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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Scotland the Brave - Part 1

Watching TV the other day I saw an advert from the Scottish Tourist Board, encouraging people to visit Scotland, home of Merida &co in the Disney Pixar film Brave . I haven't seen the film, but as Visit Scotland were offering free prize trips, I decided to enter the draw and came across this wonderful website.   

As I was browsing, quite a few lesson activities came to me - I was feeling inspired!
I have never visited Scotland and so I tend not to talk about Scottish culture or geography in the classroom, preferring to stick to what I know. However, the film Brave will surely bring about some interest in the country for learners young and old, and I would like to take advantage of this, learning something myself along the way.

When you enter the library you choose from the following aspects:
Landscape, Map, Book of Beasts, and Writers. Over the next few posts I will share my ideas for each section of the website.

Lesson Ideas - Landscape:

  •  (Int+) Read the introduction to students, and ask them to draw what they imagine. Your voice is important here. Pre-teach any necessary vocabulary (soaring, rugged etc). One idea is to write things that these adjectives can describe and ask students to match nouns and adjectives.  

  • (All levels) Play the video of Lochs and Glens with the screen covered. Students listen to the music and say how it makes them feel, what images they can see in their mind. Then show the video, pausing and asking students to describe the images. This is good practice for the PET speaking exam Part 3.

  • (Pre-int+) Use the images in Lochs and Glens to create the setting for a story. Ask students to imagine what kind of things could happen in such a place. Discuss when the story could be set, what characters there could be, what could happen. Ask students to write a detailed description of the scenery as an opening paragraph.

  • (Int+) Play the video Majestic Mountains. Tell students to imagine they are film directors and they are going to make a film in the mountains of Scotland. This could be done as a group project. Students have to decide what kind of film they are going to make and the basic plot. They can write specific scenes for each image. This video is reminiscent of scenes from films such as The Lord of the Rings, or series like Game of Thrones. Another option is to get students to take a scene from a film they know and adapt it to this setting.

  • (All levels) Play the video Ancient Forests. Ask students to imagine what kind of creatures live there. These can be real, mythological or imaginary.

  • (Pre-Int+) Create a guided visualisation using the images in Ancient Forests. After showing an image, students close their eyes while you guide them through the forest, asking questions to provoke the senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste). Students then discuss what they imagined in pairs or groups.

  • (Beginner-Int) Play the video Rolling Hills. Tell students to imagine they are going on a day trip to this place. What activities would they do? Some useful vocabulary may be: have a picnic, birdwatching, picking flowers, climbing trees, hiking, paddling, collecting leaves.

  • (Elem+) If you have several computers, assign a different video to each group and ask them to give a presentation/write a description of it for the Scottish Tourist Board. They should try to make it as attractive as possible. Another option is to give each group a page to write in a brochure about Scottish landscapes.

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