Are You Afraid of the Dark? Part 1: The Strange and Mysterious
Upper-Intermediate to Advanced level
To provide Ss with the opportunity to practice and use opinionated and persuasive language while discussing strange and mysterious events that happened, or were purported to have happened, in the past.
To introduce Ss to some collocations and phrasal expressions that are commonly used when communicating and expressing one's surprise/astonishment at a situation and/or event.
Procedure (86-100 minutes)
Write on the WB "THE MYSTERIOUS AND UNEXPLAINED." Write underneath the header the following strange and mysterious events, phenomena, and urban legends: "AREA 51, BIGFOOT, THE LOCH NESS MONSTER, BLOODY MARY, ATLANTIS." Try to elicit from the Ss their knowledge of these myths and stories and whether or not they believe they are real--or can be real. Write the WB, beside your strange list: "STRANGE PHENOMENA, UNEXPLAINABLE EVENTS, and URBAN LEGENDS/MYTHS." Clarify the differences between strange phenomenona (e.g. lights in the sky, interpreted as alien spacecraft), unexplainable events (e.g. moments of dejavu; lights flickering in your house), and urban legends/myths (e.g. the story of Bloody Mary; Slenderman; the Hook; the murderer in the backseat; humans can lick too; aren't you glad you didn't turn on the lights?). Show the WC a dramatized interpretation of an urban legend ('Humans Can Lick Too;' [4:30]). Elicit from the Ss if they are familiar with any urban legends or myths that are connected to Turkey and Turkish culture (e.g Jinn and Cuce). Elicit from the Ss their thoughts on mysteries, unexplainable phenomenon, and urban legends and myths. "These stories exist in almost all cultures, since societies have been telling stories. Why do you think we love these stories so much and why do they persist, even when scientific evidence proves them wrong?"
Divide the Ss into groups and distribute the HO on 'Mysteries, Problems, and Oddities.' Have the groups read the strange and mysterious events together and identify which type of event each story is. Bring the WC together for FB discussion. Write on the WB: 1) AMAZING?; 2) DISGRACEFUL?; 3) DISTURBING?; 4) HARD TO BELIEVE?; 5) RIDICULOUS?; 6) SPOOKY?; 7) SUSPICIOUS?; and 8) WEIRD? Elicit from the WC their thoughts on these mysterious and odd situations. Which ones do they consider 'disturbing'? Which ones do they consider 'spooky'? Etc. Elicit the rationale behind the adjective(s) that they choose. Elicit from the WC some real life examples, to the HO's strange events stories, that the Ss have personally experienced or heard from a friend/family member/etc. Write on the WB: GHOSTS (and/or Jin), MIRACLES, PREMONITIONS, TELEPATHY, and SUPERNATURAL POWERS (such as telekinesis). Elicit from the WC who believes (or doesn't believe) in these unexplainable phenomena. Elicit from the Ss what they think happens during MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCES--especially on the open waters. Highlight the Bermuda Triangle and the mystery surrounding that place (T Note: E of Florida and N of Cuba and Puerto Rico).
Write on the WB the following "EXPRESSIONS & COLLOCATIONS," used when discussing and describing strange, mysterious, and scary events: "A bolt out of the blue; Frighten/Scare someone out of their wits; Not know what hit you; Speak/Talk of the devil; Appear out of thin air; On the spur of the moment; Drop a bombshell." Try to elicit each phrase's meaning from the WC first, before providing it.
Write on the WB UNSOLVED MYSTERIES. Elicit from the WC an explanation of this term and any stories of any 'unsolved mysteries' that they would like to share. Divide the WC into groups and inform them that they are going to read about 4 unsolved mysteries. Instruct the Ss to respond to the mystery and try to solve it. "What do you think about each strange and mysterious situation? What do you think really happened in each situation?" Distribute the HO on 'Unsolved Mysteries.' Following GW discussion, bring the WC together for FB. Guide the Ss to the second half of the activity and instruct them to discuss and answer the continued discussion questions. Bring the groups together for WC FB.
Refer the Ss to the pre-lesson reading task on Countess Elizabeth Bathory. "Why was the Countess Elizabeth Bathory considered a vampire? What disturbing things did she do to suggest that she 'lived off of other people's blood'?" Discuss 'Vlad the Impaler' with the WC as well. Try to elicit from the Ss what they know about this historical figure, including the reason behind why he is considered the original vampire, 'Count Dracula.' Mention the movie on 'Kara Murat Pasha.' Refer the Ss to the pre-lesson reading task on the 'Bell Witch.' "Why was the ghost/witch given the name 'Bell Witch'? How would you feel if you experienced some of the unexplainable events described in this article?" Elicit from the Ss their thoughts on why scary, supernatural creatures (such as witches, ghosts, werewolves, vampires, zombies, etc.) exist in so many cultures' tales and myths. "What is it about these creatures that is so universal/cross-cultural/global?" Write on the WB the following SUPERNATURAL CREATURES: WITCHES, WEREWOLVES, GHOSTS, JINN, FAIRIES, MERMAIDS, VAMPIRES, ZOMBIES, SHAPE SHIFTERS, EXTRADIMENSIONAL BEINGS, and SLENDERMAN. Have Ss, in groups, discuss which of these things/creatures they think are real, and to what extent do they think that they really exist. Bring the groups back together for WC FB. Show the Ss some creepy CCTV footage of 'ghosts' caught on camera (Wingate Hotel Ghost; [2:30]) and lead a WC response. Are the Ss scared, after watching this footage? "Do you think this is real footage of a ghost caught on camera, or is it just a hoax?"
Group the Ss into debate partners and introduce the WC to the proceeding lesson's debate group project. Have Ss select the topic they will debate [for or against]. Discuss the rules, requirements, and assessment criteria for the group project. --The debate starts with the 'pro side' (the Ss in favor of the debate topic). --The debate starts with an OPENING STATEMENT: what side of the debate are you arguing for and what is the main point of your argument? --The REBUTTAL is the next step. The pro side will argue against the key points presented by the con side and vice versa. --The debate ends with a CLOSING STATEMENT for both sides. Focus on one or two key points of your argument. --The debate should last between 6-8 MINUTES (approximately 1 minute per Ss per debate stage).