Oscars 2020: lesson ideas (intermediate+)
The whole Internet, social websites, magazines, newspapers, radio and TV are overwhelmed by the latest news on Oscars 2020. While some of the winners were thought to get the main prizes, others “invaded” these nominations quite unexpectedly according to some viewers and fans. To judge critically and proclaim that this or that celebrity deserved or didn’t deserve Oscar prize is quite difficult. However, we can use this topic to discuss it with our students and to boost their critical thinking, listening and speaking skills and enrich their vocabulary. Here we suggest several ideas on how to conduct a lesson on Oscar 2020, which will suit your intermediate and higher-level students.
Show the picture to your students and ask them what it is and what it is connected with.
What associations do they have with this statue? The first student says a word associated with the statue, for example, Hollywood. Then the next student has to say a word that is connected with Hollywood, for example, actors. Continue the activity until all your students come up with one word. For individual classes, it may be a pair work — student and teacher.
Discuss the questions with your students.
- Do you watch the Academy Awards every year?
- Do you usually agree with the judges?
- Do you think the Oscar statue is well-designed?
- Can you name the winners of the last Academy Awards?
- Did you look forward to Oscar 2020? Why yes, why not?
- Did you watch it? Why not?
- What do you know about nominees and winners of Oscar 2020?
- Would you like to attend the Awards presentations?
- Are there similar awards for movies in your country?
a) Here is the list of the best picture nominees in 2020. Ask your students if they have watched any of them. Then get them to watch movie trailers. If you are short of time, students must watch only the first minute of each trailer.
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
- Ask your students to discuss in pairs.
- Which movie do you think is the best one? Why?
- Which movie shouldn’t have been in the list of best picture nominees?
- Is there any movie you think should have been included in this list as well? What movie is it?
- What should be taken into account while choosing the best movie? What are the main features that really matter to be a good film?
- What is more important in a movie — actor/actress, director, plot, music, costume design, visual effects, makeup and hairstyling, etc? Explain your choice.
Ask your students to watch the video (till 00:53) and answer the questions.
- Which movie gets the Oscar for the best picture? What makes it history? What is special about this film?
- What is the film about?
- If you haven’t watched the film, would you watch it after finding out that it got the Oscar? Why yes, why not?
- Do you think it is fair that a foreign language film claimed the award?
- If not “Parasite”, which film should have won the prize? Why?
— Parasite. It became the first foreign-language film to claim the award and the first South — Korean film to win any Oscar ever. It also took the best international film, the best director for Bong Joong-ho and the best original screenplay.
— It is a dark comedic thriller about social classes.
Now it is time to discuss actors and actresses. Get your students to watch the video (00:55-02:40) and choose the correct answer.
1) Who won the award for the best actor?
а) Brad Pitt
b) Leonardo DiCaprio
c) Antonio Banderas
d) Joaquin Phoenix
2) Who won the award for the best actress?
a) Charlize Theron
b) Renée Zellweger
c) Scarlett Johansson
d) Laura Dern
3) Which of the celebrities talk about injustice against people of all kinds and animal rights?
a) Brad Pitt
b) Leonardo DiCaprio
c) Joaquin Phoenix
d) Renée Zellweger
4) What did Brad Pitt mention in his speech?
a) He had 45 seconds to speak
b) He won’t manage to speak in 45 seconds
c) He has less time for his speech than the Senate has given time to John Bolton this week
d)Trump didn’t allow celebrities to talk more than 45 seconds
5) Choose the best definition of “plunder”.
a) to take away
b) to steal things from a place
c) to look for
d) to get
6) Choose the best definition of “injustice”.
а) an unfair act or an example of unfair treatment
c) Dishonest person
d) Cruel action
7) Choose the best definition of “anguish”.
a) great anger
b) emotional outburst
c) everlasting happiness
d) severe physical or mental pain
8) Choose the best definition of “impeachment”.
a) a matter that is being officially investigated
b) the act of charging an important public figure with a serious crime
c) a person in a court
an official examination of the facts about a situation
1 — d
2 — b
3 — c
4 — a
5 — b
6 — a
7 — d
8 — b
а) Tell your students to look at the photo Eminem has posted on his official account with Elton John. What do your students know about their friendship?
b) Watch the video with Elton John. What did he say about winning the Oscar and about his family?
c) Eminem made a surprise performance and sang his “Lose yourself” song. Ask your students to watch the video (till 1:00) and describe the reaction of the audience. Why are they so surprised?
b) The thing that matters to him is that he has a wonderful husband, great children and a great family. As for the Oscar win is concerned, it is an affirmation of hard work.
a) The next thing that always matters at the Oscar ceremony is how the celebrities look and what clothes they wear. Ask your students to look at the photos, and to read the comments. Do they agree with them?
b) Here are some more photos of celebrities taken from Vogue magazine. Get your students to look at the photos and to leave their own comments on the appearance of the celebrities.
If your students are interested in fashion, they can read the whole article in vogueworld.com.