Friday, February 20, 2015

Delivery Man: Sperm Banks

This film is a must. The story is moving and thought-provoking, but it is also a  lot of fun.



Discuss:

1. What is a sperm bank? What are the services offered by a sperm bank? Make a guess if you have no idea.

2. Visit the site on this link, Then answer the questions that follow.

  • What is the name of the sperm bank?
  • What services does it offer?
  • What are the costs?
  • Do you consider it expensive? Why (not)?
  • What's your opinion about this issue? How ethical is it? 
  • What is the trend in the future? Will it be an ordinary service, like purchasing a new car or house?
  • Would you be a donor? Explain it
  • Would you consider using a sperm bank if you could not have children?
  • Are donors altruistic or just looking for some extra cash?
  • Should the donor's identity be revealed if the child wanted to know it? Why (not)?




I. Watch the movie segment. Vince Vaughn's character is the biological father of of those young people he interacts with in the scene. The kids, however, don't know it. 


video
 Discuss:

1. What were the consequences of his sperm donation?

2. How should he deal with the situation? Should he let them all know they are his children? Explain why (not)?

3. What would you do if you were in his shoes?


Answer key:

  • What is the name of the sperm bank?  The Sperm Bank of California
  • What services does it offer? Donor Sperm, Sperm Storage,  Semen Analysis, Genetic Consultation
  • What are the costs? It depends on the services required. From US$9,000,00 to US$35,000,00 - sometimes more depending on how long the storage will take.
  • The other answers will vary.


MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - DELIVERY MAN


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Jack and the Cockoo-Clock Heart: Making Difficult Decisions

This is a beautiful, magical and dramatic story of a mother who has to make a very difficult decision in life - giving her baby to be raised by someone wealthier, because she does not have the means to nurture him. It is a French animated movie spoken in English I loved it.


I. Work in pairs:

1. Have you ever had to make a difficult decision in your life? What made you decide what to do? Can you talk about it?

2. Have you ever made a wrong choice? Talk about it?

3. What would you do in the situations below? Explain your choices.

  • You are offered a fantastic professional opportunity, but you would have to be two years and a half away from your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend? There will not be any chances to see each other, just by using mobile devices (skype, facebook, etc). What would you do?
  • You  have two children. A four year-old boy and a three-year old girl. A criminal tells you to sacrifice one of your children or both of them die. He won't choose; you have to do it. If you don't choose one of them, both of them die. You cannot sacrifice yourself to save both of them. If you do it, both of them die. What would you do? Who would you choose to survive?
  • You saw your best friend's lover kissing another person. Your best friend loves her partner and is nine-month pregnant. You don't know how involved your friend's lover is with that stranger. Would you tell him/her what you saw?
  • You receive the news that the person you love most will die in two months. This situation can't be changed. He/she has a lot of plans for the future and is very happy with her life, her accomplishments and expectations for the future. However, he/she is not in a hurry and is planning things slowly. What would you do? Warn him and make him enjoy life immediately, risking fostering depression and desperation? Would you let him/her waste his time and opportunities to enjoy the time that is left for him/her without worries?
II. Here are six questions one should ask himself before making a difficult choice. Answer the questions, connecting them with each of the four situations above:


1. If I don’t do this now, will I regret it?
2. What am I afraid of?
3. What does my heart say?
4. Who am I really doing this for?
5. Will I like myself after this decision?
6. Can I cope with the consequences of my decision?



III. Watch the movie segment and answer the questions in exercise II. How would she probably answer those questions?


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IV. What would you do if you were in her shoes? How would you answer those questions in exercise II if you were in her position?

POWERPOINT SLIDES 

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - JACK AND THE CUCKOO-CLOCK HEART

Friday, January 30, 2015

Hunting the Legend: Bigfoot, Cryptids



In cryptozoology , a cryptid (from the Greek "κρύπτω" (krypto) meaning "hide") is a creature or plant whose existence has been suggested but is unrecognized by scientific consensus and often regarded as highly unlikely.
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptid

I. Work in groups:


1. Do you know any other cryptids or mythological creatures from your cultures that people claim to have seen it?

2. Why do people believe in cryptids?

3. What do you know about Bigfoot?

4. Why do people visit American and Canadian forests in order to look for Bigfoot so often? Do these people believe it actually exists?
 
 II. Divide the class into pairs. One student reads a passage, claiming that Bigfoot is a feasible and living creature. Another student reads a passage, claiming that Bigfoot is a hoax. Then pair up both students, they share what they read, and decide whether the arguments presented are valid.


STUDENT 1:


The first set of the big footprints usually more than 15 inches long were first discovered and reported by a British explorer by the name of David Thompson in 1811. Discoveries, sightings and claims of a humongous biped animal have therefore been in circulation for more than 3 centuries. As time has gone by there have been more footprints discovered and the frequency of the discoveries has significantly increased. The significant increase in these claims has been largely attributed to the spread of knowledge that there may be such a thing as a Sasquatch and thus the awareness has put a name to it and more people on the lookout. The continued improvement of methods of capturing images and video has also undoubtedly boosted claims as it is now easier for people to simply be prepared with a camera or voice recorder in the event of a sighting. The first alleged sighting of the Bigfoot was by Roger Patterson. This was in 1967 in the northern regions of Bluff Creek California.  Bigfoot was reported to have been in Asia in the mid-19th Century proving that the presence of the Bigfoot legend is not one that was limited only to America. The description given in Asia was that of a 7-10 foot tall biped covered in white fur with feet as long as 17 inches.  The first alleged picture of the Bigfoot dates back to the early 1950s and was taken by a wild life explorer named Eric Shipton. This was in the North Americas and gave way to the name of the Abominable snowman spotted roaming in the snow white landscape. The latest reported sighting of the Bigfoot is in Georgia in the year 2012 by a group of campers






 STUDENT 2:


 1. No 'Bigfoot' has ever been killed or captured and properly examined at an officially recognised museum or university. Until that happens, it's reasonable to assume that all sightings are either intentionally faked or are misidentifications of other creatures.  No skeletal remains which might be a 'Bigfoot' have been recovered and submitted to an officially recognised museum or university for analysis. Vague claims about bones in the woods are hardly reliable evidence.  There is no reliable photograph of a 'Bigfoot' and - in an age where everyone and his brother have digital cameras and Photoshop - it's much too easy to fake one. Even some of the old photos, and the famous cine-camera footage, are a bit dubious. People who try to convince us that a blurry lump filmed from 500m away at twilight is actually 'Bigfoot' aren't really helping their case. None of the alleged 'Bigfoot' hair and droppings have produced reliable DNA suggesting what they are. This may be due to contamination by the people bringing them in, but saying 'It's because Bigfoot is so closely related to humans' is a bit of a cop-out. No one has ever run down a 'Bigfoot' in their car, van or truck. Given the quantity of squashed wildlife which litters the roads, and the ever increasing amount of traffic, it does seem a bit odd that no-one has flattened one of these creatures.  No-one has - to my knowledge - explained where 'Bigfoot' fits into the eco-system of the area where it lives or, for that matter, found out what it eats. It's such an easy thing to fake - a furry suit and a video-camera are all you need - that there must be a great temptation among people of a certain mentality to try it.

Bigfoot Gigantopithecus
.


III. Watch the movie segment and discuss the questions:


video


1. Where are they?

2. What did the locals say about Bigfoot?

3. How does the population see the presence of Bigfoot in Camden, Alabama? Do they think Bigfoot is real or is it a hoax?

4. Which of the statements impressed you most? And least?

5. What's your opinion about the evidence they had? Are they trustworthy?

6. Would you like to visit a place where people have claimed to see Bigfoot? Would you be scared?

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - HUNTING THE LEGEND

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Renoir: Impressionism, Creativity



Read the paragraph about Renoir:


Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s early work truly embodies the Impressionist style. Throughout the 1870s he worked with Monet studying light and movement, using broken colour to emphasis the sunlight hitting an object. "The Swing" is a great example of a painting that captures the essence of Renoir but also strongly embodies all the Impressionist features; light colours, delicate brush strokes and contrasting light and shadow. After he spent some time in Italy in the 1880s viewing classical and traditional art, he turned his attention to portraits and painting people rather than practising the plein air technique. This is often called his ‘Ingres Period’. Later on in his life he went back to using the thin brush strokes of the more typical Impressionist style, although he is often more abstract than many others. 

http://jenblacksheep.hubpages.com/hub/Impressionists-Artists-5-Facts-About-5-Impressionist-Artists-An-Overview


http://www.ducksters.com/history/art/impressionism.php

Work in small groups. IMPRESSIONISM QUIZ. Answer True or False. The group that guesses most correct answers is the winner.


1.  Impressionism began in France when a group of young and talented artists decided to rebel against the established art critics.

2.  Impressionists wanted to capture a moment in time. Critics said that their work was merely "impressions" of reality and the name stuck. 

3.The Impressionist movement began in the 1760s and became most popular in the 1770s and 1780s.


4. The Impressionists wanted to capture a moment in time.

5. They were more concerned with the light and color of the moment than with the details of objects they were painting.

6. They often painted outdoors and worked quickly to capture the light before it changed. They used rapid brush strokes and often used unmixed color to save time. They used unusual visual angles and common everyday subjects.

7. When a critic called the art "impressions", it was meant as in insult.

8. The established art community was outraged when the young Impressionist artists held their own exhibition in 1874.

9. Their paintings were perfect reproduction of nature.

10. Many of the artists fled from France to England during the Franco-Prussian war.

11. Impressionists often painted the same view or subject over and over trying to capture different moments in light, color, and time.

12. By the late 1880's Impressionism was very popular and many artists throughout the world were taking up the style.


1. T
2. T
3. F The Impressionist movement began in the 1760s and became most popular in the 1770s and 1780s. False - 1860s, and popular in 1870s and 1880s.
4. T
5. T
6. T
7. T
8. T
9. F - They were impressions, not reproductions.
10. T
11. T
12. T

Watch the movie segments and discuss the questions.


video

1. What characteristics of Impressionism can you see in the segment?

2. How did Renoir's seeing difficulties interfere with his work?

3. What kind of models did he have?

4. How did you imagine Renoir use to paint his picture. Was it anyways similar to the way shown in the segment?

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - RENOIR

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Wreck-it Ralph: Heroes x Villains

Wreck-it Ralph simply rocks. I love the film and its characters. You can't miss it.



I. Work in pairs:

1. Describe a hero in your own words. Do the same to describe a villain.

2. Think about two famous heroes and two famous villains. What are their personality traits and character?

3. Many people believe that movie/soap operas villains are more interesting than heroes. Do you agree with it? Give examples.



II. Give each student with a slip with one of the definitions below. Then form groups of four students and share what their texts talks about.



Hot Hero: impulsive, brave, sometimes foolhardy, generous, often impatient, gregarious or solitary, prone to wild temper, pride and defiance but also with a basic sweetness to them: a good character who struggles to be good, it doesn’t come easily. They are often immediately or soon attractive to other good characters, as they have a certain charisma. Can be momentarily tempted out of a hero’s trajectory by a clever villain of either type, playing on their impulsiveness.

Cold, or more attractively, Cool, Hero: reserved, thoughtful, often solitary, self-controlled, ironic, stoical, brave, but without the impulsiveness of the ‘hot’ type. Or else, much less commonly, they can be sweet, dependable, kind, apparently accepting but inwardly resisting. This type of hero often emerges unexpectedly and has less outward charisma than the ‘hot’ type. A ‘cool’ type hero is a good character whose inner integrity really grounds them, they are less easily tempted, but the results when they are tend to be worse than for the ‘hot’ type.

Hot Villain: impulsive, reckless, ruthless, violent, arrogant (the extreme end of pride), physically intimidatory, often bullying, yet calculating. A fearsome opponent, but out in the open: the wolf in wolf’s clothing, if you like. This sort of villain is not to be thought of as stupid: real villains are always intelligent, in books, unless they are minor villains of the henchman type. They often attract hordes of followers as they have a certain violent, dark charisma. Usually defeated by clever heroes of the ‘cool’ type, or less often, the ‘hot’ sort who have learned self-control.

Cold Villain: self-controlled, calculating, deceitful, manipulative, ironic, cruel, ruthless. This is the wolf in sheep’s clothing: for my money, the most frightening enemy. They are highly intelligent and imaginative and often emerge unexpectedly, and though they often have fanatically devoted followers, they generally do not have obvious charisma. But a villain of the ‘cold’ type can sometimes masquerade behind the mask of an apparently warm and charismatic heroic type—and this can be one of the worst of all!

III. Think about one character/person that would suit each of the descriptions above.

IV. Watch the movie segment and discuss the questions.



video


 1. Describe the scene.

2. Are they villains or heroes. Hot or Cold?

3. What are some video games heroes and villains you are familiar with?

4. Do you like playing video games? What kind of video games do you enjoy?

5. What are some famous Television villains that became famous in your country?

6. What are some famous heroes that became famous in your country?

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - WRECK IT RALPH

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Giver: Love



This is an excellent film. I loved its premise and the way the emotions were dealt with by the characters.  Don't miss it.

I. Work with a partner. Write down a definition of "love". You  may write more than one definition if you believe there are different kinds of love.

II. Read you definitions to the class.

III. Read the definition provided by a dictionary and check which definition is closest in meaning to the dictionary's.


1. A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from  kinship, recognition of attractive qualities,or a sense of underlying oneness.
2. A feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person with whom one is disposed to make a pair.
3. An intense emotional attachment, as for a pet or treasured object.
4. A person who is the object of deep or intense affection or attraction


IV. Read the quotes about love below. In pairs, explain what they mean and decide if you agree with them. Explain why.

a) Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you.’

b) In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities.

c) The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen nor even touched, but just felt in the heart.

d) There is no remedy for love but to love more.

e) In the arithmetic of love, one plus one equals everything, and two minus one equals nothing.

f) You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.

g) Love is to love someone for who they are, who they were, and who they will be.

h) You know you’re in love when you don’t want to fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”

i) Goodbye without reasons is the most painful one.
Love without reasons is the most beautiful one.



video


V. Watch the movie segment. Discuss the questions.


1. What is their definition of love?

2.  How is life in a world without love?
3. Why do you think those people chose not TO live a life with LOVE?
4. What's the difference between the questions: "Do you love me?" AND "Do you enjoy me?"

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - THE GIVER

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Gandhi: Gandhi



The most important time in Gandhi's life was the time he spent fighting for the independence of India.  Great Britain was a small country that owned India.  Great Britain owned the United States until 1776.  India wanted to be free just like the United States.  Gandhi spent his entire life fighting for India's freedom.  Gandhi's  longest fast was 21 days.  He fasted for the independence of India and for the war between the Muslims and the Hindus to end.


Answer key: All are true.

Read the quotes below. Decide what they mean and if you agree with them:


From:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ashoka/2012/10/02/12-great-quotes-from-gandhi-on-his-birthday/

  •  “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” 
  •   “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
  • “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
  • “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problem.”
  • “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”
  • “You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.”
  • “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
  • “If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
  • “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”
  • “A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.”
  • “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”
  • “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” 
  • “You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.”


 I. Watch the movie segment and answer the questions:
1. Describe the scene of the murder.

2. Describe Gandhi's funeral.

3. What did the reporter say about Gandhi?


4. What did you learn about Gandhi that you didn't know before this class?



video







 MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - GANDHI