Monday, September 03, 2007

Thank You For Smoking - A Lesson Plan

I saw Thank you For Smoking over the summer and as a satire it was one of the best I've seen for a long while. So, here is a lesson plan for upper intermediate and advanced students that uses it. You don't need to show the whole film, just short extract(s) - two or three minutes long.

Lesson plan

1 Write, "Thank You For Smoking" on the board. Now ask students what is weird or unusual about this sentence. Of course, usually we are asked not to smoke.

2 Now explain that this is a title of a film. Ask students to write down a couple of ideas about what it may be about. If some of them have already seen it, ask them to form a separate group and write down the main idea of the movie.

3 Students swap ideas.

4 Tell the students that they are going to see a short extract from the film and that they should write down as many points as they can.

5 Now show a short extract (2 mins 30 sec till 5 mins)

6 Students exchange notes in groups of two - four (depending on their language level.

7 If necessary, show again.

8 If some students have seen the movie before they form groups with those who haven't and explain the main idea of the film. Alternatively, get them to explain it to you.

9 Now tell the students that there is going to be a class debate on banning smoking in public places such as bars, clubs etc (see here for the law in England).

10 Divide the class into two. One half will be in favour of the measure, the other against. They think of as many points that support their viewpoint.

11 Students form groups of four to six with people from both "sides"and and discuss the issue.

12 This could be used as the basis for a discursive essay writing lesson. Students could also record their personal opinions on their mobile phones (video or audio) and upload them to their blog. They could then ask other students to comment on them.


EFL Geek said...

getting a copy of this film now - will try this out with my advanced class later in the semester.

A said...

A debate about smoking constitutes a good lesson plan. This idea tackles two things - the rationality of anti-smoking laws and the necessity for constructive discourse regarding public health policies.

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Cetatzeanul said...

would love to see Nicholas Cage with a
eSmoke device in the end of the movie. I guess the battle between normal cigarettes and electronic devices it's like the battle between normal cars and electric cars. just go with the greener option all the time and you'll have a better life.