Monday, April 30, 2012

Multimedia Monday: CSI: Legoland

I'm early for the first time in a while with this! That's because after a string of mediocre essay topics, the advanced textbook really geared it up for the last chapter: "Crime Fighting Scientists." Of course, talking about crime and violence is always a little unsettling and awkward because inevitably things like rape and sexual assault come up. I'm fortunate enough that those aren't triggering concepts for me, but some of my advanced students are at the age where I'm not sure if they've had "the talk" with their parents about the mechanics of sex. Others are old enough to know, presumably, but there's still no way of knowing what kind of discussions they've had about boundaries and consent and "no means no" and so on.

So, I mean, there was that minefield.

Odd that I don't really have much issue discussing murder, though. I guess death is a bit easier to joke about?

Anyway, I started out the class with a bit more levity.

At least one of the CSI variants are ported over here, in addition to The Mentalist and probably other  crime shows I don't know about as well. I started off class by asking if they knew CSI, and what they thought about it and why. Sometimes we chatted a bit more about TV shows in general, if time allowed.

Then I told them I had a video that was like a CSI episode and gave them two questions.

1. Who did it? And why?
2. Why does the man put on his sunglasses?

After checking to make sure they understood the questions, I played the video. In retrospect, I should have pre-taught the words "lumberjack" and "convict," but I don't think it detracted too much from their understanding. The nice thing about whodunnits is that they're pretty straightforward.

I paused at the shot with all three suspects and took a tally to see who everyone thought was guilty, then let the rest of the video play out.

Obviously everyone could give me a good answer for the first question. The language is too quick and kind of too punny for anyone to have been able to answer the second one, I suppose, but I thought my more advanced students might have been able to catch the "axe"/"ask" joke.

I had textbook material to cover, so I left it that, but I'm sure you could exploit the hell out of this. Simple past and sequencing words spring to mind. Putting aside the content, you could also talk about how to create stop motion animated features and review imperatives and giving/following directions as well.

For more videos (with and without lesson ideas), check out the Multimedia Monday tag. If you don't have Internet access on your classroom computer, I recommend YouTubeDownloader HD.

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