Archive for debate

Sit back and relax with ‘Good Hair’

Posted in ESL, Movies, you tube with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2010 by EslImaginarium

‘Hair is important spiritually, culturally and integral to our self esteem.’

Good Hair

Official trailer:

The Plot:

Chris Rock, a man with two daughters, asks about good hair, as defined by Black Americans, mostly Black women. He visits Bronner Brothers’ annual hair convention in Atlanta. He tells us about sodium hydroxide, a toxin used to relax hair. He looks at weaves, and he travels to India where tonsure ceremonies produce much of the hair sold in America. A weave is expensive: he asks who makes the money. We visit salons and barber shops, central to the Black community. Rock asks men if they can touch their mates’ hair – no, its decoration. Various talking heads (many of them women with good hair) comment. It’s about self-image. Maya Angelou and Tracie Thoms provide perspective.

Click the title below for listening and reading comprehension questions about the trailer and the plot:

Good Hair worksheet 1

How much does it cost?

Click on the title below for a student worksheet on the above clip and also some extra questions.

Good Hair worksheet 2

Bad hair day

Below is a clip from an article featured in the ‘Wall Street Journal.

Click here for the full article.

‘When A Bad Hair Day Brings You Down’

Scientists at P & G, with help from a Yale psychology professor, surveyed women, before and after using Pantene products, using a questionnaire that psychology researchers use to measure mood. They found women felt less “hostile,” “ashamed,” “nervous,” “guilty” or “jittery,” depending on the hair products they used, while at other times they said they felt more “excited,” “proud” and “interested.”

Lets talk about hair:

Celebrity hair styles

Ask the students if they can think of any celebrity hair icons.

Show students the following icons and ask them if they have ever had a similar hair cut or would like a hair cut like these celebrities.

Crazy hair styles

Ask students if they think a hair style can reflect your personality.

Show students the following photos and ask what they think the models personalities are.

Click below for the accompanying worksheet :

Good Hair worksheet 3

Selling a style

Ask students if they are influenced by hair advertising.

Show students the following hair adverts.

‘Because we’re worth it’:

‘Hair comes alive’:

Discuss the adverts:

Students are put into groups and have to discuss the questions on the worksheet.

After discussing the questions they have to come up with a slogan to sell a hair product.

Each group presents their slogan and the class vote on the best slogan.

Please click on the title below for the accompanying worksheet:

Good Hair worksheet 4

Hair Styles

Ask students if they know the names of different hair styles e.x. short/long etc.

Wordle time- Do you recognise any of the styles? can you match them with the pictures below?

Click for the accompanied worksheet: Good Hair worksheet 5

Male styles

Female Styles

Role play:

After completing the worksheet the students make pairs and pretend they are going to get their hair cut.  One student will play the role of the hair dresser and the other as the customer.

Monitor and give advice to the students.  Ask the best pairs to demonstrate their role play to the class.  Students vote on the best role play.

Some final words

For more media on this subject you should check out this excellent documentary by pop star, Jamile and  this episode from the Tyra Banks chat show.

After all this talk about hair I just realised it’s time to go for a haircut.  So I will leave you with this:

Any suggestions or comments are welcomed below & for more activities from the imaginarium please sign up.  Cheers and happy hair cuts.

Vuvuzelas-Do they ruin the game?

Posted in ESL, Sport, you tube with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2010 by EslImaginarium

The word ‘vuvuzela’ has to be the most controversial word that is buzzing around the world cup.

Everyone has an opinion about this word and it has been the topic hitting the headlines all over the world.

Such a heated topic is perfect for the ‘esl’ class and it will be interesting to see how it is effecting the students.

Recently there has been another ‘facebook’ protest page dedicated to banning the ‘vuvuzela’ from the World Cup.   The ‘facebook’ campaign states, ‘it sounds like a deafening mix of angry elephants trumpeting, a swarm of buzzing bees and a fog horn.’

FIFA- BAN THE ANNOYING VUVUZELA (HORN) FROM THE SOUTH AFRICA WORLD CUP !

May 27 – 173
June 3 – 228
June 8 – 235
June 11 – 4,046
June 12 – 23,198
June 13 – 80,216
June 14 – 139,110
June 15 – 194,778
June 16 – 249,000
June 17 – 267,880
June 18 – 280,352

As you can see the campaign is growing by the day.

Should we embrace this passion for the vuvuzela, which is a tool of cultural celebration and ask the protestors to buy ear plugs and shut up?

Or

Should this residule noise created by the bee flat hornet, which is spoiling our viewing pleasure be banned?

The Video clips:

Students watch the following clips and answer questions about each clip.

After watching the clips they have to write an opinion about the vuvuzela.

Please click below for the accompanied worksheet.

The Vuvuzela WORKSHEET


What is a vuvuzela?:

Cultural instrument?

Explain the Vuvuzela:

Reading comprehension exercise

Please click on the title below for the ‘guardian’ news article on the vuvuzela debate.  Students read the article and answer some questions about it.

Vuvuzela Reading Comprehension

Vuvuzela jokes are everywhere:  Here are a couple of funny clips to leave you with..

The Vuvuzela song:

Fellowship of the Vuvuzela:

I hope you liked the above activities.  If you have any other suggestions or opinions about the ‘vuvuzela’ then please write a comment below.

Please subscribe to my blog to follow the imaginarium.

Selling the lists of life

Posted in ESL, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2010 by EslImaginarium

Music clip: Quadron – Buster Keaton

Ask the students to watch the music video and write down the words they see.( The words start after 50 secs)

Play this music video a few times:

Tell the students that we are now going to use some of these phrases and words to discuss and debate issues. Students have to check to see if they managed to find the words we focus on.

1. Advertising slogans

Look at the following slogans from the music clip:

stay fresh!!!   Ready to shine    A new star     driven by desire      be cool    dream catcher

These positive slogans could all be used to advertise a product.

What type of product do you think you could sell with each slogan?

Ask students to look at the following slogans and match them with the products.

Click here for a link to many ideas of popular advertising slogans

Slogans:

I’m Luvin’ it      Impossible is nothing     It’s the real thing     The best a man can get     Just do it

Product:

Gillette          McDonald’s          X-Box          Adidas          Coca-cola

Show the students the following slide show to check if they are correct:

In groups students think of a product and a catchy slogan to sell it.  Students make a poster of  their advertisement.

2. Lists

The following lists are shown in the music video(1.40)

Warning maybe NSFC (Not safe for the classroom)

This is only appropriate for adult students as the phrase “have sex with honey” may be considered inappropriate with less mature students.  I suppose it all depends on what your students are like and how you think they may react to this sentence.

Ask the students if they know what the word ‘breadwinner’ means.

‘One whose earnings are the primary source of support for one’s dependents.’

Ask the students who the breadwinner is in their family.

Ask the students to make pairs.  One students is given the ‘work list’ and the other student is given the ‘home list’.  Each student will read their list as a dictation and the other will write what they here.  They will each check to see if they managed to write down the list correctly.

Ask the students what their thoughts are about the female who made the list.

Ask what lists they tend to write during the week.(shopping/house work etc.)

Ask the students what is expected of them at home and at work.

‘They always want more’ (1.01)

Who in your life wants more?   Boss/ partner/friends/siblings

Students have to think about their expectations and write their own home/work list.

Students discuss their lists with the other students.

Homework idea:   Students bring a list they have made into the class.  Put all the lists into a box.  Give the lists back to the students making sure that they do not get back their own list.  Each student has to decide who the list belongs to and why.  Students present their findings to the class and discover if they are correct.

3. What is life to you?(2.39)

Students use this ‘wordle’ to think what life means to them now and what it meant  to them throughout the different stages of their life.  Use this as a basis for an essay topic.

Childhood (1.12)Teenagehood(3.14) adulthood (2.40)

Some other suggestion for the students to think about:

Time – Person of the year (2.20) – What award would you like to be given?

Think about the many contrasts throughout life (2.26) :

rise/fall    slower/faster   yes/ no

Can you think of other contrasts?

Using the title ‘What is life to you‘, students write a speech and then present it to the class.

I feel better baby

Posted in ESL, Uncategorized, you tube with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2010 by EslImaginarium

Manufactured pop Vs talented musicians?

Let the students listen to the following two tracks without showing them the videos.

Students have to write down what words/sentences they here.

Let the students listen a second time. Students  have to close their eyes and visualise what they think the video would be to accompany the song.

Students write down their ideas and discuss them with the other students.

Students decide which song they prefer and are separated into groups depending on the track they prefer.

Students now watch the music videos and compare the video with what they thought the video would look like.

1. Baby -Justin Bieber

2. Hot Chip- I feel better

Use this video as a “What happens next” activity.

Stop the video at 1.40 and ask students what they think will happen next.

Give some examples of what could happen and get students to guess what will happen.

1. The alien has a breakdancing  competition with the boy band.

2. The alien shoots the boy band with lasers.

3. The boy band shoots the alien with lasers.

Time to debate:

Do you wish the ‘hot chip’ alien made an appearance  in the Bieber video?


After watching both videos the students have to again decide which they prefer and see if their preferences have changed after watching the video.

If they have changed their minds than ask them to give a reason why.

The students form groups depending on which video they prefered.

Each group has to put forward an argument to why they prefer their chosen song.

The groups battle it out with each group having a set time limit to state their cause.

The Bieber phenomena.  WHY?

Show students the following clip and ask if they think it is funny.

Do they want to see more videos of Justin Bieber being humiliated?


Students use computers to research the Bieber phenomena.

Here is a recent quote form ‘onlinesocialmedia.net’

“For quite some time now, teen singing sensation Justin Bieber has enjoyed his permanent spot on Twitter’s Trending Topics list. However, as of very recently, Bieber appears to have been knocked off and his fans are wondering what’s happened.”

Why do they think he is so popular?

Do you think he deserves this popularity?

Is there going to be a Bieber backlash?

It’s time to ‘tweet’


Students join the twitter debate and write their own tweet(140 words max.) about their thoughts on the Bieber phenomena.

Too much Bieber – let’s ‘feel better’ with  some more “Hot chip”

Here is another version of the hot chip song featuring the very talented “Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy”

Students decide which version they prefer.

Students write down some ideas for a music video for this version.

Make a ‘wordle‘ of all the sentences from the song

Students look at the ‘wordle‘ and put the sentences in the correct order.

Some last words

I ‘feel better’ when I don’t listen to Justin Bieber.

Students write a tweet (140 words max.)and discuss what makes them ‘feel better’.


Working this F*$#!ing job

Posted in ESL, Music, Uncategorized, you tube with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2010 by EslImaginarium

*Warning NSFC-Controversy in the classroom*


Show this clip at the students discretion only.  Advise the students that the following clip is a little controversial and that if they are of a sensitive disposition then maybe it’s best that they do not watch the clip. This clip contains risky language and some scenes of violence.  You could easily edit it so that the words are deleted from the video.

Watch the music video:

Drive by truckers – Working this job

Controversy issues:


Start a discussion about censorship in videos.  Ask the following questions.

1. Why do you think they use the “f-Word” ?

2. What do you think about the use of violence in this clip?

3. What impact did the violence and language have on you?

4. Is it really necessary to include the violence and f-word?

5.  Does it relate to the song and video?   Why?

6.  Is this clip being controversial just to provoke people, which will in turn generate more sales through the media exposure?

Lights, Camera, Action

Students choose from 3 scenes in the clip.  They write a dialogue for the scene and then act it out.

(0.43) Scene outside ‘burger world’.  Dialogue between the  boss of ‘burger world’ and the protagonist.

(2.05) Scene with the man robbing the store. Dialogue between the store clerk and the protagonist.

(3.25) Scene with the police confrontation.  Dialogue between the policeman and the protagonist.

Lyrics – What lyrics do you hear?

Students listen to the clip a few times and write down as many lyrics as they can.

The students compare the lyrics they have written with the other students.

Story time


The students use the lyrics to help them write a story about the clip.

Ask some questions for them to think about.

Why did the man do this?

What were his responsibilities?

“What makes it all worthwhile?”

“Can a family live on fast food wages?”

Game-  In groups students try to write down as many jobs as they can in a set time limit (5mins).

Each group reads out the jobs they have written and if the other groups have the same word then they score it out.  The groups only get points if they have a different word from the other groups.  Subtract points for wrong spelling.

Word magnet-(My first attempt)

Please click here to watch Russell Stannard’s training video about word magnets.

If students have computers in your class room then this application is really good.  If they don’t then use sheets of paper.

Students have to write down as many job words as they can and then separate them into what they consider to be worthwhile jobs and  not worthwhile.

Let’s debate about jobs-


When they have divided the jobs into categories the students have a debate about their opinions and why they consider some jobs more worthwhile than others.

Call out a job and have the students who think it is worthwhile go to one side of the classroom and the other students go to the other side.  Both sides think about what they can say to support their arguments in a debate.  Each side is given a time limit to present their ideas.

Some final words

Students have to think about and then discuss what they think is important in life and what responsibilities they have.

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