Archive for the Movies Category

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.


Summer movies(What’s it to be?)

Posted in ESL, Movies, you tube with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2010 by EslImaginarium

So it’s soon going to be time to go to your local multiplex to choose from an array of sequels, ‘trequels’ and jaw dropping extravagant budget, full-on action, mind numbing experiences.  Stock up on extortionately priced  sickly popcorn, choose an extra-large drink of caffeine and remember to switch of your I-phone so that the sound of tweets do not distract you from the eye candy that is attacking your mind.

So whats it to be????????

Let’s look at the rotten tomato guide to the most anticipated releases this summer;

Students listen and write what movie was the ‘yay’ and what was the ‘nay’ for each month.

The students use the following wordle to help them decide.

Yay    or     nay?(The answers)

May:       Robin Hood                                    Prince Of Persia

June:     Toy Story 3                                       Twilight

July:       Inception                                         Last Airbender

August:   Scott Pilgrim V’s The World        Eat Pray Love

Match the poster with the synopsis:

1. Make a slide show of movie posters or put the movie posters on the walls around the classroom.  Students have to match the following synopses with the posters.

Use the synopses from the movie site, IMDB

1. He’s 23 years old, in a rock band, “between jobs,” and dating a cute high school girl. Everything’s fantastic until a seriously mind-blowing, dangerously fashionable, roller blading delivery girl named Ramona Flowers starts cruising through his dreams and sailing by him at parties.

2. As their owner Andy prepares to depart for college, his loyal toys find themselves in daycare. So, it’s all for one and one for all as they join Barbie’s counterpart Ken, a thespian hedgehog named Mr. Pricklepants and a pink, strawberry-scented teddy bear called Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear to plan their great escape.

3.Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one.

4.With their country weakened from decades of war, embattled from the ineffective rule of the new king and vulnerable to insurgencies from within and threats from afar. This unlikeliest of heroes and his allies set off to protect their country from slipping into bloody civil war and return glory to England once more.

Survey Monkey

I recently learned about ‘survey monkey’ from another excellent Russell Stannard training video.  This application is excellent for conducting a questionnaire with your class and also for students to conduct their own questionnaires.  Here is my first attempt using this application.  I decided to conduct a summer movie survey. This survey gives the students an opportunity to express their opinion.  When all the students have answered the questionnaire you can make a popularity chart with the statistics and also look at the different sentences the students made.

Please click here to view it and if you have time feel free to try it out.

Click here to take this survey

(If enough people take this survey then I will publish the results in a future post.)

How to train your dragon(esl- Movie conversation)

Posted in ESL, Movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2010 by EslImaginarium

How to :   Offering practical advice and detailed instruction on an activity.

ESL- Let’s talk about movies

1. Discussion of themes: What are the themes in how to train your dragon?

Main themes:  father/son relationships, being different, ignorance, achievement, adolescence, trying to prove yourself.

Students choose one of the themes as a basis for writing practice and then they use what they have written to talk about the theme and form an anecdote.

Please click here to find a link to several questions about movies to illicit conversation.

Talk about the impact of 3D –

Students compare this animation to other recent animations.  They discuss how 3D can add to the experience of the movie.

Let’s watch Mark Kermode discussing his views on 3D in movies:

3D is a very topical subject at the moment and the students could have a debate on whether they think it is a good idea.  If they have seen Avatar then they could discuss if it added to the overall cinematic experience.  Is it really worth wearing uncomfortable classes for over 2 hrs and paying the extra money for the benefit?

Guess the movie game

Students give clues about a movie they have seen and the other students have to guess the movie.

Slowly give clues and see who can guess first.[WARNING – PLOT SPOILER]

1. (50 pts) Genre

What kind of movie is it?

It’s an ____animation_____.

2. (40 pts) setting

Where and when does it take place?

It takes place in ____Viking times_____.

3. (30 pts) Actor

Who is in it?

______Gerard Butler(voice)______ is in it.

4. (20 pts) plot

What’s it about?

It’s about a ___young Viking who  becomes the  friend of a dragon____.

5. (10 pts) climax

How does it end?

In the end, ___ the boy becomes a hero and the village realises that the dragons are not enemies____.

How to train your dragon(esl- Movie critic)

Posted in ESL, Movies, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2010 by EslImaginarium

How to :   Offering practical advice and detailed instruction on an activity.

ESL – Movie Critic

Show Mark Kermode’s review of; “How to Train Your Dragon”

Explain to the students that Mark Kermode is a very popular and opinionated movie critic from the UK, who is renowned for his”big flappy hands” and dreadful movie impersonations.  He is very difficult to understand as he talks very fast and this speed, along with his body language show how enthusiastic he is about movies.

This clip can be used in several ways.  Here are some suggestions:

Cloze activity, dictation, Questions about the dialogue.

What did the critics say?

Divide students into groups and allocate each group a different critics review of “how to train a dragon’.  The students have to summarise the thoughts of the critic.

The following are links to reviews of movies:

Roger EbertEmpireMetacriticFlixsterRotten Tomatoes

Now it’s time for critic idol.

Students now have to write their own critique for a movie.  If they have not seen ‘how to train your dragon’ then they can choose the last movie they went to see.

Students watch the following clip to inspire them with ideas on how to conduct a review.

Students are given the following suggestions on how to plan their review.

(1) brief summary

(2)Strengths and weaknesses.(like/don’t like)Why?(give examples)

(3) What characters do you identify with and why?(personality traits)

(4) What was the director intention/message

(5) Marks out of ten :     /10

Students compete in “Critic idol”.

Each student performs their critique in a Kermodian fashion(See the first movie clip of Mark Kermode).  The other students have to decide who is the best critic in the class by giving each critic marks out of ten.

Jing idea- Students record their review of the movie using pictures from the film as a background.

Twitter idea-  Students write a review no longer than 140 characters and they make a twitter board using a big poster to put up in the class or to add to the classes blog.

How to train your dragon (esl trailer-Dialogue)

Posted in ESL, Movies, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2010 by EslImaginarium

How to :   Offering practical advice and detailed instruction on an activity.

Listen to the trailer without watching

1. Dictation activity.

Students have to listen to the trailer and write what they hear.  Students are the controller of the video and can ask the teacher to stop/rewind/play.

2. Cloze activity

Students are given the dialogue and are asked to fill in the gaps.

Hiccup: This is my _home____, we have __fishing_____, hunting and a charming view of the __sunsets_____.

The only __problems__ are the pests.  You see, some places have _mice__ or mosquitoes, we have dragons.  Fighting ___dragons__ is everything around here.

My name is ‘Hiccup”.  Iv’e always wanted to be a _great__ viking.

Viking: Oh no you __don’t___.

Hiccup: Oh, come on let me out.  I need to __make__ my mark.

Viking: You can’t lift a __hammer____,  you can’t swing an axe,  you can’t even __throw__ one of these.

Hiccup: But this will throw it for me.

Did I _hit__ it?

Yes, I hit it.   I have brought __down__ his mighty beast.

Hiccup:  eh, _nice__ dragon.  Okay.

no,no, no



Astrid: Get __down___.

Hiccup:  It’s okay.  Astrid,  toothless.

Astrid: You are sooooo busted.

Hiccup: da,da,da,da,da we’re __dead___.

Viking: Either we finish them or they’ll __finish____ us.

Hiccup: Everything we __know____ about them is worng.

Viking: You’re crazy, I ___like__ that.

Hiccup: Let me __show____ you.  Gently

Thank you for ___nothing____ you useless reptile.

3. Questions about Hiccup and his home(answer using sentences)

1.  What is the only problem about Hiccups home?

The pests are the only problem about his home.

2. What two activities can you do?

You can do fishing and hunting.

3.  What view is charming?

The sunsets are charming.

4.   What pests do some places have?

Some places have mice or mosquitoes.

5.  What is everything around there?

Fighting dragons is everything around there.

6.   What has he always wanted to be?

He has always wanted to be a great Viking.

7.   What does he need to do?

He needs to make his mark.

8. What 3 things can’t he do?

He can’t lift a hammer, swing an axe or throw one of these.

9. What does he bring down?

He has brought down a mighty beast.

4. Madlibs

In groups the students try to fill in the gaps with their own ideas.  The funniest mad lib wins.

This is my home.  We have _skiing_____, __snowboarding_ and a ___beautiful__ view of the ___moon_____.

The only problems are the _monsters__.  You see most places have _goblins___ or __trolls____.  We have __yeti___. ___kissing__ __Yeti____is everything around here.

My name is ___Andy____.  I’ve always wanted to be a _great warrior ___

How to train your dragon (esl trailer-JING)

Posted in ESL, Movies with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2010 by EslImaginarium

How to :   Offering practical advice and detailed instruction on an activity.

How to use jing with a movie trailer.

I have recently discovered the wonder of jing after using the wonderful website by Russell Stannard.  His website is perfect for all you technophobes out there and I find his videos are very user friendly and describe how to use applications in layman’s terms without any torturous technical  jargon.

Jing is software which you can use to capture images or videos in realtime using your computer.

I have decided to use it to for making voiceovers for movie trailers.

In this task students are asked to use jing to capture their description of the trailer.

The teacher can show the students how to use the application and then set it as a task for homework.   Students have to send the link via e.mail to the teacher.

Alternatively they could carry this task out in the class and perform it in front of the other students.

Here is an example of this software in action:

Unfortunately it is clear why it is maybe best to not use this software for capturing video material as it will become fragmented and it takes a while to download the video.  If you have the time to wait for the download then it does show an example of recording your students voices over material.

Click here for my first jing.

In this example I used my glamorous assitant Susan who is the creator of the delcious food blogg; Bendi Benri.  Cheers for that Suzie you are the best cook in the world.

Using the trailer to write a dialogue for the scene

Another example for using jing would be to record a voiceover dialogue between the characters in the clip.

Stop the trailer at 1.56.

In pairs the students have to write a dialogue between ‘Hiccup’ and the girl.

Students can check how there dialogue compares with the original:

Hiccup:     It’s okay.  ‘Astrid,”toothless’

Girl:            You are so busted.

Hiccup:     da,da,da,da,da we’re dead.

With both activities above you could get the class to vote for their best and you could record the best and show it to the class or if you have a class blogg then you could put it up for all the students to see online.

Will I use jing again?

I’m really frustrated that it was not able to capture the trailer smoothly and also at the time it took for it to donwload.  I do believe it will be excellent, however, to provide feedback to essays and also to describe pictures rather than trailers.

How to train your dragon (esl trailer-Questions)

Posted in ESL, Movies with tags , , , , , , on April 30, 2010 by EslImaginarium

How to :   Offering practical advice and detailed instruction on an activity.
How to use a movie trailer

Show the trailer(without the sound) a few times and ask various questions

1.  Which company created this movie?

(a) Dreamworks (b) Pixar  (c) Aardman

2.  Describe the logo of the company.

A boy is sitting on the moon and he is fishing

3.  Complete the sentence:

From the creators of ___Kung Fu Panda___ and ___Shrek___

4.  What genre is this movie?                         animation     family    fantasty

5.  What season is this movie released?      Spring

6. What month is this movie released?        March

7.  What does the boy feed the dragon?        A fish

8.  What animal do you see at the start?

(a) A sheep (b) A cow  (c)  A pig

9.  Guess the rating of this movie:

(a)U     (b)PG (c)12    (d)15     (e)18

Why?(refer to BBFC)               Some scenes of violence and scary images of dragons.

10.  Describe the main character(protagonist):

He is a young,kind, friendly, and courageous boy.

He has medium length brown hair, brown eyes and freckles.

He is wearing a green tunic and a brown waist coat.

11.  Write a short synopsis (plot summary) about the movie:(Refer to IMDB)

A hapless young Viking who aspires to hunt dragons becomes the unlikely friend of a young dragon himself, and learns there may be more to the creatures than he assumed.

12.  What year and where is the movies setting?

11th century, Viking settlement,a fantastical place.

13.  Write a tagline for this movie.(1 sentence to sum it up)

Everything we know about them is wrong.

14.  What are the keywords for this movie?(main themes)

Use wordle to create a list of the keywords.