Thursday, November 26, 2009

Always Look on the Bright Side

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends--save me some dark meat and a slice of pecan pie.

Last year, if you were following along, you may recall I attended a little traditional get-together with some American friends. Tomorrow evening, I'm going to share the festivities with my Korean colleagues from Young-il, at the samgyupsal restaurant near the school that was my introduction to the delectable treat that is Korean fatback barbecue. Man, that seems so long ago!

Actually, it won't be a Thanksgiving affair so much as a birthday party--actually a double birthday party, since Mr Hwang's birthday is today and mine is Saturday, so we're splitting the difference.

In classroom news, the 11th year lesson of the week is about attitude and optimism. After some ruminations of the glass-half-full-or-half-empty variety, some synonyms and a few quotes, their writing activity was to make a positive or optimistic statement about two topics from a list--things like global warming, poverty, nuclear proliferation, college entrance testing ...

Despite its obvious challenge, this seemed to be a high-interest activity for my students. I can recommend it. From there, I segued to the song from Monty Python's Life of Brian, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life". I ripped it from YouTube into a wmv, then supered the lyrics on top with MovieMaker for a more ESL-valid experience.

The conversation activity was a worksheet I had previously "borrowed" from somewhere and now fixed up for my purposes, that had two boxes, one labelled Complain, the other labelled Respond. The Complaints box had sentences like "The weather has been really horrible!" and "My girlfriend just left me for my best friend!" and "Our television set is broken."

The OR (optimistic responder) chooses an opening for his reply, like "On the other hand ..." or "That may be true, but ..." and finds something positive to say. The pair should try to maintain the conversation for as long as possible. Then they switch roles and repeat.

I try to time the end of class so we just have time to watch the Grammar Rock video, "The Tale of Mr. Morton" since he goes from sad to glad. And some student might possibly learn the subject/predicate relationship, since Mr Morton is the subject of the sentence, and what the predicate says, he does...


The one and only E.P. said...

I love grammar rock-if it was good enough for me to learn it, Its good enough for my kids!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday and congratulations on the 7.5 km thing - that's the best present you can give yourself! (Well, a really good bottle of champagne is better, but...)


Tuttle said...

Jill, thank you--champagne is a good idea, now you mention it!
EP, those songs are very memorable; I'm looking for more opportunities to incorporate them.