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Level: Intermediate & above.

Timing: Approx. 50 minutes.

Mats: VCR. A copy of "Grease", more specifically the scene corresponding to the dialogue sheet - Rizza & Marnie in the toilets (immediately prior to the song "There are worse things I could do")

Aim: To introduce Ss to authentic movie dialogue, leading on to a discussion on the theme of 'coming of age'.

Notes: This was written as a follow on to another T's lesson on the song "There are worse things I could do" (one of the many classic tunes in the movie). I don't have that lesson but hope to write my own at some point when I get hold of a copy of both the music & the video so I can link the two together again, as it worked very nicely that one time.

The sequence you will be looking at starts with Rizza & Marnie in the toilets 'discussing' the possibility of Rizza being pregnant, and finishes with the start of the song "There are worse things I could do".

Procedure: Stage One

T: Brainstorm a mind-map on the subject of "teenage problems". Then elicit body language & what it is.

Stage Two

T: Instruct Ss to watch the scene - with the sound TURNED DOWN - & to try & work out what's going on. They will need to pay particular attention to BODY LANGUAGE.

Note: If you watch the scene from this perspective yourself before hand you will have a clearer idea of what you want from your Ss. At the very minimum you can see that Rizza is not happy about something.

Stage Three

Breathing Exercise - (derived from Schuster and Gritton, 1986) Instruct Ss how to do the following exercise:

Breathe for 10 in/out cycles of nose breathing. Close your eyes while doing so & think only of your breathing. Let all other thoughts float out of your mind. Let your breathing happen naturally without forcing it to go slow or to go quick. Just let it be. After ten cycles come back to the classroom. (a cycle is 1 breathe in & 1 breathe out). 

T: Instruct  Ss to relax & to listen & watch to understand the WHOLE scene rather than worrying about individual words.

Ss: Watch the scene with the sound up. (Twice maximum).

Stage 4

T: Check if your Ss have understood by asking what the problem is. See if this links to any of the "teenage problems" you have on the board from the brainstorming exercise.

Give them the dialogue sheet. You can work on the vocab & the idioms  - you have 3 different ways to say "X is pregnant" & loads of slang. Much more fun than your average CB!

Tell Ss that the next scene is a song called "There are worse things I could do" (best one in the movie IMO) sung by Rizo & ask them what the relation is.

Stage 5

Assuming you have a mixed gender class with enough boys & enough girls, split them up into genders & have the boys imagine what it's like to be girls & vica versa.

ie: what things are the same/different about being a boy/girl? do you have different ideas, thoughts, beliefs depending on your gender? why do you think so? are there cross cultural differences? etc etc.

I guess you could do with this with young adults too. In fact it might work better. When I did it with 14-15 year olds the girls were well into it & obviously found it great fun but the boys were just acutely embarrassed & barley spoke. Try it, see how it goes & let me know.


So what did you think? How did it go? Let me & others know at the Efl Alt Message Board!


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