Leigh Davidson Leigh Davidson

Forms of Entertainment: Television
Upper-Intermediate to Advanced level


In this lesson Ss will discuss a major form of entertainment--television. Ss will share what serials they like to consume, how often, and why, and will provide recommendations to their fellow peers, the T, and the WC. The conversation will mostly focus on popular and famous TV shows, guiding the Ss to think about and explain why so much attention is given to these specific shows. An IF TIME jigsaw productive activity will guide Ss to think about and discuss the phenomenon of reality TV. A poem-inspired short film will conclude the lesson, asking the Ss to think about TV within the context of sociological effects.


Main Aims

  • To provide Ss with an opportunity for freer speaking practice within the context of the main form of entertainment known as television.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide Ss with an opportunity to practice discussing their likes and dislikes, within the context of watching television shows, as well as providing recommendations to their fellow peers.


Warmer/Lead-In (14-16 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Write on the WB "TELEVISION." Elicit from the WC who watches TV programs, how often they watch television (how many hours and how many days in a week), and some of their favorite serials. "What TV shows are you currently watching or you have just finished?" Encourage Ss to explain why they enjoy the TV shows that they are currently watching. "Do you ever feel guilty about watching too much TV? When and why?" "Do you do anything while watching TV? (e.g. eating dinner; doing homework; washing dishes; surfing the Internet; etc.)" Elicit from Ss their relationship with TV when they were young. "Do you remember how old you were when you first started watching TV?" "Do you remember the shows you were watching when you were a child?"

Productive Task: Top 10 Television Shows of... (23-25 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Mention to the WC that you completed some online research and came up with a list of 10 of the most popular television series from 20__. Encourage the Ss to guess which series may have possibly made this list. Show the Ss a reel of posters of the top 10 television shows from last year. Try to elicit from the Ss a synopsis for 2 of the television shows in this list. Divide the WC into groups and distribute a HO with the remaining top 10 popular TV shows. Have the Ss discuss and write down the plot summary for those shows that they are familiar with--for the shows that they are unfamiliar with, have them guess what the plot summary may be, based off of the poster picture. Following GW discussion, instruct the groups to stand up and interact with each other. "Try to find someone (another group) who is familiar with the show(s) that your group knows nothing about." Bring everyone together for WC FB. Provide information, and a description, for any of the shows that none of the Ss are familiar with (or could guess properly). Elicit from those who have watched, or are familiar with, some of the shows in the activity list, which ones they enjoyed viewing and why. Elicit from the Ss which shows they would recommend, or not recommend, to their fellow peers. Why would they recommend them? Ask the Ss the following question: "Are there any shows on this list that you might be interested in watching? Why?"

Productive Task: Television Genres (15-18 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice productive skills

Write on the WB "TEACHER'S TV SHOWS" and underneath the heading, include a list of series that you are currently watching/following, or just completed watching: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) Try to elicit from the Ss which series they are familiar with and brief synopses for those TV shows. Briefly explain the synopses for those shows that the Ss are unfamiliar with. Write on the WB "TV GENRES," next to "TEACHER'S TV SHOWS" list. Elicit from the WC some common genres that television shows fall under. Write the Ss' answers on the WB. (Possible answers: Animated/Cartoon, Serial, Comedy [Sitcom], Docudrama, Drama [Soap Opera/Telenovela, Detective, Mystery, Thriller, Political, Police Procedural, Legal, Courtroom, and Medical], Documentary, Game Shows, Sports, Entertainment News, News Shows, Food and Drink [Cooking], Science Fiction, Educational, Historical, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Western, Children's Series, Variety Shows, Infomercials, Reality) Referencing this genre list, ask the Ss to try to identify which TV genre each show (from the 'Teacher's TV Shows' list) might fall under. Give an example. Highlight the similarities, and repetition, in TV genres for your shows list. "What do you think this says about your T and her TV preferences?" Instruct the WC, in groups, to share with each other their favorite TV genres and why they prefer watching those subjects over others. "Share with your fellow peers your favorite TV series, related to your favorite TV genre. Can you remember a really good episode from your favorite TV series? Why is it so memorable?" Bring the groups together for WC FB.

Productive Task: Continued WC Discussion (15-18 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Ask some general questions: --"Do your television preferences differ from your family's (from your parents and/or your siblings)? How so?" --"When you were a child, did you and your family watch any TV shows together? Did you share any specific TV experiences with your family?" (T's Answer: Star Trek: The Next Generation [TNG]; Poirot; Ghost Writer; Star Search; Law and Order) --"What are your opinions about American TV, in general? What types of shows would you say America is making? Funny? Educational? Stupid? Over-dramatic?" --"What about television preferences here in Turkey? What types of shows would you say Turkey is making?" --"What would you say are some of the most popular shows in Turkey?" --Show the series posters from your own research. "Why do you think these shows are (or were) popular? What television genres would these shows fall under?" T Answer: Reality/game shows and drama series.

IF TIME Productive Task: Reality Television (33-35 minutes) • To provide Ss with an opportunity to practice productive skills

Refer the WC back to the discussion of reality/game shows in Turkey. --"Why do you think that reality TV is so popular?" --"What is your opinion of reality TV? Do you think it is a good form of entertainment? Should we offer reality shows as a part of our TV programming?" Instruct the WC that they are going to learn about some of the popular reality TV shows in the UK in the early 2000's. "These shows were on TV between 2000 and 2004. These shows are grouped into three different categories: 'INTERACTIVE,' 'MAKEOVER,' and 'FLY-ON-THE-WALL-DOCUMENTARIES'." (write on the WB) Go through each category and verify that the WC understands the meaning. Try to elicit an example of a TV show from the Ss' explanations. Inform the WC that each group is going to receive a description of one of the reality TV shows. "Read it in your group and discuss. Based on the short description, what is the reality show about and which category would you place your reality show in? You must describe your reality show to other groups (do not 'show' them your description), so that they can fill out a form on UK Reality TV programming." After distributing the show descriptions, have the groups interact with each other and complete the HO on 'UK Reality TV Programming.' Provide at least 15-20 minutes for this activity. Once the energy level has died down, bring the WC together for FB and EC. Elicit from the WC their thoughts concerning these shows. --"Would you be interested in watching any of these reality shows? Which ones and why?" --"Do you think any of these reality shows would be popular in Turkey? Which ones and why?" --"Why do you think these reality shows were once popular in the UK?"

Productive Task: Television Poem (14-16 minutes) • To provide Ss with an opportunity to practice productive skills

Elicit from the WC a response to the following question: "What are some of the social effects of television? Do you think that TV is a good thing or a bad thing for society? Why? What is the purpose of TV?" Divided the WC into groups and inform the Ss that you are going to show them a video, inspired by a Todd Alcott poem, on television. "The title of this short film is 'Television is a drug'." Instruct the Ss to watch, and listen, and try to determine the poem's message. "Is this poem 'for' television or 'against' television?" "What is this poem trying to say about TV and its relationship with society?" 'Television is a drug.' - Beth Fulton (1:40) Vimeo.com - https://vimeo.com/10857606 Following a viewing of the video, instruct the Ss to discuss in their groups and try to answer the previous questions. Following discussion, bring the groups together for WC FB.

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