Oscar 2021: lesson ideas

After more than a year of pandemic lockdowns, Hollywood celebrated the 93rd Academy Awards on the 26th of April. Celebrities gathered together at Union Station in Los Angeles, some parts of the ceremony also took place at the Dolby Theatre. Though people were not wearing masks at the event, they had to follow some Covid-19 safety protocols such as testing, vaccination and social distancing. Here we suggest several ideas on how to conduct a lesson on Oscar 2021. The tasks are designed for Intermediate level students.

Task 1: Warm-up

Where can you usually see a red carpet like the one in the picture? Have you ever participated in any award ceremony?

Task 2

Discuss the questions.

  1. Do you enjoy watching award ceremonies?
  2. Have you ever watched the Oscars? If yes, what is your impression of the show and the results?
  3. Do you think that Oscar-nominated and Oscar-winning films are really worth it? Does the award show that the film is of high quality? Explain your point of view.
  4. What do you think of the fashion at the Academy Awards? Is it really important? 
  5. How do you think winning an award changes the career of an actor? 
  6. Where would you put an Academy award if you won one?

Task 3

  • Read the descriptions of the movies which were Best Picture nominees and match with the names.

Oscar 2021: lesson ideas

  1. The film follows an ageing man who must deal with his progressing memory loss.
  2. A 2021 American biographical drama film about the betrayal of Fred Hampton (played by Daniel Kaluuya), chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party in late-1960s Chicago. 
  3. A biographical drama film about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and his development of the screenplay for Citizen Kane (1941).
  4. A classic immigrant story with specific, often unique new details about a Korean family who finds home in America’s Heartland.
  5. A woman in her sixties who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, starts a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.
  6. A young woman, traumatized by a tragic event in her past, seeks out vengeance against those who crossed her path.
  7. A heavy-metal drummer’s life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing.
  8. The film follows the Chicago Seven, a group of anti–Vietnam War protesters charged with conspiracy and crossing state lines with the intention of provoking riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Keys:

  • The Father
  • Judas and the Black Messiah
  • Mank
  • Minari
  • Nomadland
  • Promising Young Woman
  • Sound of Metal
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

b) Discuss the questions.

  1. Have you watched any of the movies? Which one? 
  2. Which movie from the list do you think is the best one? Why?
  3. Which movie shouldn’t have been on the list of best picture nominees?
  4. What do you think of Hollywood? Are films shot in the 1990s better than the ones being shot nowadays? Explain your answer. 

Task 4

Watch the video (from 00:37 till 03:46). Which film got the best picture award? What other prizes did it also get? 

Keys:

Nomadland wins Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress at Academy Awards.

Task 5

Watch the video (from 00:37 till 03:46) again and choose the correct answers.

  1. Nomadland won for best picture starring …
  1. Vanessa Kirby
  2. Chloé Zhao
  3. Frances McDormand
  4. Carey Mulligan
  1. The prize for best actor got …
  1. Chadwick Boseman
  2. Steven Yeun
  3. Gary Oldman
  4. Anthony Hopkins
  1. Anthony Hopkins had a leading role in the film …
  1. Sound of Metal
  2. The Father
  3. Minari
  4. Mank 
  1. … made Oscar history Sunday night when she became the first Asian woman — and the first woman of color — to win the best director award.
  1. Chloé Zhao
  2. Jane Campion
  3. Jodie Foster
  4. Regina King
  1. … won the Oscar for best-supporting actress for her performance in «Minari» on Sunday and made history by becoming the first Korean actress to win an Academy Award at 73 years old.
  1. Yuh-jung Youn
  2. Chloé Zhao
  3. Olivia Colman
  4. Maria Bakalova 
  1. Ashley …
  1. was very surprised that Nomadland got the prize.
  2. wasn’t very surprised that Nomadland got the prize.
  3. was very surprised that Chloé Zhao got the Best Director award.
  4. didn’t think Nomadland would ever get any prize at the Academy Awards.
  1. Karla is super excited for Chloé Zhao to get Best Director award because …
  1. she is her favourite film director.
  2. She made history wearing trainers at the Academy Awards. 
  3. she made history being the second woman ever to take home that award and Karla hopes it changes the landscape in terms of how Hollywood looks at women as directors.
  4. women deserve this prize more than men.

Keys:

  • C
  • D
  • B
  • A
  • A
  • B
  • C

Task 6

  • Fill in the gaps with the missing words from the video: recap, to get into, to cast, fabulous, to break down, to dive into.
  1. There is so much wildness to __ __. 
  2. We will have some guests to __ __ everything in detail.
  3. First, let’s __ __ some ___ from the night’s biggest moments.
  4. Chloé Zhao won Best Director for Nomadland making her first woman of color to win the category and just the second woman ever ___ to take home that ___.

b) Match the words from the video with their meanings.

1) recap

2) to get into

3) to cast

4) fabulous

5) to break down 

6) to dive into

7) trophy

  1. To start discussing a subject extensively.
  2. Very good, excellent.
  3. To start or join in something without hesitating, or with enthusiasm.
  4. The act of repeating the main points of an explanation or description.
  5. To choose actors to play particular parts in a play, film, or show. 
  6. To separate something into smaller parts. 
  7. A prize, such as a gold or silver cup, that is given to the winner of a competition or race, and often returned after a year to be given to the winner of the competition in the following year. 

Keys:

A)

  • dive into
  • break down
  • get into, recaps
  • cast, trophy

B)

  • D
  • A
  • E
  • B
  • F
  • C
  • G

Task 7

Discuss the questions.

  1. Do you think it is fair that an Asian director claimed the award? 
  2. Have you watched the film Nomadland? Does it deserve the prize in your opinion?
  3. It is sometimes claimed that nowadays the focus in every sphere of work is on the younger generation. However, we saw that some of the awards were given to the elder. What’s your attitude towards it? Should there be any age restriction at the Academy Awards?
  4. If you had a chance to grant the awards, who would you give them? Why?

Task 8

How can these things/people be better in the movie industry? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Explain your answers. 

Oscar 2021: lesson ideas

Task 9

Look at the comments from Twitter and say how the people feel about the Oscar 2021. Choose the ones you agree with and explain your choice.

Oscar 2021: lesson ideas
Chris Fleming twitter
Oscar 2021: lesson ideas
player/coach twitter
Oscar 2021: lesson ideas
Marc Snetiker Twitter
Oscar 2021: lesson ideas
Misha Collins Twitter
Oscar 2021: lesson ideas
Louis Virtel Twitter

P.S.  Best Picture was announced before the Best Actor and Actress awards, rather than at the end of the show.

Oscar 2021: lesson ideas
Vishal Krishnamoorthy Twitter

Speaking activities are, obviously, essential for English language speaking classes. A lot of students join classes particularly to develop their communicative competence, become more fluent, versatile, adaptable, and confident communicators in English. However, designing speaking activities might be time-consuming and nerve-wracking for any teacher. We have prepared a memo with superb ready-made speaking tasks that will make your student talking. Download it here.

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