Sky News (YouTube Channel), “Inside The $5bn Industry Of Child Beauty Pageants”

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The Video

Sky News reports on the growing industry of childhood beauty pageants. The controversy surrounding this often bizarre world is explored and questions connected with future body issues are raised by an expert.

This issue is bound to provoke a reaction from your class, but be careful with cultural sensitivities. The child and mother featured in the film are a full realization of the Honey Boo Boo stereotype and provide the all the drama you’d imagine.

Language Focus and Level

As a news story, the voice over to this video is an easily-understood gateway for intermediate level and above. Shari, the mother in this feature, has a thick Texas accent which could provide a challenge for more advanced students.

There is a large second conditional grammar section in the worksheet (below), which is ideally aimed at upper intermediate but could be used for high intermediate. Zero and first conditional are briefly covered but essentially the main content surrounds hypothetical situations and the extension activity requires the use of this grammar. 

The worksheet also includes small sections on the grammar connected with the verbs of the senses (she looks good, she looks like an adult…etc.) and the vocabulary used in the video.

Worksheet

thumb   Download the worksheet here: Sky News

Availability

Find the video over at YouTube.

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Upworthy (YouTube Channel), “Careers and Gender Roles”

 

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The Video(s)

The main offering is a thought-provoking video from Upworthy, a YouTube channel whose mission statement is to “tell stories that bring people together”. It is short but definitely has the power to stir up conversation; just a quick glance at the comments section shows how opinions differ on the topic of gender.

Also included here and on the worksheet is an activity connected to the Beyoncé song If I were a boy…

Level and Language Focus

The optimum level for these activities is intermediate, although, together with the song, there is still plenty for upper intermediate students to get out of these videos. The video itself is not too complicated, so with some selectivity when you come to the worksheet, you could use the video with certain, enthusiastic pre-intermediate students.

The worksheet focuses on second conditional grammar and there is also a lot of vocabulary connected to jobs/work/professions in the mix.

Worksheet 

thumb Find the worksheet here : gender

Availability

What Would You Do? (ABC News, USA), “Too Young to Shoot Guns?”

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The Video

What Would You Do? is an American feature in which actors stage socially delicate situations to see the reaction of the public. With a generally liberal outlook the series is a feel-good pat on the back for Americans which at times seems to suggest that problems such as racism, sexism and homophobia no longer stand. Having said this, the series is pretty good for looking at hypothetical situations in class.

The video connected to the worksheet below looks at attitudes to kids using guns at a gun shop in Texas. The video shows just how much support for guns exists (albeit in a gun shop!) and may provide a good insight into the American psyche as the adage “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is throw into the debate again and again.

The video does feature the sale and use of guns which could be a sensitive subject to some. If you have a class of people who used to live in warzones please consider the use of this video carefully.

Use the worksheet below to include more videos from this series either in the lesson or as homework.

Level and Language Focus

A lot of the interaction in this video is subtitled, aiding understanding but also providing listening practice. The main listening practice however comes from the helpful narration over the top of the action which is clear and simple making the video accessible and useful for intermediate and upper intermediate levels. If you have a particularly adventurous class, even a strong pre-intermediate class could follow the action, but we would only recommend this if you have a good knowledge of your class.

The video is great to teach the second conditional.

Worksheet

thumb Download the worksheet: What Would You Do (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

You can watch the video via YouTube.

On Demand News (YouTube Channel), “Plastic-shirt-wearing Messi superfan gets a signed shirt”

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The Video

This is a short news feature about a young boy from Afghanistan who fashioned an Argentinian national team football shirt from a blue and white striped plastic bag inspired by his hero Leo Messi. The boy, who is from a deprived area, went viral eventually leading to Messi together with Unicef sending the boy the real article, much to his delight.

This is a short video at just over one minute. It might be a nice introduction to a class with the theme of sport or possibly, charity. Having much experience of using textbooks which feature a unit on sport, much to the disgruntlement of half the class, this video is connected to sport yet still enjoyable for the less sporty amongst us.

Level and Language Focus

The narration of the video is fairly slow and with the use of the worksheet below providing vocabulary support, the video could be used for a good pre-intermediate, intermediate or upper intermediate class.

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:
Mini Messi Worksheet (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

Watch the video on YouTube.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show, “The Technology of Yesterday”

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The Video

Talk show favourite Ellen shows a flabbergasted group of youngster some of yesterdays most hip gadgets: a chunky 80s cell phone, a typewriter and an answer phone. Cheeky Ellen starts pulling the kids’ legs for a light-hearted bit of comedy.

Level and Language Focus

The language of the clip is not too complicated so it is recommendable for either intermediate or upper intermediate levels.

Ellen talks about both new and old gadgets so this video could be a good introduction to class about technology or computers.

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:

Ellen Worksheet (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

You can view the video on YouTube, or on her official website, both with the bonus of option subtitles.

New York Times, “Small Plates”

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The Clip

A group of kids are taken to an exclusive New York restaurant to sample a tasting menu of seven dishes. The clip is quite charming, inoffensive and works well as a gentle opening to a class.

Level and Language Focus

The children use many examples of verbs of the senses (“This tastes like soap…”) to discuss the dishes. This grammar is usually introduced at B2 level although it should not be difficult for lower levels.

Children’s voices are generally a little more difficult to understand however, in this video, the language is pretty simple so you could show this video at Intermediate or Upper Intermediate.

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:
Small Plates Worksheet (Right Click, Save Target As…)
A follow-up game based on the grammar of verbs of the senses is here:
Verbs of Senses Game (Right Click, Save Target As…)

Availability

You can view the video on YouTube and New York Times.