Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Founder: Innovative Ideas

I love t his movie and the way it shows how hard it is to innovate a brand. Leaders should watch it.

Activity inspired by the awesome sites:

Talk to a partner:

1. Do you consider yourself creative? Think of examples that shows you are (not) creative.
2. Think about the items below. What innovations do you remember that have taken happened to them until the version we have nowadays.

- Video games
- Cell phones
- Cars
- Fast food restaurants
- Computers
- Fashion

3. Read four crucial steps managers must have in mind when implementing a new idea in a company. Then explain their meaning in your own words.


Without step-by-step planning, change in an organization is likely to fall apart or cause more problems than benefits. You need to understand exactly what changes will take place and how those changes will occur. You also need to assign roles to individuals who are responsible for the change so all duties are covered.

Lack of Consensus

If you fail to get everyone on board with the corporate changes, you are likely to face barriers during the process. The decision to implement changes should come from the top level of the organization. All management level staff needs to be on board and able to deal with the changes or you may face dissension within the staff.


Failing to communicate with all employees invites rumors and fear into the workplace. Employees want to know what's going on, whether it is positive or negative news. The feeling of uncertainty when management doesn't communicate disrupts work and makes employees feel as if they aren't a part of the decision. Involve all employees as much as possible through meetings or brainstorming sessions to help during the planning phase.

Employee Resistance

In some cases, employees resist change. They become comfortable with the way the business is run. They know the expectations and their role within the company. When a major change disrupts their familiarity, some employees become upset. They don't want to relearn their jobs or change the way they do things.

4. Watch the movie segment and identify how McDonald's innovated the concept of fast food restaurants. Then talk about:


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:
  • http://www.theminimalists.com/minimalism/   

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 (Dictionary.com)

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


Monday, August 28, 2017

Red Shoes and the 7 Dwarfs & Mirror Mirror: Body Shaming

This is a very important topic. Don't be judgmental and accept everyone's ideas.


The action or practice of humiliating someone by making mocking or critical comments about their body shape or size. The culture of body loathing and body shaming. 
Inspired by http://www.apsa.org/content/blog-we-must-not-tolerate-fat-shaming

I. Read the paragraph below and decide if you think body shaming really exists and if you have experienced it in your life.

The culture of body loathing and body shaming has reached epic proportions worldwide.
Lose weight, reduce wrinkles, fight cellulite; we’re constantly told to fight a battle to be someone other than who we are. Women and girls are constantly lead to believe they’re not as good as they should be. And why? Because every day they feel they’re being judged on their appearance and how far away it is from an unachievable ideal.

II. Read the paragraph below. Have you ever heard of this movement? Then talk to a partner, describe the movement and decide if you would support such a cause.

The Body Image Movement  are on a quest to redefine and rewrite the ideals of beauty. Their job is to facilitate positive body image activism by encouraging women to be more accepting of who they are, to use positive language regarding their bodies and others, and to prioritize health before beauty. Their goal is to reach as many women as possible around the world and speak to them about how they can learn to fully embrace and love their bodies.

 III. Work in pairs. Explain the reasons behind the items they say no to. Do you agree with them? Think of examples for each of them.

  • Excessive “Photoshopping” of body images in the media
  • Being programmed by the media and corporations into accepting unrealistic body images
  • Prescribing to the notion that being a certain weight determines whether you’re healthy
  • Sexualization of girls in the media and modern culture
  • The objectification of women
  • Society and advertising preying on women’s insecurities

IV. Watch this polemic and controversial trailer of the movie Red Shoes and the 7 Dwarfs. How is body shaming depicted here? Look at the poster as well and discuss if this kind of message should be spread among children and teens.

V. Watch the video below. Then discuss how body shaming influences men's and women's habits. Who's more concerned about body shaming? How differently are they affected by the rules of society?

IV. Watch the movie segment from the movie Mirror Mirror and discuss the questions.


1. What are some of the procedures that Ravenna, Snow White's stepmother, did in order to look beautiful.

2.  Are you not familiar with any of the things she did?

3. Is it worth it to go through such procedures? What are some of the things you have done (or still do) to conform to the aesthetics demands of society?


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Blended: First Impressions

This is a funny movie with interesting scenes that can be used in several ways in English classes.

I. Take turns asking each other the following questions:

A: Have you met someone who you hated right away even though you didn’t know them? How was it?

B: Do you make first impressions based on what people wear? How?

A: Do you make first impressions based on people's hairstyle or tattoos? Give examples.

B: What kind of impression do you think you make with your clothes? Is it the same you want to show when you choose what you will wear?

A: Do you try to make a different first impression now than you did in high school?

B: Have you ever tried to make a great first impression but completely messed it up?

A: In what jobs do people have to make very quick decisions based on first impressions?

B: What first impressions do you think someone should make in a job interview? How should this person act?

A: What kind of first impression do you try to make when you go to a party?

B: What kind of first impression do you try to make when you go on a first date with someone you are interested?

II.  Watch the movie segment and observe what kind of first impression each one of them want to make on their first date, and what were the first impressions they actually made.



Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Trolls: Superstitions

This is a lovely movie and both kids and adults enjoy it. I used this scene to talk about superstitions in a contextualized manner. I hope you like it. 

A superstition is a belief in something that is irrational, non-physical and does not follow the rules of science. It is often one action that leads to another without something directly linking the two. Superstition is often associated with luck. Superstitions differ among religions and cultures

Work in pairs:

Why do people believe in superstitions? What are some possible reasons for this behavior?

Are you superstitious? What are some of the superstitions you or your family members have?

Do you associate superstitions with religious beliefs? Explain it.

What are some popular superstitions in your country? 

Read the text about superstitions below. What do you agree and disagree with it? Share your ideas with a partner after you finish reading it.

People feel very desperate to find reasons for all the misfortunes they come across. Being superstitious helps them to hide their mistakes by blaming luck, which according to them no one can control except God. 

New studies have revealed that stress makes people not only believe in rituals but also in conspiracy theories and as a result, they are more likely to “see” things that actually do not exist.

Some more reasons which make people superstitious are as follows:

.... worrying about life

.... having a strong need of control
.... don't like ambiguity in their life 


Watch the movie segment and discuss with a partner the items below:

- Who is superstitious in the segment?

- What is the superstition? What are the consequences of the superstition?

- What do they do not to have misfortunes in life?

- How important is this superstition for that community?


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Aftermath: Giving Bad News

There are different ways to give  bad news. Read the ways you can give bad news.

I'm afraid I've got some bad news for you...
I'm sorry I've got a bit of bad news to tell you..
I really don’t know how to say it, but …
I’m sorry to have to say this, but …
I really feel bad to have to say this, but …

Watch the segment and check the way the bad news was given. Finally, talk to a partner, take the roles of the characters and give the bad news and react to it yourselves. 

 Group discussion:

1. How effective was the way he was given the bad news.?

2. Would you do it differently?

Role Play - Role play giving and reacting to the bad news below:

  • You have to tell your best friend you can’t come to his/her wedding
  • You are the president of a company and you have to announce reduction of costs, so he will have to dismiss employees
  • You have to tell a customer that you cannot fix his computer hard drive and everything will be lost
  • You have to tell your mom and dad that you can't spend Christmas with them
  • You have to tell your friend that you crashed the car he had lent you to go on  a date
  • You are a teacher and you have to tell your student that he failed the course despite of all his effort.

    Sunday, June 25, 2017

    The Great Wall & Baraka: Rituals x Traditions

    Talk to partner. Can you explain the difference between Ritual and Tradition?

    Share your guesses with the class

    Read the paragraphs about tradition and ritual.

    Tradition is a generic term that encompasses a wide variety of things and concepts that are handed down by one generation to another. A tradition is an act, behavior, or a belief system which has a special significance for the members of the society.

    Ritual is an act or a series of acts that are performed or observed in a society. In every society, important functions, events, ceremonies, festivals  are marked by certain acts or a series of acts that are perceived to have a symbolic value. Rituals are observed almost religiously because, in most cases, they have a religious backing and, therefore, considered important for individuals in the society. It is the presence of rituals that make an event formal and traditional.
    According to the definitions above, decide which situations are rituals and traditions.

    1. a handshake to greet others
    2. the practice to honor and respect the seniors
    3. exchanging wedding rings on the alter
    4. bride's wearing white on the wedding day
    2, 4
    1, 3 

    Watch the movie segment and make a list of  acts involved in the rituals of the scene. Can you see any traditions? Have in mind the acts, clothes, feelings, etc.

    Watch the segment from the fantastic Baraka and compare both rituals. What do they have in common and how they differ from each other.




    Saturday, June 10, 2017

    Norbit: Fat Shaming

    This is a topic that must be addressed in class. This movie was a blockbuster, but it is very controversial. Just a reminder. Black people use the word "bitch" in a natural way, so it is OK to show it in class, but always mind your audience         in case the language is not appropriate for your students. 


    I. Work in pairs:
     1. What do you think Fat Shaming is?
     2. Why do people fat shame?
     3. What is the impact of fat shaming on celebrities and ordinary people?

    II. Read the text below about Fat Shaming. Check that your discussion was similar with the Doctor's research below. Do you agree with the Doctor's point of view? Why (not)?

     We Must Not Tolerate Fat Shaming
     By Nina Savelle-Rocklin, Psy.D.

    Words are powerful.  Words hurt.   Verbal bullying causes deep shame, humiliation and pain, and often leads to lifelong self-esteem problems.  Insulting, criticizing, ridiculing and stereotyping people on the basis of their weight is a form of verbal bullying called fat shaming. Fat-shaming occurs with alarming frequency. Celebrities are not the only ones who suffer from fat shaming.   Many people experience it during their daily lives.  Often, the shamers have no idea that their words are hurtful.

    Why do people fat-shame?

    People fat shame to elevate themselves by denigrating others.  They feel better about themselves by putting down other people. Many people see "fat" as signifying laziness, weakness, or lack of control.   By pointing the finger at others, they reassure themselves that those attributes belong to other people but not to themselves.  The communication is, "You're the one who lacks control, not me."  

    The impact of fat-shaming

    In my clinical practice and daily life, I hear from people who dread family get-togethers, fearing remarks such as, “Do you really need to eat that?” or, “You sure have packed on the kilos.” Such observations facilitate shame, which is the deeply painful sense that there is something wrong with oneself. 

    Studies show those who are fat shamed are at a higher risk for depression and eating disorders.  Fat shaming is also connected with discrimination.  According to the National Eating Disorders Association, weight discrimination is more prevalent than age or gender discrimination. The experience of being shamed may lead people to shame themselves. We as individuals and as a society must take this seriously.   Not only is fat shaming offensive, it causes depression, anxiety, humiliation, pain and a diminished sense of self-worth.   

    III. What's your opinion about the actions below. Go one by one and say whether it is a good idea or if it is plain exaggeration. 

    There is solid movement  quest to redefine and rewrite the ideals of beauty by facilitating positive body image activism, encouraging women to be more accepting of who they are, to use positive language regarding their bodies and others, and to prioritize health before beauty. 

    They say no to…

    • Excessive “Photoshopping” of body images in the media
    • Being programmed by the media and corporations into accepting unrealistic body images
    • Prescribing to the notion that being a certain weight determines whether you’re healthy
    • Sexualisation of girls in the media and modern culture
    • The objectification of women
    • Society and advertising preying on women’s insecurities

    IV. Watch the segment and decide whether the jokes are in good or bad taste, if you consider it funny/disgusting, and if this kind of movie helps/harms the movement described before. 


    V. Read a reviewer point of view about the movie. 

    The movie is apparently about how worthless named Norbit (Eddie Murphy) married a very fat woman and is now stuck with her. She is by definition physically repulsive, and an acceptable target for universal mockery. This mockery is celebrated as natural and good; no irony or nuance is pretended. It's fine, because the commercials imply that she's too overbearing and stupid to even understand that everyone is disgusted by her. We as individuals and as a society must take this seriously.   Not only is fat shaming offensive, it causes depression, anxiety, humiliation, pain and a diminished sense of self-worth.   

    1. Do you agree with him? 
    2. Do you think people can talk about whatever they want do to freedom of speech despite the possible consequences? 
    3. Are people becoming too politically correct, or is it a trend everyone must follow? 

    Wednesday, May 24, 2017

    Arrival: Memories

    One of the best 2016 releases, especially for language teachers. A must see!

    Work in small groups:

    1. What is your earliest memory? 

    2. What is your most vivid childhood memory? 

    3. What is your happiest childhood memory? 

    4. What do you remember of your first day at school? 

    5.  Do you remember your first kiss? 

    6. Are there any smells, music or tastes that bring back a childhood memory strongly? 

    7. What is the best memory you have?

    8. How good is your memory?

    9. What do you wish you were better at remembering?

    10. Are computers making our ability to remember better or worse? Give some examples.

    11. Is the ability to memorize lots of things important? Why or why not?

    Watch the segment and make a summary of the main character's memories of her daughter's lifetime.




    Wednesday, May 10, 2017

    Snow White and the Huntsman & Mirror Mirror: Snow White

    Everybody knows the story of Snow White, but very few people know how the story started. Bring mobile devices to the classroom and have half the group watch the segment from Snow White and the Huntsman. The other half watches the scene from Mirror Mirror. Then pair up students who saw different segments and have them tell each other their story and spot the differences. Focus on:

    - Snow White's mother's death.
    - The Kings death
    - What happened to Snow White

    Students may exchange devices to see the other segment and check out other differences.

    Snow White and the Huntsman

    Mirror Mirror



    Tuesday, April 25, 2017

    Jack The Giant Slayer: Jack and the Beanstalk

    Read the summary of the world famous tale Jack and the Beanstalk. Then watch the segment and see what happened before the story told. In small groups, present a summary of the segment and come up with a new and completely different ending for the tale.

    Jack is a young, poor boy living with his widowed mother and a cow as their only source of income. When the cow stops giving milk, Jack's mother tells him to take it to the market to be sold. On the way, Jack meets an old man who offers magic beans in exchange for the cow, and Jack makes the trade. When he arrives home without any money, his mother becomes angry, throws the beans on the ground, and sends Jack to bed without dinner.
    During the night, the magic beans cause a gigantic beanstalk to grow. The next morning, Jack climbs the beanstalk to a land high in the sky. He finds an enormous castle and sneaks in. Soon after, the castle's owner, a giant, returns home. He senses that Jack is nearby.


    Monday, April 10, 2017

    Finding Dory: Short-Term Remembery Loss, Alzheimer,

    Read the passage about short-term remembery loss. Then tell a partner what you understood. 

    Based on the informative sites:


    When a person experiences short-term memory loss, he or she can remember incidents from 20 years ago but is fuzzy on the details of things that happened 20 minutes prior.
    There are a number of causes of short-term memory loss, some which are a result of medical conditions and others that are related to injuries or other outside influences.

    If you have trouble learning new material or remembering what you just read, or you frequently forget why you walked into a room, you may be dealing with short-term memory loss.
    Short-term memory loss is a very common problem but there are a lot of misconceptions about it, and about how serious it is if you’re experiencing it.
    You may have heard it’s the first sign of Alzheimer’s.
    While this can be true, fortunately it is rarely the case.

    Here are a few examples of ways you use your short-term memory during the day:
    To temporarily memorize a phone number or appointment date until you jot it down.
    To remember a comment you want to make when your companion is done talking.
    To prompt yourself when driving, as in “I’ll change lanes as soon as the blue car on my left passes.”
    This kind of information quickly disappears unless you make a point to try to remember it.
    Your short-term memory also acts as a filter, deciding what’s important enough to keep and what’s not.

    Now watch the movie segment and decide which of the issues discussed in the reading can be applied to Dory.

    Do (Did) you have cases of Alzheimer in your family? How was it dealt?

    Do you think this movie is a good way to introduce such a serious and complex topic to children?


    Saturday, March 25, 2017

    The Secret Life of Pets: Farewells

    Check the alternatives that the characters used to express farewell.

    I'll see you tonight



    See you later

    Have a good night

    So long

    See you

    I'll miss  you

    Sleep well


    Which ones do you consider informal? 

    Do you have a pet? Do you say goodbye to them when you leave home?

    Do you act like the characters in the segment?



    I'll see you tonight


    See you later

    So long

    See you

    I'll miss  you