Sunday, December 27, 2009

He's Just Not That Into You & The Dilemma: Excuses



I think both films are funny and catchy. If you like comedies, you can give them a go. These scenes are contextualized and perfect to talk about Giving Excuses.


I. Work in pairs. Make a list of 4 different excuses people usually give in the situations below. Be creative, but believable.

1. You're late for a class because you overslept. The teacher does not accept tardiness. What excuses can you give to be accepted in class?

2. You didn't do the homework assigment and it's for a grade. It is due today. What would tell your teacher to have an extra time to hand in the assigment?

3. You went dancing and met the girlfriend/boyfriend there.
of your dreams. You arrived home 4 hours later than your parents' stipulated curfew. What excuses can you give so that you don't get grounded?

4. You were invited for a dinner party in your honor and the only dish is something you simply hate. What excuses can you give without hurting the host?

5. You received a present that you disliked. You want to exchange it, but the only way of doing it is by returning it to the person who originally gave it to you. What would you say to him/her?

6. You invite someone for dinner at a very expensive restaurant , but you forgot your wallet at home. You want to impress this person. What excuses can you give to have your guest pay the check for you?

7. You went out with a girl (boy), got her (his) telephone number but never called her (him). You meet her by accident on the street and he (she) asks why you didn't call her (him). You are still interested in the person. What can you say so that she (he) doesn't get disappointed with you?


II. Role play the situations above.

III. Watch the movie segment now. Pay attention to all the excuses the women in the segment came up with to justify their lover's not calling them. Try to remember all of them.
video
video

 IV. Discuss these questions with a partner.

1. Is it true that women want men to call them after the first date right on the next day? What's your opinion about it?

2. Is it true that men don't want to call them after the first date right on the next day? What's your opinion about it?

3. If the man does not call after the first date, is it okay for the woman to call him? Explain it.

4. What's your opinion about women who don't wait for the man to approach and initiates the contact?

5. Is it true that men want outgoing women to date and shy and conservative women to marry? Justify your answer.


V. Watch the scene from the movie The Dilemma and answer the questions in pairs:
video 1.

1. Describe the scene.

2. What did he see and what happened to him?

3. Why do you think he decided not to tell the truth?

4. What excuses did he make up while and after narrating the story?

5. Did Geneva believe his excuses were true?

6. What would you do if y ou were in his shoes? And in her shoes?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Juno: Teenage Pregnancy

This is a great movie. Teenage pregnancy is dealt with in a creative, different manner. My students had a lot to say about it.


I. Talk to a partner about the following questions:



1. Is unwanted teenage pregnancy an issue where you live?

2. What can be done to prevent it from happening?

3. What's your opinion about aborting a teenager's unwanted pregnancy? Would you consider it under any circumstances?

4. What about giving the child away for adoption? What do you think about it?

5. What should children be taught about conception and pregnancy?

6. Is it better that teenagers remain celibate or that they become sexually active, using condoms? Explain it?

7. What should parents do when it happens?

8. What about the future father? What should he do under the circumstances below?


- if he is underaged too?

- if he is older than 18?

- If he is older than 35?

- If he had raped the teenager?

- if he has a wife?

- if he denies it?


II. Watch the movie segment and answer the following questions in groups:
video

1. Describe what happened in the segment.

2. What was her mother's reaction?

3. What was her father's reaction?

4. What was her friend's reaction?

5. What did Juno say she was going to do? Do you like her idea?

6. What would you do if...?


- You were Juno?

- You were Juno's best friend?

- You were Juno's parents?

- You were the father of the baby?

- You were the foster parents to whom Juno promised to give the baby away.

7. What do you think will happen next?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Akeelah and the Bee & Bad Words: Spelling Bee

The Spelling Bee is a big event here at the Casa Thomas Jefferson. These two segments are perfect to activate schemata and to give students an idea of how important these events are in the USA. Spelling Bee is already a tradition at Thomas!





I. Talk to a partner:

1) What do you think when your teacher says you’re going to do some spelling?

2) Is learning spelling in class interesting and fun? Should it be?

3) How important is spelling compared with pronunciation, vocabulary, punctuation, etc?

4)What strategies do you use to remember the spelling of difficult words?

5) Have you ever heard of the Spelling Bee contest? What do you know about it?


B. Now check the alternative you believe is correct. The winning group is the one who scores the most points.

1. The National Spelling Bee contest started in ______


a. 1925
b. 1935
c. 1945
d. 1950

2. The 1st National Spelling Bee Contest had ______ participants.

a. 5
b. 9
c. 90
d. 150

3. The term Spelling Bee refers to:

a. The sound bees make.
b. The busy social life of the bees for a single activity.
c. Bees skipping from letter to letter on television programs broadcasting the contest .
d. No one knows why it is called Spelling Bee.

4. Spelling Bee contests are popular in ______.

a. Most countries in the world.
b. English speaking countries.
c. The USA only.
d. In England only.

5. Which one of the alternatives is true?

a. No Black Americans have won the National Spelling Bee contest in the USA.
b. No foreigners have won the National Spelling Bee contest in the USA
c. New York is the state that has had the greatest number of winners of the National Spelling Bee contest in the USA.
 d. 70% of the winners in this contest have been females.


Answer Key: 1a, 2b, 3b, 4b, 5d

III. Watch the movie segment and answer the following questions.


video

1. Describe what happened in the segment.



2. How would you describe the participants' feelings?



3. And the audience's?



4. Are participants excited about the contest?



5. How do the participants feel when eliminated?



6. Would you like to participate in such a contest? Why (not)?



7. Is it important to participate in competitions like this one? Why (not)?



8. How important is the contest in American society? What did you see in the segment that justifies your answer?


PPT SLIDES - Prepared by my colleague Daniela Lyra


IV. Watch the movie segment from the movie BAD WORDS and answer the questions.


video

1. Describe what happened in the segment.

2. How would you describe the participants' feelings?

3. And the audience's?

4. Are participants excited about the contest?

5. How do the participants react to the adult who is participating in the contest? And how does the adult react to his own and the other's participation? How do you describe his attitude?

6. Should he be allowed to participate? Why (not)?

7. How do you compare both Spelling Bee contests? What do they have in common and what are the differences between them?

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - AKEELAH AND THE BEE

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - BAD WORDS


Friday, December 4, 2009

21 & All In: Gambling & Casinos








I. Talk to a group of three students about the following questions:

1. Have you ever been to a casino? Talk about your experience. If you haven't, would you like to? Why (not)?
2. Are casinos legalized where you live? Do you agree with this decision?
3. Should casinos be prohibited? Why (not)?
4. What about lotteries?
5. What do you know about cards games? Can you play any? What are the rules?
6. Is it okay for children to play cards even if no money bets are involved?
7. Do you think the life of a professional gambler is glamorous? Justify it.
8. Casinos make a lot of money. Is it fair that clients cheat or use illegal tricks to win their bets over?
9. Should gambling be considered a disease, like an addiction, for example?


II. Talk to your partners and match the vocabulary and the definitions about gambling:

1. Banker

2. Blackjack

3. Bet

4. Chips

5. Color up

6. Hand

7. House

8. Jackpot

9. Fold

10. All-in

11. Bluff

12. Hit


( ) When a player converts chips of smaller denominations to larger denominations.

( ) the dealer in card games.

( ) The casino or any gambling facility.

( ) To throw your hand away when it's your turn to act.

( ) The cards that a player holds.

( ) to wager

( ) When a player bets all his/her chips.

( ) a table game that requires a pair of cards to total 21. A winning hand should be higher than the dealer’s cards without going over 21.

( ) The round-shaped tokens used in gaming instead of cash. These are bought at the gaming tables and converted to cash at the cashier’s booth or cage.

( ) To make other players believe that one has a better hand

( ) A big win on a slot machine.

( ) It means the player wants another card.


Answer Key: 5, 1, 7, 9, 6, 3, 10, 2, 4, 11, 8, 12


III. Watch the first segment of the movie 21 and answer the following questions:

- Describe what you saw in the segment:


1. What game are they playing? How do you know it?

2. Is the main character cheating? How do you know?

3. Is he working by himself?

4. Is he right or wrong? Why?

5. Which words presented in the vocabulary exercise could you use to describe the segment?

video


IV. Now watch the segment of the movie All In and answer the questions that follow:


video

- Describe what you saw in the segment.

1. What game are they playing? How do you know it?

2. Is the main character - the young girl - cheating? How do you know?

3. Is she working by herself?

4. Is she right or wrong? Why?

5. Which words presented in the vocabulary exercise could you use to describe the segment?

WRAP UP - CLASS DISCUSSION:


1. What do both scenes have in common and how different are they?

2. What do you think will happen to the main characters after the scenes?

3. Which of the two games is more interesting? Poker or Blackjack? Why?

4. What should happen to the main characters in the movies? Why?