Real ⇄ Fake

“Storytelling is what engages us, not facts and figures.”

YES! YES! YES!

This is why I encourage you, students,  to add good discussion questions and your own opinions and experiences into your weekly portfolio pages.

There’s a lot to talk about in this video, including “fake news” and what we believe on the internet … the importance of citing your sources … the difference between fact and fiction. And the motivation behind video editing (or news media decisions). Is it to manipulate the audience?

And BRD students, the correct answer to “Where did you find that information?” is NOT “The internet.” Can you explain why?

Another discussion question: What do you like and dislike about nature documentaries?


I’m taking a break from posting on this Topics site for Golden Week. I’ll be back with more topics on Monday, May 8th, but there are lots of topics in the archives if you’re looking for English input.


☀️ ENJOY YOUR GOLDEN WEEK ☀️

And then the murders began

Playing with literature … take the first line (or maybe two) of a story and add “And then the murders began” to make any book (or textbook!) better, or at least more entertaining. Well, if you have a bit of a dark sense of humor.

See some examples from The Hook.

I tried with a few books I have around and some famous works:

From Harry Potter, Book 1;

“Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much…”

… And then the murders began.

From Don Quixote:

“Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing…”

… And then the murders began.

Something’s amiss with Anne! (from Anne of Green Gables)

” Mrs Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladie’s eardrops, and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place…”

… And then the murders began.

From Alice in Wonderland:

“Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the riverbank, and of having nothing to do…”

… And then the murders began.

The best by far is from Genesis (the Bible):

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

… And then the murders began.

Teachable moments

This article from Education Week has a list of ten “teachable moments” from the first Harry Potter book, which was published 20 years ago. (Wow.) They include:

Breaking the rules is sometimes necessary.

Having rules to break is also necessary.

Learning happens everywhere, we just have to take the time to notice.

Two things you could try with this topic:

  • Find video clips from the movies to add to each (or some)  of the things on the list and explain what’s happending in the video (summary).
  • Go back and read that book or another in the series — or a completely different story or movie — and find your own “teachable moments”

Example:

Here’s a video clip that illustrates part of the first teachable moment and an explanation of what’s happnening:

We don’t choose familial situations, but we can choose to make the most of what we are given.”

Summary:

This is at the beginning of the movie, where we discover what kind of living situation Harry is in. He’s made to sleep in the broom closet and he’s given clothes that don’t fit him. Dudley is his “brother” figure, but he’s a selfish brat. On his birthday, he complains about not getting enough presents, even though the living room is full of them. His parents spoil him and are mean to Harry. We can see from Harry’s expressions how he feels about all this, but he doesn’t do anything to show his anger and frustration.