Monday, February 20, 2012

Defining Culture - Movie Activity -

Teaching a book for the first time is challenging and exciting. Whenever I get a new coursebook, I feel a great need to bring in my touch, color the situations, and make sure my teens will not doze and nod their heads as they look at me wondering what I was thinking when I planned the lesson. The book I am talking about, seems wonderfully paced, but I still have to make it work for my people. We will start a discussion on culture which is something really hard to define even for adults. I planned a warmer that hopefully will ease my way into the "motivation zone". Feel free to try it out. It starts as a warmer and develops to object/subject questions controlled practice, but creative teachers might find different ways to use it. Please, let me know if this is the case.

Before you watch the scene
Discuss in your groups:
What’s culture? How many ways can you define it?
What are some unique cultural aspects in your country?
What’s your country famous for  nowadays? Has the way people perceive your country changed in any way over the years? Why? Why not?
What challenges a visitor to your country would face ?
Can lack of cultural knowledge lead to an embarrassing or difficult situation? Why? Why not?
Are there any celebrations that are unique to your country? Which ones?
Do people from other places in the world know about these celebrations? Are there any misconceptions?
How would you describe a famous celebration in your country to a foreigner?

A.      While you watch
You will watch a scene from the movie Rio. In this scene the American lady and her parrot have just arrived in the city during carnival. Tick from the box what you think they did not know about Brazil’s cultural background.

All the city stops for carnival

People wear special costumes

Not everyone wear costumes

The Samba parade takes place in a special place called Sambodromo

Even before carnival begins people have fun as a preparation for the party

Carnival is a big party in Brazil

Many people dance and have a great time

B.      After you watch
Look at these facts about Brazil. Make questions for the facts, beginning with the words in italics.

The most popular sport Brazilians watch on television is soccer.
What sport…?

Indians lived in Brazil before The Portuguese settlers arrived.

On September 7th Brazilians celebrate Independence day, the national holiday.

There are 26 states in Brazil.
How many…?

Feijoada and barbecue are very popular. We have wonderful ‘Churrascarias’.

The World cup was hosted in Brazil in the 50’s.

C.      Follow up
Go to and choose a country you'd like to visit. Write 5 useful qustions you'd like to ask a local in order to avoid cultural bumps. Share your questions in groups of three, and together decide which 5 questions would be the most important ones.

1 comment:

  1. Great activity! Congrats. I would love to post it in my blog!