Catherine Alexander (409-6583)
Friday, August 11, 2006
UNIT Wicked Cool English!
EXPECTATIONS ESL Level 5 (ESLEO)
Strand: Oral and Visual Communication
1) Developing Media Knowledge and Skills:
i. “explain the relationship between media forms and their intended
ii. analyze media productions to explain how language can be used to de-
emphasize or exaggerate the importance of information […]”
2) Using English in Socially and Culturally Appropriate Ways:
i. “analyze social contexts and adapt their style of speaking to suit the
setting and the audience
GOALS FOR To analyze how metaphors are used in modern English vernacular.
THIS UNIT To analyze how stereotypes can be challenged in the media, specifically
To understand how humour can be used through metaphors.
To understand when to use and how to use some certain vernacular words
in English (e.g. dude, man, wassup, I dunno, etc.)
LEARNING Discussion around vernacular words and sayings (not swear words. This should be
ACTIVITIES & specified; however, if the students are in ESL 5, probably this is not necessary).
PEDAGOGICAL The movie Clueless.
TIME REQUIRED 4 class periods of 75 minutes.
5 class periods of 60 minutes.
STUDENTS’ In ESL 1-4, mainstream English classes and other subjects in English, grades 9-10,
PRIOR possibly 11.
LESSON PLAN 1) Engage the students as they walk in the classroom by speaking to them
DAY 1: using the vernacular: “Yo wassup, guys? How’s it going? Park your
fannies in yo proper seats and take out a utensil of learning, and sketch
What is vernacular down yo thoughts to the bellwork, yo.” Continue talking to them like this
language and how as they enter, engage in short conversations, and ask as many students as
do you use it? possible, “Hey man, what’s a metaphor, dawg?” etc. Have these
vernacular words written on the board too.
2) Access prior knowledge through Bellwork on the board: What do you
think the following metaphors in speech mean? Jot down your own
English translation for each, then discuss them with the person next to
a) “Hey dude, I got the 411 on next week’s assignment.”
b) “Hello there. May I have your digits?”
c) “Wassup! How’s it hanging? What’s shaking?”
d) “Go out with him? As if!”
3) Share the ideas together. Write them on the board. Offer insight into
origin, hidden meaning, or various meanings to certain colloquial words.
Explore: encourage questions about other words.
4) Introduce the movie Clueless. Write information on the board, and have
students who have already seen it add information too:
a. Actors and actresses and the characters they play, and who each
b. Setting, general storyline, teenaged problems.
c. Significance of this movie at the time it was released (but do not
specify on the stereotypes yet, but hint at them).
5) Language: give handout “Clueless” (see appendix):
a. In groups of 2 or 3, read through each scene on the page together,
aloud to each other to hear how it sounds. Play with intonation,
speed, and body language while reading some of the sayings or
b. Highlight or star the words that you still have difficulty
understanding from the definition. Teacher explains, but
emphasizes how context is important, and that they need to look
out for those new words as the movie progresses to them
understand the context.
c. The teacher assigns a different scene to each group, and the
group must explore and explain the metaphors in those scenes to
the rest of the class.
6) Begin movie with a couple of lights on so that the students can read their
vocabulary sheets. STOP the movie before each new scene begins (as indicated on
the handout) to give them a chance to re-read the new vocabulary words coming
DAY 2: 1) Bellwork: What words/images pop into your head immediately when you read
the following words? Write down exactly what pops into your head the second you
Identifying read each one!
Stereotypes and a. blonde
Challenging Them. b. rich
d. a Beverly Hills high school
2) Teacher: You take out some pictures you’ve cut out of magazines. You pull
them out and have the class vote on which picture best matches the image they
have of each word: e.g. for blonde pull out a picture of Paris Hilton, Hillary
Clinton, and Brad Pit. Which one best fits their personal image? And continue
challenging their stereotypes.
3) In groups of 2 or 3:
a) discuss how Clueless is challenging some of these stereotypes so far in the
movie, and how.
b) Predict: jot down a few predictions as to how Clueless will challenge these
stereotypes more. For those students who have already seen the movie,
have them recall and share their ideas with their group.
c) Share the ideas as a class.
4) Continue the movie from yesterday’s class, stopping it before each scene for a
DAY 3: 1) Bellwork: Write down the top 5 favourite new vernacular words you have
learned so far from Clueless and explain why you would like to try to use
them on a regular basis. Volunteers may share them with the class.
2) Discuss: questions about what has been watched so far, about metaphors,
the vernacular, or stereotypes?
3) Finish the movie this period.
4) CULMINATING ACTIVITY: Assign dramatic interpretations (see
5) Assess group work activity (teacher and peer) and evaluate using the
rubric (see appendix).
DAY 4: Presentations of culminating activity.
MODIFICATIONS Practice, reflection, and discussion (bellwork)
TO ESL Engage them by using the vernacular yourself. Put the words in the
print so that they can read the words as you say them.
Discussion of the origin and use of some of these words.
Engage them in questions and discussion about vernacular words that
they have found confusing in the past.
Handout of words in the movie: read over and explore them before
the movie, read along during the movie, use in the culminating
Subtitles in English.
Stereotypes: pictures to enhance visualization of the words, and to
challenge their perspectives in a North American context (e.g.
blondes are smart, women can be Senators, etc).
Culminating activity gives the students the opportunity to practice,
rehearse, and execute the vernacular amongst themselves in a creative
ASSESSMENT Group work (teacher observation and peer assessment using the
Group Pie Chart).
Culminating Activity with rubric. Students will receive individual
marks with consideration of their peer assessment with the Group Pie
(on next page)
1. Handout: Clueless
2. Handout: Culminating Activity
3. Handout: Culminating Activity’s Rubric
Starring Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Paul Rudd, Brittany Murphy, Breckin Meyer.
OPENING SCENE: 21. “…babe-drought at my school”: there was a drought
1. Clueless: to be without a clue, to miss the point, to (no rain), dryness, lack of hot teachers.
have no understanding of reality. 22. “…screaming for a makeover”: desperately needs
2. “I actually live a way normal life”: really someone to help her improve her appearance altogether.
3. “You were hardly even married to his mother”: barely, 23. “Phat! Did you write that?”: very cool.
for a short time, not really a marriage.
MR. HALL’S CLASS:
WALKING INTO SCHOOL: 24. “…16 tardies to work off”: tardy (n) is a late (to
4. “I must give her snaps for her courageous fashion class); tardiness (adj) is to be late.
effort”: snaps from her fingers like African-Americans 25. “Travis Birkenstock”: obviously the son of the
often do to compliment women. Birkenstock company, the most famous and expensive
5. The names Dionne and Cher: named after Dionne sandal company in the world.
Warwick (a famous black singer) and Cher (you know
Cher) whose careers have dried up since the 60s and 70s. THE CAR: 26. “You try driving in platforms.”: boots
6. That Ike and Tine Turner movie: the story of famous with a very high and thick heel, like worn in the 1960s
singer Tina Turner and her abusive husband, Ike. and ‘70s.
7. “You Jeepin’ behind my back?”: Have you been
fooling around with another man in your Jeep? WITH MS. GUIST AND PE CLASS:
8. “Speaking of vehicular sex”: Speaking of having sex 27. “We gotta book it”: we’ve got to hurry to make it PE
in cars… class on time.
9. “I’m outtie”: I’m out of here, see you later, I’m going. 28. “I feel like bailing.” I don’t feel like going to PE
10. “As if””: Whatever! No way! class.
29. “I feel like such a heffer.” A cow.
MR. HALL’S DEBATE CLASS: 30. “Is that a photo op or what?” a perfect photo
11. R.S.V.P.: Respondez-vous, s’il vous plait, please opportunity.
respond. 31. “He’s getting her digits.” Her phone number;
12. "totally buggin’": totally panicking, moving around numbers = digits.
erratically like a little bug.
13. “The buzz on Christian is that his parents have joint LUNCH WITH TY:
custody…”: the news, the buzzing of people speaking, 32. “…to be fried all day.” Burnt out from smoking too
like many bees; his parents are divorced but split their much marijuana all the time.
time with Christian every 6 months. 33. “I have never had straight friends before.”¨: friends
who do not consume drugs and alcohol on a daily basis.
THE HALLWAY AFTER DEBATE CLASS:
14. “I’m toast”: I’m burned, in trouble. CHER’S HOUSE 34. “How about sterilization?”: an
15. “I totally choked”: did not do as well as I could have, operation that will prevent her from reproducing.
16. “Mr. Hall was way harsh”: so hard, super nasty, THE PARTY:
unreasonable. 35: “Twin Peaks experience”: Twin Peaks was an
American sci-fi show, pre-X Files, but similar; she is
CHER’S HOUSE: experiencing something unusual and unnatural.
17. “Isn’t my mom a Betty?”: referring to Betty Davis, a 36. “Mel Gibson”: played Shakespeare’s Hamlet in a
famous actress from the 40s-60s who was very famous movie version.
sophisticated and classy.
18. Kenny G: a musician who plays sappy and cheesy THE LOCKER ROOM:
love songs with a soprano saxophone. 37. “Let’s blow off 7th and 8th”: Let’s skip 7th and 8th
periods at school.
CHER’S AND DIONNE’S IDEA: 38. “…and see the new Christian Slater.”: a new movie
19. “Here’s the 411 on Mr. Hall”: the information; to call starring the handsome actor Christian Slater.
for information on the telephone in North America, you
20. “boinkfest”: sex.
THE RESTAURANT: 59. “Like Josh thinking I was mean was making me
39. “Luke Perry”: played the character Dylan on Beverly postal.”: making me crazy, like post office workers go
Hills 90210. crazy (e.g. Newman from Seinfeld).
40. “The P.C. term is…”: the Politically Correct term. 60. “My bad!”: my mistake! My error! I’m sorry!
61. The DMV: Department of Motor Vehicles.
MR. HALL’S CLASS: 62. “Oh, bummer.”: too bad, that’s terrible,
41. “Nice stems.” Nice legs: a metaphor for flower disappointing.
42. “I thought it reeked.” It stunk, it was terrible. CHER AND TY:
43. “I dug it.” I liked it. Past tense of the vernacular 63. “I feel like ralphing”: I feel like vomiting.
term, to dig (e.g. I dig chocolate.) 64. “I don’t think you mesh well together.”: mix well,
44. “…the heavy clambakes.”: big parties. work well, go together.
65. “I could feel the chunks start to rise up in my throat.”
CHER’S HOUSE: Chunks of vomit.
45. “Do you think the death of Sammy Davis left an
opening in the Rat Pack?” Group of bad-boy singers CHER THINKING:
from the 40s and 50s: Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., 66. “This Josh and Ty thing was wiggin’ me more than
Dean Martin, and Jerry Lewis. anything.”: upsetting her.
67. “OK, OK, so he’s kind of a Baldwin.”: handsome
THE PARTY: like one of the Baldwin actors: Alec, William, and
46: “No, she’s a full on Monet.” Like one of Claude Steven Baldwin.
Monet’s paintings (French impressionist artist).
47. “Hagsville.” Super ugly. AT HOME WITH DAD:
48. “They’re charging for brewskies.”: beer. 68. “…but I feel wretched.”: awful, tortured.
69. “He’s one of those do-gooder types”: someone who
WITH JOSH: always does good things for people and the community.
49. “Do you know what would be so dope?”: So cool.
50. “…sometimes I have more fun vege-ing out then PISMO BEACH RELIEF:
when I go partying.”: lying around like a vegetable. 70: “Proper!”: appropriately cool.
51. “…brother-type tagging along?” following her
around. CHER AND TY:
71. “I have been going down a shame spiral.”: Cher’s
IN THE CAR: 52. capricious: impulsive. shame has been getting worse and worse because of their
AT THE MALL:
53. “I don’t know where she meets these Barneys.” Like CHER’S HOUSE:
Barney Rubble from The Flintstones: short, stocky, ugly, 72. “Now we’re screwed!” ruined, in a big mess that
goofy. cannot be fixed.
54. “Carpe diem, OK?” Latin for seize the day. 73. “I’m just a ditz with a credit card?”: an airhead,
55. “Let’s get you home for some R&R.”: Rest and stupid, superficial.
THE CAFETERIA: 56. a montage: a collage, a mixture. 74. “It’s in the bag.”: She’s got it under control.
THE KITCHEN: 57. “…below Sunset.”: below Sunset
THE DRIVER’S TEST: Directed by Amy Heckerling.
58. “I had an overwhelming sense of ickiness”: feeling
bad, guilty, sorry for herself.
To practice using the vernacular with other members of your class.
To practice speaking a certain message yet changing your words appropriately for different
THE TASK: To design and perform a dramatic interpretation of a certain situation. One presentation will be
acting out the situation using the vernacular, and the other presentation will be acting out the situation using
more formal language. The characters may change, but the situation and events will remain the same for both
1) Choose a group of 3 or 4 people. You will be given 1 and a half class periods to plan and
2) Choose one of the following situations, and design two separate scripts for it. If you choose a
situation that is not on the list, then please have it approved by me first:
You, or you and a friend, are approaching your teacher or principal about a
complaint or a compliment that you have with the school. / You, or you and a friend,
are approaching your friend, or a group of friends, with a complaint or compliment
that you have about the school.
You, or you and a friend, are complaining to your parents about a certain problem
at home. / You, or you and a friend, are complaining to your friends about a certain
problem at home.
You, or you and a friend, would like to compliment a host or hostess on a wonderful
holiday party / You, or you and a friend, would like to compliment your buddy on an
awesome holiday party.
You, or you and your brother or sister, are describing an amazing fun vacation you
had with your friends. / You, or you and your brother or sister, are describing an
awesome fun wicked vacation you had with your friends.
3) Beginning writing the two scripts, paying special attention to how you need to change your
words and body language (and even costumes!) to portray your message effectively towards
your audience. Use the Clueless handout to help you with some of the vernacular vocabulary
that you can use.
4) Please use the rubric before designing the presentations. You will each get an individual mark,
and the Group Pie Charts will be taken into consideration for your final mark on this activity.
Each presentation must be over a minute long (both the vernacular and formal versions).
Each person in the group must have a speaking part.
Creativity, clarity of speech, movement, props, costumes, interaction between characters are all
Scripts do not need to be completely memorized; HOWEVER, lines should be mostly memorized, and
please avoid using sheets of paper to read from. If required, use cut up pieces of paper or cue cards.
These will NOT be marked.
Each group will need to hand in a Group Pie Chart after the presentations are performed.
CLUELESS CULMINATING ACTIVITY
4 3 2 1
Knowledge/ -demonstrates -demonstrates -demonstrates some -demonstrates limited
Understanding: thorough knowledge considerable knowledge of knowledge of
-knowledge of of linguistic forms knowledge of linguistic forms and linguistic forms and
linguistic forms and and terminology. linguistic forms and terminology. terminology.
Thinking/Inquiry: -demonstrates -demonstrates -demonstrates some -demonstrates limited
-learning strategies thorough use of considerable use of use of learning use of learning
(and following learning strategies learning strategies. strategies. strategies.
instructions -demonstrates -demonstrates -demonstrates some -demonstrates limited
accordingly) thorough competence considerable competence in using competence in using
-critical thinking skills in using critical competence in using critical thinking skills. critical thinking skills.
thinking skills. critical thinking skills.
Communication: -demonstrates -demonstrates -demonstrates some -demonstrates limited
-proficiency in oral thorough proficiency considerable proficiency in oral proficiency in oral
communication in oral proficiency in oral communication. communication.
Application: -demonstrates -demonstrates consid- -demonstrates some -demonstrates limited
-use of language and thorough competence erable competence in competence in the use competence in the use
literacy skills in new in the use of language the use of language of language and of language and
contexts and literacy skills in and literacy skills in literacy skills in new literacy skills in new
new contexts. new contexts. contexts. contexts.