think TV ratings help improve TV programs or does it have the opposite effect, lowering the quality of TV shows?

2. What do you think about her strategies to raise the ratings?

3. Do you think that the higher the TV show's ratings are the better the show is?

4. What were the best and worst changes she made in the TV show? Explain it.

5. What's your opinion about this kind of TV show?

6. Give examples of TV shows with very high TV ratings, but that you consider stupid.

7. Give examples of TV shows with very high TV ratings, and that you consider extremely clever.

8. What's your opinion about Brazilian (your country) TV?


Saturday, October 19, 2013

E.T - The Extra-Terrestrial, Mean Girls & The Nightmare before Christmas: Halloween

Hollywood always shows Halloween in their films. Here are three segments that will help you illustrate this holiday. Happy Halloween!

I. Discuss these questions in pairs.

1. What's your opinion about Halloween? Explain it.

2. Do you celebrate it? What about the other people in your country?

3. Do you think Halloween is an American tradition they want to export to other cultures? Explain it.

4. Have you ever gone to a Halloween party? What was it like?

5. How do you think children, teens and adults celebrate Halloween? Is it actually a celebration?

II. Work in pairs. Decide if these statements are true or false.  

( ) The first Jack O’Lanterns were actually made from turnips.  

( ) Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas in America.

( ) Samhainophobia  is the fear of Halloween.

( ) The first known mention of trick-or-treating in print in North America was in 1927.

( ) There is a tradition that says that, if a person wears his clothes inside out and walks backwards on Halloween, he will see  a witch at midnight.

( ) Halloween has been around 6,000 years.

( ) Black and orange are typically associated with Halloween. Black is the symbol of death and darkness, and orange stands for the harvest of autumn and its falling leaves

Key: All are true.

III. Watch the segment from the movie E.T. and answer the following questions:

1. How does the family, especially the children,  celebrate Halloween?

2. How excited are they?

3. What costumes are they wearing. How do their clothes change, according to their ages?

4. How similar is it to the way you celebrate it?

IV. Watch the segment from the movie Mean Girls. Here the scene shows how teenagers celebrate it.

1. How do teenagers celebrate Halloween?

2. What kind of costumes do they wear? How different are they from children's?

3. What was the biggest mistake the main character made?

4. Have you ever been to a similar party?

V. Watch the segment from the movie The Nightmare before Christmas and answer the questions:

 1. What are the Halloween symbols that you saw in the segment?

2. Read the lyrics and watch the segment.

Boys and girls of every age
Wouldn't you like to see something strange?

Come with us and you will see
This, our town of Halloween

This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Pumpkins scream in the dead of night

This is Halloween, everybody make a scene
Trick or treat till the neighbors gonna die of fright
It's our town, everybody scream
In this town of Halloween

I am the one hiding under your bed
Teeth ground sharp and eyes glowing red

I am the one hiding under yours stairs
Fingers like snakes and spiders in my hair

This is Halloween, this is Halloween

Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!
In this town we call home
Everyone hail to the pumpkin song

In this town, don't we love it now?
Everybody's waiting for the next surprise

Round that corner, man hiding in the trash can
Something's waiting now to pounce, and how you'll...

Scream! This is Halloween
Red 'n' black, slimy green

Aren't you scared?

Well, that's just fine
Say it once, say it twice
Take a chance and roll the dice
Ride with the moon in the dead of night

Everybody scream, everybody scream

In our town of Halloween!

I am the clown with the tear-away face
Here in a flash and gone without a trace

I am the "who" when you call, "Who's there?"
I am the wind blowing through your hair

I am the shadow on the moon at night
Filling your dreams to the brim with fright

This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!
Halloween! Halloween!

Tender lumplings everywhere
Life's no fun without a good scare

That's our job, but we're not mean
In our town of Halloween

In this town

Don't we love it now?
Everybody's waiting for the next surprise

Skeleton Jack might catch you in the back
And scream like a banshee
Make you jump out of your skin
This is Halloween, everyone scream
Wont' ya please make way for a very special guy

Our man jack is King of the Pumpkin patch
Everyone hail to the Pumpkin King now!

This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!

In this town we call home
Everyone hail to the pumpkin song

La la la la-la la [Repeat]




Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rise of the Guardians: Memories

This is another lovely animated movie. This scene is perfect to talk about childhood memories.

I. Work in pairs: Your teacher will read some words out loud. Tell each other what memories come to your mind when you think about your childhood.

1. TV cartoons

2. TV programs

3. Vacation

4. Sports

5. Doing something naughty

6. School

7. Music

8. Clothes

9. Favorite food (dish)

10. Your home

II. Discuss:

1. Do people usually remember good or bad moments of their childhood?

2. How do you think your memories made you the person you are now?

3. What are some of the sad moments you remember about your childhood?

4. What are some of the good moments?

III. Watch the movie segment and discuss the questions:

1. Describe the scene.

2. What are Jack's memories? What happened to his sister?

3. How did he see his memories?

4. Why was Jack so happy to have seen his past memories?

5. Does it make a difference in someone's life if he/she does not have any recollection of his/her past? Explain how.