Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fortune Telling, and Taylor Swift: Secret BAMF

Some days, you just don't have a lesson plan.

All day yesterday, I was dragging myself along, so I thought I'd try to pass out early last night, after my dinner with Sarah at that yummy mandu/kimbap place near my house. Spicy vegetarian hot pepper dumplings and noodle soup (만두 + 우동 - perfect for the serious cold spell that's been plaguing Daejeon this week. But I digress. So I had big plans to pass out at 9, but instead, tragically, a hot shower and Lady Grey tea made me more alert instead of sleepy. When I finally realized that perhaps marathoning this season of Dexter was perhaps not the optimal way to spend my evening, considering I was sans lesson plan, it was already darned near 1am.
Man, Dexter's great. Even though I keep expecting Julie Benz to go all apeshit
But then obviously I was all on edge, 'cause I'd just spent the last 4 hours emotionally invested in a show about dueling serial killers, so I had to watch Jon Stewart to calm me down.

Sometime between the monologue and the interview, I fell asleep.

You know how sometimes, you do everything right? You prepare, and get all the materials ready, and then shit just happens and everything falls apart?

Today, that didn't happen.

This was like the opposite of that. I don't want to tempt fate by throwing together a lesson in 10 minutes again any time soon (I'm actually getting 2 lessons out of this), but I'm mighty glad that I lucked out on this thing today.

Here's the deal -

Lesson of the Day: future tense practice (speaking and writing) via M.A.S.H. (the game, not M*A*S*H* the Korean War show, JJ)
Video of the Day: "You Belong with Me" by Taylor Swift

Yep, I played more Taylor Swift today, this time for my first graders (Taylor Swift - seriously talented singer/songwriter, absurdly hot chick, and all around closet BAMF).
In the video, Taylor plays both the hot girlfriend and the nerdy girl next door, so we talked about high school movie stereotypes, and I answered their questions about how well the stereotypes match up with reality. It was awesome. Then again, I might be biased, since I was on the robotics team in high school and I was standing in front of 20 kids at a math and science high school.

After our daily dose of Ms. Swift, I defined the word "prediction" and had them tell me how to form the future tense (they supplied "will" and "going to" pretty promptly) and had them write a couple of sentences about what they thought would happen next in the story from the video. I gave them 2 minutes to write, then told them that they would be reading their predictions out loud, and gave them an extra minute so the slackers could catch up. Then I had everyone stand up, and we went around the room, with everyone reading their prediction and sitting down after they'd read. I wrote their predictions on the board. The most popular predictions were that "Taylor Swift and her boyfriend will go see a movie," "Taylor Swift will get married to him," and "Taylor Swift will get in fight with other ex-girlfriend."

I thought this was a particularly inspired transition into M.A.S.H. -- especially since when I started the lesson, I had pretty much no idea where I was gonna go after we finished talking about the video. Surprise! Future tense.

Since Korean kids don't play this game, I used myself as an example and we played all together on the white board. I went with the classic version I played as a kid (and, uh, occasionally at Smith) - spouse, city, car, job, # of kids, and, of course, Mansion Apartment Shack or House. I changed "shack" to "street" for my kids, though, since I wasn't looking forward to defining "shack."

So, per the clairvoyant abilities of my students, here is what I have to look forward to in my life:

Prediction #1, (Class 1-2, 8:30am): Miss Kaye will marry Rain, live in a mansion in Pyongyang, drive a Kia Sorento, be a professional gambler, and have 11 kids.


Prediction #2 (class 1-1, 1:20pm): TBA - we didn't get to this last part of the lesson in this class, because I had to do a much longer explanation about the future tense, and because it took freakin' forever to get them to supply options for spouse, city, car, etc.

Prediction #3 (class 1-3, 2:20pm): I will marry a Korean actor I've never heard of, live in a mansion in Seoul, drive a tractor, be a doctor, and have 74 kids.

Next class, I'll have them make their predictions into a paragraph, and add a comment to each piece (eg I will marry Rain, and we're going to be very happy together. I'll live in a mansion, and it will be beautiful. I'll live in Pyongyang, and it might be cold there. I'm going to drive a Kia Sorento, and I intend to take good care of it, &c). Then I'll bribe them to memorize them - they've got a week until I see them again, so it should be enough time to memorize a brief paragraph. I'll offer a prize to anyone who can memorize and deliver his or her prediction.