Leigh Davidson Leigh Davidson

Privacy and Celebrities
Upper-Intermediate to Advanced level


In this lesson Ss will think about and discuss the nature of being famous and a celebrity, and why the media cannot seem to separate a private celebrity's life from their public one. The WC will debate and decide where the line should be defined between private and public, specifically concerning people who's very job requires them to be in the spotlight. Activities including a pre-listening exercise, which will analyze some music videos and associated lyrics, and two reading tasks will all be utilized to create scaffolding for the main productive activity--a role playing scenario between paparazzi and celebrities.


Abc Paparazzi Music Videos

Main Aims

  • To provide Ss with an opportunity for freer speaking practice within the context of celebrity and the privacy issues resulting from fame.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide Ss with the opportunity for gist and detailed listening, while completing the pre-listening exercise.


Warmer/Lead-in (20-25 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Write on the WB CELEBRITIES. "Has anyone ever seen a celebrity in person? What did you do?" Share the T's encounters with celebrities while working as a waitress, at a French Bistro, in New York City (Keanu Reeves, Paul Giamatti, Glenn Close, and John McEnroe). Show the WC some pictures of some famous celebrities--specifically ones who have been in the news recently. Elicit from the Ss which of these famous people they are familiar with? "Who are these people and why are they famous? Do you know anything personal about these famous people--anything about the private lives of these famous people?" Elicit from the Ss who they think is the most famous person in Turkey? Why? Ask the same question for in the USA and for the globe. Show the Ss a picture of who is the most famous person in the USA and for the globe (Donald Trump). Elicit a response from the Ss. Are they shocked or not? Have the Ss discuss and answer, in pairs, which celebrity they would like to meet in person and what would they do if they could spend a day with this person? Bring the pairs together for WC FB. Elicit from the WC if there are any celebrities they don't like and ask for the rationale. Turn the question of fame and celebrity to the Ss. "Who here would like to be famous? Why or why not?" In their pairs, have the Ss come up with 4 advantages and 4 disadvantages to being famous. Following discussion bring the groups together for WC FB. Write some of the Ss answers on the WB. Wrap up the section with this thought: "If you could influence people like a celebrity does, how would you use it for the benefit of the planet?"

Exposure (15-17 minutes) • To provide a model of production expected in coming tasks through reading

Divide the WC into pairs and have them read an article on the 'Private and Public Lives of Celebrities.' Instruct the Ss to list the reasons, provided by the article, on why the media should invade the privacy of public figures' lives and, for the opposing opinion, why even celebrities deserve privacy disconnected from the public. Bring the WC together for FB. Focus on the paragraph about celebrities as role models. "Do you think famous people should set an example for their fans? Do they have a responsibility towards their fans? Why or why not? Should celebrities behave appropriately at all times because they are so influential and considered role models by some people?" Ask the WC the following topic-expanding questions: 1) "Why do you think the public, and the media, are so fascinated with celebrities and everything that they do (both publicly and in private)?" 2) "Should celebrities be allowed to have private lives? Why [or why not]?"

Exposure (15-17 minutes) • To provide a model of production expected in coming tasks through reading

Write on the WB TABLOID. Elicit from the WC the definition of a 'tabloid' newspaper or magazine. If Ss are unfamiliar, have them look at some of the tabloid covers from the '6 Tabloid Topics' HO. Elicit from the WC if they have something similar in Turkey. Elicit from the Ss their thoughts on tabloid newspapers. --Do they like reading them? --Do they think they are disgusting and intrusive/invasive on people's private lives? --Do they think they are legitimate sources for journalism? --Do they think they are an acceptable form of entertainment for the readership? --Or, do they have no opinion on the matter? Divide the WC into pairs and have them read about the 6 topics that tabloid newspapers write about ('6 Tabloid Topics' HO). Also instruct the pairs to match the tabloid covers (back page) with the possible tabloid topic(s) that the cover headline is advertising. Following PW discussion, elicit from the Ss first which of the 6 type of stories they would be interested in reading and why. Focus specifically on 1, 2, and 5 (scandal, money, and royalty). Can the Ss think of any tabloid stories, related to scandal, money, and royalty, that have been written about celebrities in Turkey and/or around the globe. Write some famous tabloid headlines on the WB, related to these topic types. Try to have the Ss guess the story connected with these headlines. --NEVER LAID A GLOVE ON ME (Michael Jackson's alleged pedophile trials) --DIANA DEAD (the death of Princess Diana) --BRITNEY HITS ROCK BOTTOM (on the meltdown of Britney Spears in 2007)

Productive Task: Song and Music Video Analysis (18-20 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Write on the WB PAPARAZZI. Refer the Ss to the pre-listening exercise (4 music videos on privacy and paparazzi issues). Elicit a definition from the WC, based on the music videos, of what they think a 'paparazzi' is. Elicit a general response from the Ss about the music videos. Which ones did they like and which ones didn't they like, and why. Are they familiar with the lives of any of the celebrities in the music videos? Do they know why all of these celebrities share a common dislike of paparazzi and the press (and the public)? Distribute the lyrics HO ('Songs About Paparazzi') for all of the songs discussed. Go through and watch Michael Jackson's music video ("Leave Me Alone"), instructing the WC to follow along with the lyrics and analyze all of the imagery present in the music video. Following a viewing of the music video, discuss the questions posed in the pre-listening task. 1) "How does Michael Jackson portray his fame and being famous? Is his song (and the imagery in his music video) expressing positive or negative experiences with fame and being a celebrity?" --Also focus on the multiple imagery in Michael Jackson's music video. Elicit from the WC the meaning (and message) behind some of the most poignant examples (e.g. Elizabeth Taylor, the Elephant Man's bones, the pet chimpanzee 'Bubbles,' and Michael Jackson as a roller coaster ride). 2) "What is the general message, about fame, that all of the songs share? Do you agree or disagree with that message?"

Productive Task: Paparazzi and Celebrity Activity (18-20 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Divide the WC in half. Half of the class will be paparazzi and the other half will role-play famous Turkish celebrities. Gather the celebrities together and the paparazzi together. Provide the celebrity group with a HO, including a list of common, recognizable Turkish celebrities. Instruct the celebrity group to stick their chosen celebrity name on their head and discuss amongst each other how to avoid answering some very personal questions from the paparazzi. Provide the paparazzi with some suggested inappropriate, personal questions to ask the celebrities. Instruct the paparazzi group to think about questions that they want to ask their celebrity(ies) (they can use the HO as a guide), and what techniques they are going to use to try to force the celebrity to answer their questions. Following preparation and discussion, have the groups co-mingle and interact. Bring the WC together for FB and discussion. --How did the celebrities feel about the questions that were asked by the paparazzi? Did they ever feel uncomfortable and/or upset with the paparazzi? --What technique(s) did they use to avoid answering any of inappropriate and uncomfortable questions? --What answers did the paparazzi get from their celebrity(ies)? --Did they ever feel a negative reaction/response from the celebrity(ies)? Why? --Which question inspired that negative reaction/response?

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