Video Lesson: Jurassic Park 3rd Conditionals

This is a lesson plan to practice the 3rd conditional using clips from the film Jurassic Park. There are two different activities, one for FCE level and one for CAE/CPE.

FCE

Use the Jurassic Park powerpoint to introduce the characters from the film and the formula for the 3rd conditional and then show the t-rex attack video:

Then students come up with as many 3rd conditional sentences as they can.

If Ian hadn’t run to the toilet, the t-rex wouldn’t have eaten Gennaro.

If the kids hadn’t been so stupid, the t-rex would have left them alone.

If Alan hadn’t distracted the t-rex, it would have eaten the kids.

You can also repeat the exercise with Dennis Nedry’s death scene:

CAE/CPE

The video can also be used to practice the more advanced conditionals needed for the CAE and CPE exams. Use my prezi on advanced conditionals to go over the grammar first. Then introduce the characters and story with the powerpoint from the link above.

Use the video to practice conditionals with noun phrases:

If it hadn’t been for Alan’s bravery, the t-rex would have eaten the kids.

But for Ian’s stupidity, Gennaro wouldn’t have been eaten.

Or inverted conditionals:

Had the kids not attracted the t-rex’s attention, it might have left them alone.

Had it not been for the glass, the t-rex would have eaten the kids.

I recommend giving students the noun phrases you want them to use before watching, then let them watch the video. Afterwards, they make the sentences together in pairs.

Noun phrases:

the flashlight/torch

Alan Grant’s bravery

the kid’s stupidity

Ian Malcolm’s stupidity

the glass

Again, if you have time or if you want to recap at the end of the class or the beginning of the next lesson, show the Nedry video.

Follow up:

Composition: Review/letter of complaint about a trip to Jurassic Park. It would be a good way to practice formal phrases for complaining but in a funny context.

Conversation Topic: Mars One

mars-one-colony-astronauts-2

This is a conversation activity in which students discuss human achievements and the Mars One colonisation project. Either split the class into small groups (3-4) or for smaller groups have a class discussion. You can download the handout here.

Introduction

  • How many amazing physical achievements (climbing Everest, walking to the South Pole etc.) can you think of?
  • Which achievement was the most impressive?
  • What’s the most physically difficult thing you’ve ever done? (climb a mountain, run a marathon etc.)
  • Are there any you would like to try in the future?
  • Are there any you wish you had tried in the past?
  • Are the world’s best athletes present at the Olympic Games?
  • What type of athletes or sportsmen/women do you think deserve the most respect?
  • What do you think of ‘extreme’ sports (bungee jumping, tightrope walking…)?
  • What do you think is the most impressive human achievement? (not necessarily physical, could be scientific/technological/medical for example the moon landings)

Mars One

  • How much do you know about Mars? Share your knowledge with your group.
  • Are you interested in astronomy and the science of space travel?
  • Do you have any memories of important achievements in space travel?
  • Have you heard of the Mars One project? Share your knowledge with your group BEFORE READING THE DESCRIPTION BELOW.

Mars One is a privately funded project which intends to establish a human colony on Mars by 2025. They plan to send an unmanned spacecraft to the planet in 2018 followed by equipment and supplies over the following 6 years. They are currently accepting applications to be part of the first 4-man crew that will take off in 2024 on a one-way 7 month trip to the red planet. Once the colony is established 4 people will be sent every 2 years.

  • What do you think of the project? Is it realistic?
  • The project is currently accepting applicants to be part of the 4 man crew that will leave in 2024. What kind of people do you think they are looking for?
  • Would you be interested in participating? Why? Why not?
  • What kind of people do you think would apply for the project?
  • If you were running the project what tests would you do on the applicants to check if they are suitable?
  • What are the biggest problems the people could encounter on the 7 month journey to Mars? And when they land?
  • How would you feel if a member of your family wanted to apply for the project?
  • Do you know anyone who you think would like to apply?
  • Why do you think people would apply to be part of the project?
  • Imagine you have been selected to be part of the first crew. You are allowed to take 1 item of hand luggage (standard budget airline size) of personal belongings. What would you take and why?

The Spanish Timetable: Reading and Speaking Activity

siesta

 

This is a reading and speaking activity based around an article from the New York Times about possible changes to the Spanish working say timetable. The original article is quite long so I have edited it down a bit, it should be suitable for B2/FCE upwards. Here is a link to the edited version and the discussion questions:

Spain time article

Start by asking students to tell the class about their average day with specific focus on the times at which they get up, eat, go to work, go to bed etc. Ask them if they follow the typical Spanish timetable outlined in the introduction to the article. Do they eat late? Do they have a siesta?

Once they have shared their different schedules set the class a time limit depending on their level to quickly read the article and underline any unfamiliar vocabulary. This could include:

To hunker down – to meet up/get together

a boon – a bonus

a lag – a delay

Go over the new vocabulary on the board, then either split the class into small groups and give out the discussion questions or hold a whole-class discussion. Below are the discussion questions from the hand out:

What’s your initial reaction to the article?

Do you agree with any of the opinions stated? Which ones?

Describe your daily routine; does it follow the “Spanish” timetable?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of both the Spanish and the “European” timetable?

How difficult would you find it to adjust to a new timetable?

Do you think changing the timetable would affect the country’s culture?

Do you think most people would find it easy of difficult to adjust to a new timetable?

Do you think the current system helps people be efficient?

 

When you have finished the questions you could organise a class debate for/against the idea of changing the Spanish timetable to be more in line with the rest of Europe. Sometimes when organising debate teams it’s a good idea to force your students to argue for a point that they don’t actually agree with. Debate structure should be as follows:

  • Each team presents their argument (3 uninterrupted minutes per team)  – the other team must remain silent but can take notes for the rebuttals later
  • Rebuttals (10 minutes) – Teams can attack the opposition’s arguments based on statements made in the presentation of their argument.
  • Result – Teacher can decide which team has the most coherent argument.

You may find my activity on language of agreement/disagreement useful for the debate.

Picture Description Lesson Plan

graph-descrip-policeman-Col

This is a fun lesson plan in which students work in pairs describing and drawing pictures. It will be useful for students preparing for Cambridge exam speaking activities.

You will need this handout: Pics for describing

Put the following picture on the board and hand out other copies to the class:

tower bridge

Ask students what they can see in the picture.

What’s in the background?

What’s in the foreground?

Go through the following vocabulary on the board:

In the background/foreground we can see…………..

On the left/right

At the top/bottom

He’s wearing……………..

He’s facing left/right/the camera

He looks happy/sad/ etc.

Prepositions: Next to/beside, above, below, in front of, behind.

Now tell students that you are going to describe a picture and they have to draw it. Tell them to draw quickly, also remind them about perspective (things in the foreground appear bigger than in the background)

Describe the following picture to them:

woman running

Try to give as much detail as possible. Collect in the pictures and stick them to the board and then show the real photo. Invite students to comment on the differences and vote for the one they think is most accurate.

Now put students in pairs, tell them that one person is going to describe and the other is going to draw. Have them position themselves so that the describer is facing the board so that he/she can see the vocabulary and the other should be facing them. Be careful that the different pairs are spaced out so that they cannot see each other’s pictures. Give them 5 minutes to describe and draw. Once the 5 minutes are up collect in the pictures and invite comments and votes again. Have students swap roles and repeat as many times as you like. There are several pictures in the handout with different degrees of difficulty.

Follow up activity:

For FCE or CAE students use the pictures for a practice run of the speaking part 2, in which students must compare and contrast two pictures for 1 minute.

Age Restrictions Conversation Topic

age-restriction-13593874

 

This is a conversation topic lesson plan for adults and mature teens about the subject of the current age restrictions for films, video games and music. You will need this handout.

Put students into small groups of 3-4 and give each a copy of the handout. Start by answering the first question yourself in front of the class; give them a brief summary of the last film you watched, any shocking scenes is contained and what the age restriction was. Then encourage them to ask and answer the questions in their groups.

When all groups have finished have them feedback to the rest of the class, encourage the groups to retell the information they have learned about their group members, for example:

“Carlos said that Jurassic Park had given him terrible nightmares.”

“Montse said that she didn’t think anybody followed the age restriction rules.”

Then have the students turn the paper over and discuss part two, in which the groups must discuss appropriate age limits for different movie/TV content, afterwards they will discuss the effect theses things could have on impressionable children. Have students feedback to the class as before.

Here is the handout in full:

Part 1

  1. What was the last film you saw at the cinema/on TV/DVD/on the internet?
  2. Briefly describe the film to your group.
  3. What was the age limit?
  4. Did the film contain any shocking scenes?
  5. What’s the scariest/most shocking film/TV show you’ve ever seen?
  6. Do you remember any specific films or TV shows that had a big effect on you when you were younger? Did any films give you nightmares?
  7. What’s your opinion of the current system for age limits on films? (U, PG, 12A etc.)
  8. Do you think people follow the system?
  9. If you have children do you let them watch films with a higher age limit than their age?
  10. Did these limits exist when you were a child?
  11. Did your parents let you watch films with a higher age limit than your age?
  12. Do you know the rules for what can and can’t be shown on TV? Do TV stations edit/censor parts of films when they are on TV? (For example in the UK violent films or films containing nudity can only be shown after the ”watershed” (9pm)

Part 2

Look at the following list. In your groups discuss each item and think about an age limit for each one. Also think about the effect each one could have on young children. Share any experiences you have.

Images of:

  • people using drugs
  • songs with explicit lyrics
  • scenes of people smoking
  • kissing
  • blood
  • news containing images of dead people
  • shooting
  • nudity
  1. How have films/TV shows changed during your lifetime? Do they contain more or less of the things in the list?
  2. What changes would you make to censorship laws/age restrictions if you were in government?
  3. Whose responsibility is it to make sure that children are not exposed to things they shouldn’t see? Parents? Government?
  4. What effect do you think violent films, TV shows and videogames have on children and people in general?
  5. Can you think of specific examples of games/shows/films that cross the line? (that are too violent)