Young Learners, Level 4: Art for art’s sake.

16th May 2019

Everybody Up Unit 6, Lesson 4

We can start with descriptions of people:

Warm up: Student description

In a previous lesson, the class learnt about basic adjectives to describe appearance. I will therefore choose a student and describe the physical characteristics, e.g. this student has long straight hair, is not very tall, and wears black glasses. I will choose some students and give them a student to describe, while promoting the value ‘be polite‘.

To continue the theme of Art and creativity, I will show some artists. The class already met Frida Kahlo but I thinks it’s time they met Dali !

Dali normally get a reaction (especially when we have fun elongating his name as long as possible). It’s also a chance to learn a few new words:

creative / genius / unusual / strange / surreal

The last word maybe a little advanced, but it’s a good way to introduce new words; inside the word is ‘real’ so surreal has something to do with reality … but what ? Here’s a clue:

This is a mixture of reality and fantasy. The students can say which is which … and why does Dali give the elephants tuba faces … is there a reason or is it just crazy ?

I will then expect the student to form basic sentences using these new words, and not forgetting new vocabulary from previous lessons.

Next up, is a scene from the popular Children’s classic, ‘Alice in Wonderland’.

Again, a mix of reality and fantasy. How would the students describe this ? It could be turned into a game … students put into small groups and given boards and markers. Points for the best vocabulary. What is happening ? Also, how to tell a story – an introduction and then mentioning items point by point, linking with appropriate discourse markers. YES ! I’m going to make the students study hard today.

Always good to give a model answer, tell the students what I expect to hear, or WILF as I’ve heard it termed in some schools (What I‘m Looking For).

Now, to continue the theme and introduce some listening and reading skills, a video. This is the singer-songwriter Don McLean with ‘Vincent’, about the artist Vincent Van Gogh:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxHnRfhDmrk

This version also has the lyrics, as well as various paintings by the artist such as:

Then, with time against us, and a lot to get through, we’ll turn to the book work. They will watch a video which also shows sculpture, mosaic and photographs. The book also mentions Van Gogh, and a sculpture based on the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party from ‘Alice’.

A useful lesson will be the subjectivity of art – it is a chance for the student to think and to give their views, and to try to develop the English skills to express their thoughts. Clearly, this is a perfect opportunity to introduce some fixed expressions to express opinions:

In my opinion …

I feel that …

For me …

And even an idiom – it’s not my cup of tea !

Finally, to wrap up after the spelling tests and writing projects, a little bit of fun. Who better than Dali (or at least a great actor playing Dali) ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_q1V_xjHhLM

Friends (men): Teaching personality adjectives and occupations

28th December 2018

I use this sheet for many classes, usually for personality adjectives, as well as occupations. It’s adapted from a class I took at International House, London.

For higher level classes, you could also use this to illustrate the adage ‘don’t judge a book by its cover.’

The students have to guess the personality of my friends, just by looking at them; their expressions, posture, dress sense, hair style etc. Then they have to try to guess the occupation.

This is a great way to introduce new vocabulary and job titles. Additionally, students can learn that many adjectives are not necessarily positive or negative, for example ‘serious’. Being serious could be very positive (in a professional context) but negative in other situations.

I’ve put some sample adjectives and jobs after the last photo, as well as the answers to their current occupations.

Peter
David
Alex
Victor
Simon

Personality adjectives:

aggressive / arrogant / calm / funny (haha) / funny (crazy) / generous / honest / humorous / kind / mean / modest / polite / quiet / reliable / rude / selfish / serious / thoughtless / trustworthy /

Occupations:

estate agent / plumber / DJ / mechanic / bouncer / surgeon / accountant / actor / cook or chef / removal man / insurance agent / bank clerk / detective / business man barista / lawyer / shop manager / unemployed / slacker

NB: The correct terms are now business-person and removal-person

IELTS STUDENTS:

Use this as a basic for building complex sentences

EXAMPLE: In my opinion, Peter, who is the first gentleman, has a white-collar job, such as banking, insurance or management. I say this because of the way he’s dressed, a suit and tie. Furthermore, he is extremely well groomed by which I mean his hair is very neat as well as being clean-shaven. He appears very diligent. I’m positive he works hard, sometimes burning the candle at both ends.

TV Trivia: What's My Line? | 50+ World

Peter is unemployed. He has an MA in Business Studies and is currently looking for work, so he is sending out his CV and photo.

David is a DJ

Alex is an actor. He is also a Buddhist so normally has shaven hair. However, he is very big and strong, so he gets cast as gangsters or bad men, despite being very gentle and soft-spoken in real life.

Victor is a self-employed plumber.

Simon is a doctor. He is highly professional and serious, but is seen here on holiday, after a few sangrias (wine cocktails). Someone took a photo with a flash, so his eyes look wide and big.