Wednesday, November 18, 2009

HOME by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

This movie HOME by Yann Arthus-Bertrand states clearly that our planet earth requires the next tens years of global development to focus nearly entirely on alternative resource strategies otherwise a viable environmental future cannot be assured or maintained for any capital growth systems. It's a short and shortening window of opportunity and I am afraid not enough decision makers realize that.

I have heard the same thing on CBC's Quirks and Quarks that if current CO2 growth rates are maintained the ppm of CO2 in our atmosphere will quickly reach lethal proportions as early as 2025? As far as I know they only interview real scientists there. At the same time one of America's only carbon storage research projects has still not attained a cost benefit profile and claims 25% of generated power will be required to store emissions courtesy of the same radio show with the weird nerdy music.

If any decision-makers need further encouragement there are the dreary and morbid 2008 Massey (Seabass) Lectures by Margaret Atwood (no longer free but they should be?)


As I had a strong emotional reaction to it I decided to suspend my normally scheduled speaking class the following day and conduct my first video and listening class. Ever.

I presented the students with the title and length of the movie (1:33 minutes) on the board. Then I gave them each a blank sheet of paper instructing them to divide it up into sections to answer the question (with examples given in the movie), "Why is this video (HOME) important to the future of international trade?" You might like to alter the question to match the major interests of your students in high school or university classes.

Then as the movie rolled (for some reason the English subtitles failed to appear) I moderated the students notes with written points on the board which I instructed them to write down. Then they were told to go home and write up a 150 word essay based on their own notes.

Its been fourteen years since I began this ESL journey. In that time I've never seen a group of students more attentive or silently focused in class. I highly recommend sharing this presentation and assignment with your own students.


Anonymous said...

our teacher also presented that film but sad to say we were told to write up a 3000 word essay based from that video..isn't that awful?

Daniel Costello said...

If English is your native language I would say you can handle three thousand words?

Good Luck!