Thursday, 23 February 2012

Project 366: Carnival and other eccentricities

ELT CLIL EFL ESL Carnival photos, ideas, resources
Images by C. Pang. See here for more.
Carnival! Some like it, some don't, but whether you do or don't, you'll most likely associate it with colour, music, fun, dance, Brazil, etc.

So, what's my lesson idea this time?

Aim: Mainly to get the students speaking!
Level: Any
Language: Emergent
Length: As long as a string
Material: Your students' photos

Ask your students to bring in a photo (preferably taken by themselves) associated with carnival, or even better, have them send it to you digitally. Collect them and prepare a mosaic like the image above. You can also set them a webquest task: find out where in the world they have carnival, when they celebrate it and how it got started in the first place.

You can arrange the students in pairs, groups or you can work individually - it depends on the size of your class.

Each student chooses one image. They describe it without saying which. The others try to guess.

Then, they're asked why they chose that particular photo.

Further discussion: Do they like carnival? Why? Why not? Do they dress up? What disguises have they used? What was the latest? What was their favourite? What's the most popular costume this year? What's the most popular ever, in their opinion? For example, in the Canaries, I think the most popular is men dressing up as women, but in a vulgar and grotesque manner: one of the images in the mosaic is a typical case. Oversized bust, badly painted lips, torn stockings, and generally, they make sure they can be easily identified as men: beard, moustache, hairy legs, etc.

What other festivals are there in which people dress in fancy costume? Do they (the students) participate in these? Why do people like to disguise themselves? What about safety in these occasions? Are there usually problems? Have they ever been involved in one?

Written task: Write about their choice of image as discussed in class.

Have you got any other great ideas?


  1. Hello Chiew,

    I really love the way you chose to approach #project366!! And this is another great practical post.

    Actually I did have a carnival lesson a week ago. That was a spontaneous idea and had to fit the Travel topic suggested by our curriculum, so how great it was is not for me to say))

    I wrote FEBRUARY on the board and asked them to shoot any associations they had with this month, then I lead them to think of it on a global scale, then one last hint of Italy uncovered the idea of a carnival. We thought of another places around the globe where there are carnivals this month. I pre-printed 4 images of carnivals in different places (Venice, Rio, Indonesia and Germany). Four groups picked up these pics at random and were to brainstorm a whole trip to the place, with key ideas (phrases) covering every detail of a journey starting from preparation and finishing with the things they'd buy there and take home. The groups were high level so emergent language was easy to drag out. One group presented their trip step by step and others added more ideas to each step, thus creating a full picture. Nice ideas such as uploading a map to a GPS app instead of taking a paper map came up, and many others.
    Ah, we also discussed types of travel and reasons for every particular type (such as event tourism for visiting specific events, etc)
    It was a good lesson, with lots of discussions and heaps of vocab, which they took picture of from the board and uploaded to our group in vkontakte (Russian FB).

  2. Hi Anna,
    Thanks for telling us about your lesson - sounds like a great one! And very high-tech, too! I know most people would do carnival lessons before the event, but I thought doing it after has its points, too. That about preparing the trip is fab too, just like what I suggested to Betty on iTDi on FB on reading ideas.
    It's great when you hit the students' G-spot ;) and they just run away with ideas!
    You rock!

  3. Hola, os he conocido a través de los Premios Espiral 2012. Ahora ya os sigo. Si queréis podéis hacer lo mismo con mi blog Educació i les TIC

    Espero que os guste. Salutaciones!


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