- Activity: Conversation lesson based on a facebook video
- Aim : To discuss what makes people happy
- Topic: Happiness and Facebook stars
- Age group: teenagers and adults
- Time: 60 minutes
- Language level: A2
- Language: Narrative language, humorous language
Facebook has recently announced the live video tool for its users and Fanpages. This tool is being widely used by company Fanpages to showcase their products. But when an anonymous person not only used but also broke the record of 159 million views, you can’t help but watch it and wonder “why that video went viral in the blink of an eye!”
Candice Payne is the famous so-called Chewbacca Mask Lady. She is 37 years old, a stay-at-home mother from Texas. She filmed herself heartily laughing while wearing a Star Wars Chewbacca mask. The video was posted to Facebook last May with the description “It’s the simple joys in life….”. Much to her surprise ( and everyone else’s, I should think), the video would soon hit 10, 100, 159 million views.
I must admit that she cracks me up every time I watch that video. Candice is a natural born story teller and she has that slapstick sense of humour. I remember that I first watched the video 2 days after it was posted and that got me thinking: ” Here lies a good idea for a lesson! Yes, I know – teachers will be teachers, one might say! Taking all the facts mentioned above, further down is a lesson I have designed.
This is a lesson aimed at teenagers and adults, as the main discussion point is about happiness and Facebook immediate stars.
The steps of this lesson are outlined below :
Start the lesson by asking students whether they like Star War movies. If they do, ask them who their favourite character is. Then, ask students if they are on Facebook or any social media and if they know the live video tool.
Now put students in pairs and ask them to discuss these questions:
1) Have you ever watched a Facebook live video? What was it about ?
2) Have you ever recorded yourself or others on a Facebook live video? If so, where were you and what were you doing? What was it about?
Monitor and get feedback from students. These questions can also be addressed to an individual student in a one-to-one class.
Now tell students they are going to watch a short video snippet on Facebook (about 0:52 minutes). Tell your students they are going to watch a Facebook video where a woman describes her birthday present. After watching the first excerpt, ask them :
1) What is the video about? Have you watched the video before?
2) What do you think she bought for her birthday?
3) Is her speech formal or informal? What words did she say to prove that?
At that point, you might want to explain that Kohl’s is a department store in the US.
Elicit students’ answers before showing the video for the second time, from the beginning. Tell students they are going to watch the video again and answer the questions in the worksheet.
The worksheet can be found here. ( download : Conversation lesson Chewbacca mask)
When students discuss their answers to number 2 in the worksheet, play the video again and tell them to pay attention to which word or words she stresses in each sentence.
1- I’m really excited to share with you something I got. / got
2- I had to make a couple returns… as stuff didn’t fit. / returns – fit
3- This is mine, when it’s all said and done at the end of the day, this is mine that I bought. / mine – day – mine – bought
4- This is part of my birthday joy. Still rejoicing in my birthday and so here’s what I got. / joy – birthday
5- It may be a little tight. It may be tight on me, I gotta undo it. / tight – tight – undo
6- Stay patient, people. Stay patient. This is gonna be worth it. I promise! Maybe not, maybe not… but it’s worth it to me. /patient – stay – patient – promise – not – not – me
Ask students to check their answers in pairs and then check with the whole group. If you have a private student, you can discuss their answers from Step 3.
The lexical items I’m working with are :
* when all is said and done
* to confiscate the mask
* a tight blouse ( you can use the opposite too big as she mentions in the video)
* It’s worth it
* This is worth every penny!
I explained them and used concept questions after they had watched the video for the second time.
In “this is worth every penny” you may want to drill it by stressing the words every and penny to show emphasis. Candice is quite a character and teachers could use her intonation patterns when drilling new vocabulary. Alternatively, you can ask students to repeat the sentences in exercise 2 using different stress patterns.
Thanks for reading 🙂