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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

ESL How the Grinch Stole Christmas

One of the most loved Christmas stories of all time in North America is the story How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  

Although Dr. Seuss, a well-known children's writer, originally wrote the story for children, it has messages for young and old. 

The story and the animated video that is now shown on television every year  at Christmas time continues to delight millions of of people whether they are watching it for the first time, or the 30th time. 

Since many of you have time off from classes, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to watch an important  piece of North American culture.  

It doesn't matter if you live in Australia, Europe, Asia or  the Middle East, you will still enjoy learning a little about a series of Christmas messages that apply to every culture or religion. 

If you plan to live in North America, or if you already live here, it is even more important  that you know about this  story by Dr. Seuss. The more you can mention about it in casual conversation, the more Canadian or American you will seem.

Watch the video as many times as you need to know and answer the comprehension questions below. 

Part 2:  Speaking Activity: Acting out the Story  

Readers Theatre How the Grinch Stole Christmas
This is an easier version of the story written like a small play. It is perfect for students to use as a play in the classroom. The roles are broken down so that everyone can have  one , two or even three parts.
  1. Assign roles to different students and have the practice in groups. ( If you have a large class, you could divide them into two or three groups) 
  2. Start with having them read their lines normally, but fluently, without hesitating or stumbling. 
  3. Go over the pronunciation of different words.
  4. Now, have the students put the maximum amount of expression in their voice. Practice as often as they need. 
  5.  Have them memorize their lines and be able to repeat them in the correct order. 
  6. Perform the mini play in class

How the Grinch Stole Christmas Transcript 
This is the complete transcript of the whole cartoon. It is an excellent way to practice speaking, while watching the movie. 

Activity 1: Individual Practice 

  1. Click on the link and print out the transcript.
  2. BEFORE you speak, watch the cartoon again and mark all the stressed words, pauses and complete stops.
  3. As you listen, whisper along with the speaker and try to enunciate every word and syllable the speaker stresses.  If you have problems, stop the player and do it as many times as you need to. 
  4. Finally, read along loudly as you listen to the cartoon. 
  5. Make sure you open your mouth as wide as you can in order to let your tongue get the right place in your mouth to make the correct sound. 
  6. Try not to go too fast.  Fluency does not mean speaking fast. It means being able to sound natural and comfortable about saying the words, phrases and sentence

Activity 2: Classroom Practice 

  1. Follow the same procedure as with the play above. 
  2. Set up three or four groups.
  3. Assign roles or sections of the transcript to different students in the group.
  4. Follow the procedures in activity 1 or the play activity so that students become comfortable with the rhythm and stress  and with speaking the lines. 
  5. Have students add expression in their voices, just as the speaker in the transcript does. 
  6. Perform the whole story to the class. 

Part 3: Speaking and Writing Questions: 

1. Dr. Seuss wrote How the Grinch Stole Christmas to point out how the media and 
    marketing  have created a holiday focused on spending money to buy things.  

   Discuss how has the media changed holidays such as Christmas, New Years, Chinese 
   New Year, Valentine's Day, Mother;s Day etc.   and how they are celebrated. 

2. What role does Cindy Lou play in the story?  What does she do to change the Grinch? 

3. The Grinch has many  negative  characteristics.  He experiences a crisis and then     changes for the better. Discuss how he changes. 
4. What is the message of the story? 

5.  Would you write a different ending to the story? Explain why or why not. If yes, how 
     would you end it? 

6.   Do you know anyone who had some bad personality characteristics, but who  became a 
     better person after something happened to him or her. This could be you, or anyone 
     you know. Tell what happened, and why this person chang

Part 4: 

1.  Listen to the song without  looking at the gap fill. Try to write down all the negative
     words that describe Mr. Grinch. 

2.  Listen as many times as you need and fill in the gaps. 

3.  Sing-along . This is a great song to practice enunciating. Make sure you open your 
     mouth as wide as you can in order to let your tongue get to the right place. Sing as 
     slowly as the singer. 


Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. 

This  will include discussion / writing questions as well as other fun activities aimed at adults and children. 

Share the love ! 

If you enjoyed this post, invite your friends and family to join in the fun, or post this to Facebook or any other social site you belong to in your own country.    

What are some of YOUR favourite Christmas songs and activities that you would like to see here? Why do you like them?  

Leave a comment and I will try to post them.  

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