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Some of my students left on Friday and they asked if, seeing as it was their last day, they could watch an episode of The Simpsons. So that left me with having to find a real lesson within the programme, as we couldn’t just watch episode after episode for 90 minutes, could we?

Fortunately, The Simpsons has been in the news recently, due to an argument between the cast and the network over pay. This is pretty topical as it’s happening everywhere, so you would be able to tie it in with an ecomonics theme.

I then found a website that suggested an episode and lesson around The Simpsons based on the theme of stereotypes – I don’t want to blatantly steal ideas, so here is the link: http://iteslj.org/Lessons/Meilleur-Simpsons.html

This blog suggests using the episode “Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo” as a basis for talking about stereotypes. It mainly focuses on Japan, but you could also talk about American stereotypes. There are some good worksheets on the site too, so take a look at it.

Other themes you could use with The Simpsons; the elderly (Abe Simpson), friendship, families, childhood, marriage, relationships, responsibility… there are loads more I’m sure. You could also use it when studying narrative tenses, and get the students to write the plot of the story.

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Just found this link online, which follows on nicely from my last post about the evolution of English and the relationship between American and British English. There are 10 one minute animated clips showing how English has evolved. Might be quite nice to use in the classroom?

http://www.visualnews.com/2011/07/07/the-history-of-english-in-10-minutes/

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I don’t think there is any room for a teacher to shout in anger at their students in the classroom (or outside of it to be honest). We need to find other ways of making sure the students behave. With adults, I don’t think there is a problem, but with teenagers, of course, it is a different story.

One method which I think works quite well, and doesn’t make the teacher out to be the bad guy, is peer discipline. The following idea is similar to the “five point deduction” idea, if you have heard of it…

Write on the board:

Let’s have a good lesson today. On Friday we want to play a game.

(game, song, watch a film etc…. whatever you do as a treat with your students)

Leave this on the board for the whole lesson.

Explain to the students that you want to play a game with them on Friday, but each time they misbehave, you are going to cross off a letter. If it is impossible to understand the sentence at the end of the lesson, you won’t be playing a game, but continuing with your regular work (grammar, reading, etc…)

The students will then begin to tow the line with the rowdy students, and tell them to be quiet and behave, so you have very little to do by way of discipline.

Who needs any extra stress?

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