Our Educational Message

Hi, and welcome to our blog. This space is designed to share ideas and methodologies that we use to teach Turkish teenagers. In particular, there is a strong focus on ICT-ELT, which means if you like visual and technological support for your style of teaching, this blog is for you. My colleague, Brentson Ramsey, has been working alongside me for three years. He is also a big proponent of the ICT-ELT Paradigm, which means he will also be posting from his own teaching perspective on the blog.

2010 was the beginning of this new journey, and although there is no definitive ICT-ELT road map available for everyone to follow, it is exciting to explore the technological means to make teaching more fun and affective for students. Our main message is for teachers to ADOPT & ADAPT the paradigm shift for their own needs, and remember that

Sunday, 2 September 2012

The CIRCUS: is this really entertainment?

Water for Elephants (2011) starring Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon and Christopher Weitz is an excellent movie.  Set in the 1930s, it follows the lives of a travelling circus and the hardships the people had during the Great Depression.  However, I use the movie to highlight the horrible conditions and abuse animals had, and unfortunately still have, working for greedy and unethical circus owners.  The first two videos below are from the movie and show the cruelty of the circus owner towards his star act, but the third one  is actual footage from 2011 and how the abuse is still going on in circuses, all in the name of "entertainment".

Questions for your students:
  • Do you like circuses?
  • Do you think that they constitute real entertainment? 
  • Circuses were popular during the Great depression.  Why do you think that was so?
  • How does the fact many people were drawn to work such as this during the Great Depression tell you about survival and the human condition?
Now that you have thought about the circus and the Great Depression, we would now like to highlight something sinister that was going on in circuses: animal cruelty and abuse.

Questions for your students:

  • Why do people feel the need to control with violence?
  • Why do many humans think it is okay to hurt animals? 
  • Do you think there is cruelty inside all of us? 
After you have watched the circus owner show his method for control, now look at the next video where he resorts to horrific violence towards the elephant.

  • What is it that makes people take out their frustration on animals?
  • Describe why you think the owners workers allowed him to do what he did.
  • If you were there, how would you have reacted?
This last video is the most shocking.  It is so because it is actual footage taken secretly by an animal rights group.  It shows very shockingly the cruelty and abuse inflicted on an elephant who had the misfortune of being kept prisoner in a circus.

 [WARNING: the images you are about to see are truly shocking. DO NOT SHOW to children under 10] 

Although Ann the elephant has since been retired from the circus, she is no doubt in a lot of psychological pain.  Her trauma cannot simply have gone away because she is now retired.  You know that when you see an abused child or family pet, they are far from happy or normal.  They live a life of total misery every single day.  This is surely what Ann, and hundreds of other animals like her, are going through.

GRAMMAR & the use of modals:


  • What SHOULD we do to help these poor victims of abuse and cruelty?
  • What MUST we do to make changes to the laws?
  • What do we NEED TO do to get these people arrested and imprisoned?
An example sentence:

WE HAVE GOT TO start petitions and send them to politicians, so they can start the process of changing the law on animal abuse and cruelty.

Everyone, please write a letter showing your disapproval to David Cameron the UK Prime Minister.  If you live somewhere else that has exposed such practices then write to your own leader.  No matter where you are, if we get those people interested in the subject, things will hopefully change.


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