Tuesday, 9 September 2008


So, I want to show movies and tv shows and play music in my class. Anyone have any ideas?

I want to use mostly recent stuff so that they can be relatively up to date on new stuff.

They are 15 years old, so it should be appropriate for their age. It should also be appropriate for school.

When it comes to songs, I would prefer if they were pretty straight forward as to what they are about without a lot of symbolism and allusions. And preferably have a catchy tune and be easy to sing along with.


kimmieb said...

si don't know why, but i just thought of the movie, bend it like beckham :P i remember when i was in china, there seemed to be a lot of interest in soccer... *shrug*
disney is always a good idea too ;)

Casey said...

So I guess, "I Kissed a Girl" by Katy Perry might be out of the question music wise? haha. Juuust kidding, I've got all sorts of suggestions (sorry this is three days later).

Movies (especially if you want current ones) are a little complicated in terms of their age and keeping it current. I'd suggest High School Musical, but it depends on whether or not you want to give a view of american high school life that even americans don't live up to (as much as I wish my day would randomly break out into song all the time). The 15 year old demographic is hard to suggest a lot of things for, unless you want to oversex them or talk down to them and pretend they assume babies come from kissing and singing (the option which, I'm sure, would be more appropriate for school, but might lose their attention). If you're willing to go back in time a little, films like ET, The Wizard of OZ, Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters, Dead Poets Society, Little Miss Sunshine, Forrest Gump (would be a great mini-glimpse of American history too), The Sixth Sense are great classics. On second thought, a few of the last ones maybe include partial nudity, so I'd watch them and double check first. God, no wonder they barely showed us really good movies in school, haha. Even some more recent Pixar movies might be cute and still hold their interest (without delving into the Disney Princess culture/psychosis), like Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Monsters Inc, etc. Maybe Shrek? I'd suggest Harry Potter, but the Wizard vocab might be a little too much, so for fantasy type stuff that's explainable I'd stick with ET or Wizard of Oz.

Depending on how current you want to be with your music, I've got different suggestions. To stay in the current pop (as in billboard charts) realm: "So What" by Pink, "Forever" by Chris Brown, "American Boy" by Estelle featuring Kayne West (give those lyrics a check, don't think there's anything inappropriate but there very well maybe), might give them a taste of current popular American music. That doesn't include a whole lot of the "good music" I listen to, since most it gets a little too heavy into symbolism (that and/or references to sex/drinking/drugs seems to be a recurring theme). For straight forward, pop is probably the best way to go. Early Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson, My Love by Justin Timberlake, pretty much any boy/girl band of the 90s (maybe not so heavy on the Spice Girls though, since even I don't know what a zigazigah is), ooh even Will Smith if you want some more rap that isn't filthy. Now that I think of it, Coldplay's Viva la Vida is a possibility too, it has a few mentions of things like "roll the dice," but nothing that seems too hard to explain in a different way. And maybe some stuff from John Mayer's new album, Continuum. While Waiting on the World to Change is not my favorite, it might be the most straight forward message. Oh! And Love Song by Sara Bareilles might be good.

Howeeeever, if you're willing to span some more time with music: The Beatles (are an obvious choice), The Beach Boys, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, ABBA, Aretha Franklin, are all good choices with many clean options.

Oh god, I'm sorry this is becoming a novel... ok, ok, TV Shows. If you can find some episodes of game shows online, like "Deal or No Deal" "Jeopardy!" "Cash Cab" "Wheel of Fortune" "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" - it might be fun to show them what our game show culture is. Also, reality shows have to be thrown in the mix, since our society is obsessed with them and it would be a shame for them not to see one. Of course, the reason we're so obsessed with them is because people act crazy and drink and curse and have sex. Some of the safest ones are Project Runway and most Bravo stuff, and you might be able to find some tamer episodes of The Real World, Big Brother, or Survivor (since they encompass the beginnings of american reality tv). Oh good lord, my Super Sweet 16 would give them a horrifying look into how spoiled some americans are too.

As far as shows I actually watch and like, Friends, Will and Grace, Dawson's Creek, House, The Office are good and offer plenty of tame episodes. The Daily Show (which has its episodes for free on comedycentral.com) or the Colbert Report might be fun to watch and laugh at the pathetic freak show that is American gov't, but that might be too much.

In general, probably a good rule of thumb for a lot of stuff in terms of hoping it won't be too racy is to go back a bit in time (maybe not always true for music, but older movies tend to be a little more prudish yet still entertaining for adults-to-be than movies nowadays)

Ok, ok, I have to stop, I'll just keep going and that would be too much for both of us.

Heather said...

Jeez Casey lol at least try and show them something that is NOT horrifying about Americans :-)