Wrap It Up!

February 7, 2013

With the 2013 Academy Awards almost upon us, and the Grammy Awards this Saturday, I decided to try a new warm-up activity with my students. When actors and directors win an Oscar and give an acceptance speech, they are only allotted 45 seconds to share their thank-yous with the audience. So, I set up the timer on my cell phone for one minute. The students had to answer one of the questions below, using complete thoughts and sentences. If they weren’t finished, a piano riff played when the time elapsed.
It was so funny to see the look on the students’ faces when their stories were interrupted. Some students stopped talking when their time was up. Others talked quickly from the beginning of time so they wouldn’t be caught by the riff. And a few students, like award winners do frequently, ignored the music and continued talking. Here were our topics:
  • Describe a moment in your life when you laughed so hard that you cried, had a drink come out your nose or peed your pants.
  • If you could start your life over from birth, what is the one thing you would change about yourself?
  • What is the one thing you can’t live without?

Laida: I had a friend who was very, very funny. He could make anyone laugh about anything. He got along with everybody. One time, we were driving somewhere, to the beach I think, and he was telling me jokes and I was laughing so hard that we had to pull over on the highway so I could use the bathroom! The car only had two doors and my friend was a big guy. It took so much for me to climb over him and out the door so I could get outside. I felt so much better after I relieved myself. He was so funny. I miss my friend.

Keiko: If I could start my life over, I would learn how to dance when I was a child. Dance in Japan is traditionally very slow and not like it is here in the United States. I love dancing now, but I’m probably not the best dancer and I think it’s because I never learned how.

Yumiko: If I could start my life over, I would learn how to snowboard as a child. I think it’s easier to pick up hobbies like these in your childhood. I just went snowboarding last week and twisted my leg. Snowboarding is very fun but difficult to learn.

Haruna: If I could start my life over, I would have liked English when I was in junior high school. When in junior high, I hated English and didn’t try very hard. But now, I like English so I enjoy coming to class.

Has anyone ever told you a story that seemed like it’s gone on forever? What did you do or say to get him or her to “wrap it up?”

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