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The Phantom Hairstyle

Level: Intermediate & above.

Timing: Approx. 1 hour 30 mins.

Mats: X copies of "The Phantom Hairstyle" article & pic1, pics2. X number of photos of people - preferably people you know (but make sure the Ss donīt know them). Optional - X copies of China Girl article & pic.

Aim: To show the Ss that they can access & respond to authentic English texts. 

Notes: While this lesson was designed shortly after the release of The Phantom Menace, thereby making it very topical, thereīs no reason why it canīt continue to be used. The movie was so big thereīs a good chance a lot of people will have seen it, especially the younger age group, or at least heard of it.

Oh and just to make it clear Iīm NOT a Star Wars nut. In fact I didnīt even think this movie was very good (no plot). Liked the pod race scene though.

Procedure: Stage One - Alternative 1

If this is a new class and this is the first time the Ss have met you you can intro this lesson by asking them to see if they can guess or work out personal information about you.

Ss: Try and guess or work out:

Where you are from.

How old you are.

What you do in your spare time.

Whether youīre married, single or something else.

Whether youīre an introvert or an extrovert.

What religion you are.

T: At the end ask them how they are making their judgements. You are looking for "first impressions", "appearances" - you may have to give these and explain a little about how people make very quick judgements based on very little information.

Tell them the the answers.

Stage One - Alternative Two - Pair Work

If the class is not new you will need some photos of various people. I used photos of friends of varying nationalities, cultures, ages, professions, backgrounds etc.

T: Hand out photos. Two different people per pair. Write instructions on WB.

Ss: In pairs they try and guess or work out:

The nationality; the age; the occupation; the marital status; the likely free time activities; the preference for music, books, films; the nature of the character, i. e. intovert or extovert; and the religion of the people in the photos.

T: At the end ask them how they are making their judgements. You are looking for "first impressions", "appearances" - you may have to give these and explain a little about how people make very quick judgements based on very little information.

Tell them the answers.

Stage Two

T: Follow up by asking what would tell you more about a personīs character - eir record collection, eir bookshelf, eir wardrobe or eir toiletries. There are no right or wrong answers!

Stage Three

T: Now that you have established the theme of the lesson ask how important someoneīs hair is in making a first impression.

Link the theme to the movie "The Phantom Menace". Ask if your Ss have seen the movie - see if they can guess what the link is (hairstyles). 

Tell them they're going to be reading an article and ask them if they can guess what itīs about. (Obviously itīs about the hairstyles in the movie or more specifically, Queen Amidalaīs).

Before handing out the text remind Ss (write on WB) that they should ignore any words they donīt know and keep reading. The idea is to aim for an understanding of the whole text and not to get stuck on individual words many of which wonīt hinder global understanding.

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). 

Hand out "The Phantom Hairstyle" article.

Ss: Read Text.

Stage Four

T: Write following questions on the WB (or use an OHP or handouts).

How would you feel if:

all your hair fell out?

your hair turned green/pink/white (or whatever colour)?

your hair was curly/straight?

you had to wear an elaborate hairstyle like Queen Amidala?

you had to take an hour or more every day just to do your hair?

What would you change about your appearance and why?

How do you think this would affect the way people perceive you and/or react to you?

If you wouldnīt change anything about your appearance say why and say what you think people think of you based on your appearance and how you yourself wish to be thought of. Do the two correlate?

Notes:This could be done as an open class activity; in pairs; or as written work. I prefer open class. The last questions could be done as homework.

As an additional aside you could give the Ss the China girl article (& pic) to read as an example of just how shocking a hair style can be. I leave it up to you how to incorporate this.

 

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

 

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