Friday, November 14, 2008

TV News Report in Idioms

TV News Report in Idioms

With a partner, choose one of the following topics and write a short TV report in the form of a dialogue (4 minutes) for the class.

1. A five day weather forecast including temperatures, conditions, good news and bad about what is happening in the weather. (Suggested website:

2. A “weekend wrap-up” of sports including wins, losses and gossip in at least three different sports. (Suggested website:

3. Breaking world news regarding at least three different countries, with at least one of your stories being positive. (Suggested website:

4. Recent local news from San Diego and Oceanside, with at least three different news stories, one of which being positive. (Suggested website:

5. Recent US national news, with at least three different stories, one of which being positive. (Suggested website: )

6. Recent news in style and art, with at least three different stories. (Suggested website:

Here is the trick. Each group has to use idioms to tell the story. The idioms have to be used in such a way that helps explain the story and that works in the context. ALSO, since other people in the class will watch the report, each idiom that is stated hast to be re-stated by the other partner in other words to help explain its meaning. You must use at least 5 idioms in your report. You may use idioms that you already know or check the following websites for more ideas.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Gattaca, Genetic Engineering, and Transhumanism

Gattaca takes on issues related to genetic engineering and “transhumanism.” Before we begin watching the movie, we’ll learn a little bit about genetic engineering and transhumanism. Your teacher will divide you up into several groups, and each group will be responsible for researching and reporting on one aspect of this topic.

1. What is biotechnology (also sometimes called "Genetic Engineering")? Give some examples of how biotechnology is used.

2. What is transhumanism? What are its aims?

3. What technologies are relevant to transhumanism? For example, genetic engineering. Why are transhumanists interested in these technologies?

4. There are many arguments against transhumanism. Summarize the "Frankenstein" argument and the "Terminator" argument.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

US Elections 2008 Web Activity

Go to and under “find my ballot” on the right, enter the Oceanside zip code: 92056

Under the “Directory of Contests,” click on the link for “President.”

  • How many people are running for President?
  • What are the different political parties they represent?
  • Are these parties similar or different from the parties in your home country?

How do Obama and McCain differ on the following issues? You can go to the official Obama and McCain websites to get information.

  • The economy
  • Iraq/Foreign Policy
  • Education
  • Choose an issue you are interested in.

Questions about the US “Electoral College.” Us this link first to answer them.

  • What is the US Electoral College and why was it established?
  • How many votes do states get?
  • How are electors selected?
  • Why do some people criticize the Electoral College?

Define these key voting terms and describe how each one relates to US Elections.

  • Balanced Budget
  • Constituency
  • G.O.P.
  • Nominee
  • Non-partisan
  • Partisan
  • Unbiased
  • Rhetoric

Define the following US Political Slang:

  • Vampire State
  • Twinkie
  • Panda-hugger
  • Boy scout
  • Anxious Class
  • Mudslinging