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Home: Spring 2022 Edutainment Lesson Plans

Spring 2022 Edutainment Lesson Plans
(Let's have fun learning English!)

Lessons on this page are optional and not part of your grade, but if you take the time to do them, they will not only improve your overall English communication skills, but will also broaden your cultural horizons to help you become a more successful international citizen in today's global society! smiley Bonus points will be offered on some assignments.



Week 5:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz - Watch the news story starting at the 6:06 min. mark in this video to learn about an interesting new manicure robot. For bonus points, write down the nickname of the robot, and for more bonus points, write down how much it costs for a manicure from this robot. [click on the "CC" button for English subtitles]

Let's Learn English, Lesson 5 - Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short quiz to check your comprehension.

English in a Minute - If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's popular American idiom: Dollars to Donuts

We are the World! - Many students are very curious about my Japan mountain climbing adventures. A few years ago I was invited to give a presentation to an English speaking club in Chiba about the highest mountains in Japan. So I prepared this video as part of my talk: Fond Memories of My Favorite Japanese Peaks [click on small square in lower right corner to view video full screen] For bonus points, write down the name of your favorite Japanese peak in this video (in Romaji, of course!). For even more bonus points, answer the question asked at the very end of the video. smiley

Classic American cartoons - This week I’d like to introduce Smokey Bear, who for the past 78 years has been the official mascot of the forest fire prevention campaign by the United States Forest Service, the longest-running public service announcement (PSA) campaign in United States history. Smokey has many tips on what you can do to keep forest fires from starting. Click here to see one of those 30-second TV ads.
[click on the "CC" button for English subtitles] And remember, "Only YOU can prevent forest fires!" smiley

Smokey Bear - Only You
Smokey Bear
"Only YOU can prevent forest fires!"

[A few years ago I had the pleasure of actually visiting Smokey's historical park museum in Capitan, New Mexico. You can view the inside of Smokey's museum at the very beginning of my 2016 road trip vacation video.]


Teacher humor - When I first moved to Japan, I lived in an apartment building near Nogata Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line that was owned by the English conversation school (英会話) I worked for. All the other residents were English teachers like myself working for the same school. Our school was in Shibuya, and since most of our classes were there at the school, we passed through Takadanobaba Station nearly every day. Well, one evening a few of us teachers were hanging around, enjoying some adult beverages, and one of the young teachers from Rhode Island, fresh out of college, said “You know, every time we approach Takadanobaba Station, I hear the train conductor say 'まもなく、 たかだのばば えき です.' (We will soon arrive at Takadanobaba Station.) Now, I KNOW what he is actually saying, but to me it sounds like he's saying 'Talking about my baby'." Ha ha ha!
[Get it? If not, please say "Takadanobaba," then "Talking about my baby," over and over again. It’s an old man’s gag joke (おやじギャグ), ha ha!]
laughing icon



Week 4:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz - Watch the news story starting at the 6:19 min. mark in this video and write down the world's most commonly used online password at the bottom of your homework form for bonus points. For even more bonus points, cue over to the story starting at the 7:43 mark and write down the height (in feet) of Amazon's new helix-shaped headquarters building in Virginia.
[Click on the "CC" button for English subtitles. You can also click on the settings (gear) icon to change the subtitle font size/color or to change the playback speed.]

Let's Learn English, Lesson 4 - Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short quiz to check your comprehension.

English in a Minute - If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's popular American idiom: Earn Your Stripes

We are the World!- Several years ago a good friend in Scotland introduced me to Danny MacAskill, a professional cyclist who gets paid BIG money to do tricks and stunts on his mountain bike. You won't believe this amazing video where Danny takes a dangerous, death-defying ride HIGH up in the gorgeous, breathtaking mountains on the Isle of Skye in his native Scotland. This video has been viewed over 77,000,000 times. WOW!

Classic American cartoons - As a child, I had the good fortune of growing up in the "golden age of American animation," when TV cartoons became increasingly popular, providing loads of wonderful entertainment for young American children. This week I’d like to continue sharing some of my favorite, most beloved cartoons from my childhood days. You all already know how much I love Tony the Tiger, but this week, for the benefit of any of you who do not know him yet, I’d like to introduce Popeye the Sailor. His most famous trait is that whenever he eats spinach (ほうれん草), he gains superhuman strength to beat up bad guys like Bluto who is always trying to steal away Popeye's girlfriend, Olive Oyl. Here's a short video clip to help you get to know Popeye.

Popeye the Sailor
In case you were wondering how popular Popeye is in Japan, I took this photo last year at the entrance to the men's toilet in a Yokohama cinema!
No joke. smiley

Teacher humor - Back in July 2000, the G-8 economic summit was held down in Okinawa. The Japanese Prime Minister at the time, Yoshirō Mori, was worried about his poor English when introducing himself to President Bill Clinton.
So he was given a quick English lesson from one of his assistants. The staff member told Mori that when he shook hands with President Clinton, he should say "How are you?" Then President Clinton will say "I am fine, and you?" And then Mori should say "Me too."
Very easy…. Mori only had to say 2 expressions, like this:
**************
Mori: How are you?
Clinton: I am fine, and you?
Mori: Me too.
**************
Well, the big day finally came, but there was just one problem.
When Mori met Clinton, he didn't say "How are you?" as he was instructed, but mistakenly said "Who Are You?"
Mr. Clinton chuckled, 'cause he thought it was a joke, so he said: "Well, I am Hillary's husband, ha ha."
Then Mori replied confidently (as he was instructed) "Me too, ha ha." 
laughing icon



Week 3:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz - Watch the news story starting at the 8:48 min. mark in this video and listen carefully for the name of the device MIT researchers built in trying to evenly divide an Oreo cookie. Write your answer at the bottom of your homework form for bonus points. [Click on the "CC" button for English subtitles. You can also click on the settings (gear) icon to change the subtitle font size/color or to change the playback speed.]

Let's Learn English, Lesson 3 - Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short quiz to check your comprehension.

English in a Minute - If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's popular American idiom: Still Waters Run Deep

We are the World! - Ever heard of free soloing? It's a very exciting (dangerous) kind of rock climbing without ropes, nets, or any safety equipment. Meet Alex Honnold, one of the world's best free solo rock climbers. Wow, check out this scary video of him scaling Half Dome, in California's Yosemite National Park. For bonus points, write down how many hours it took Alex to climb Half Dome.
[click on the "CC" button for English subtitles].

Teacher humor - I once knew a Japanese dentist here in Tokyo who asked me
one day if I knew there were NO dentists in Hawaii, America's 50th state.
I said, "No, surely you must be joking. Are you sure?"
He said, "Yes, it's true. Do you know WHY?"
I said, "No, please tell me." 
So he then said, "There are no dentists in Hawaii because in Hawaii,
Ha (は)… wa (は)… ii (いい)…" (pointing to his teeth) laughing icon




Week 2:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz - Watch the news story starting at the 8:46 min. mark in this video and for bonus points, write down the name of the famous pop star whose childhood home recently went up for sale in Pennsylvania for $1,000,000. For extra bonus points, write down the home's size in square feet. Write your answer(s) at the bottom of your homework form.
[Click on the "CC" button for English subtitles. You can also click on the settings (gear) icon to change the subtitle font size/color or to change the playback speed.]

Let's Learn English, Lesson 2 - Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short quiz to check your comprehension.

English in a Minute - If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's popular American idiom, after watching this 60-second video lesson: ​​​​​​​Strike at the Heart of Something ​​​​​​​


We are the World! - If you've never heard of freestyle soccer, don't feel bad. Neither had I before one of my English students several years ago brought his soccer ball to class one day and asked if he could demo his freestyle soccer skills. Wow, check out this video:
Freestyle soccer demo by Kazuya

Teacher humor - OK, I KNOW this is an English class, smiley but this week you get to challenge your knowledge of Japanese kanji characters. So can you guess the name of your teacher's original kanji character below?



 

 

If you need a hint, click here: Hint 1

If you need a 2nd hint, click here: Hint 2

Finally... The Answer!



Week 1:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz - Formerly called "CNN Student News," this short commerical-free broadcast highlights news stories of interest to American students. Watch the news story beginning at the 8:49 mark in this video and for bonus points name the new record total length (in feet) of the world's longest wooden roller coaster. [click on the "CC" button for English subtitles]

Let's Learn English, Lesson 1 - an online lesson with video showing the lives of young Americans. Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short quiz to check your comprehension. [Intermediate learners may find the first few lessons a little easy, but with language learning, sometimes a quick review of the English expressions you already know is vital for long-term retention of your language skills!]

English in a Minute - a short video explaining a popular idiom used in everyday American English conversation. If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's American idiom: Walk Something Back

We are the World! - pictures or videos of interesting things happening in Japan and other parts of the world. For the first week, check out the teacher's favorite English word, gr-r-reat, spoken by his favorite cartoon character, Tony the Tiger
[<---on this page, don't miss the last 2 TV commercials in the video which are in Japanese (日本語で)]. Students who often use this word in this semester's course work will receive bonus pointssmiley

Frosted Flakes Japanese
トニー・ザ・タイガー

Homework Assignments: 

In general, you will have one week to turn in homework assignments from the day they are assigned. Homework assignments more than one week late will not be accepted and will receive a ZERO on the assignment.


My main teaching philosophy: Edutainment!! laughing icon

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