Hello, my dear readers!
Recently I've come across this beautiful short film about a lovely cat called Mog on YouTube. It was made in November 2015 for the 2015 Christmas advert for the British supermarket chain Sainsbury's and was titled «Mog's Christmas Calamity». I absolutely adore this short film which was inspired by the book written by the children's writer Judith Kerr.
Mog is the main character in this series of books. Other characters are Mr and Mrs Thomas who are Mog's owners and their two children Nicky and Debbie. Unusually for a popular children's series, Mog dies in the final book, 2002's «Goodbye, Mog».
Kerr based her illustrations of the house in which the family live on her own family home in Barnes, London, and the two children were named after the middle names of her own son and daughter, Matthew and Tacy. The family name «Thomas» is from the first name of her husband, NigelKneale, upon whom the appearance of Mr Thomas was based.
In «Mog's Christmas Calamity» Mog accidentally started a fire in her home after having a bad dream. Nevertheless, she was able to alert the fire brigade as she had called 999 when scrabbling across a phone. Everyone considered her to be a hero because she saved her owners. And after her owners' neighbours had pooled their resources to undo the damage she had done, in reference to Sainsbury's «Christmas is for sharing» tagline, she was later given an egg as a treat. Kerr herself appeared in the advert as a neighbour of the Thomas family. A special plush Mog and book version of the story were sold exclusively through Sainsbury's, with all profits being donated to Save the Children's child literacy work.
You can use this wonderfulshort film advert in your classes with young learners, teens and adults as well while studying about Christmas traditions.
Warming up activity
Use flashcards to elicit Christmas vocabulary.
Play the matching game
Match the verbs which go with the Christmas vocabulary on the flashcards
Ask the studentds to describe Christmas traditions in their country (family) or in the English speaking countries. Spot the differences in celebrating Christmas in their country (for example, in Russia people celebrate Christmas on January 7th) and in other countries. You can read about Christmas celebrations in Russia
Tell the students that they are going to watch a short film about a fat cat called Mog who cuased lots of calamities which ruined a perfectly prepared Christmas. Put students in pairs and ask them to predict what Mog might do to ruin Christmas Day.
Remember that you should limit the time for your students (up to 5 minutes) to come up with the ideas.
Tell the students to watch the film and compare their predictions with the real events in the film.
Christmas is for sharing
Stop the film at the caption «Christmas is for sharing». Ask the students how they understand this message and give their own examples of how we can share at Christmas.
It was Christmas Eve and everyone in the Thomas family was dreaming sweet dreams.
Nicki and Debbi were dreaming about what Santa would bring them; Mr Thomas was dreaming of a new bat; Mrs Thomas was dreaming of... «Oh, Captain Thomas!» ...something else. Finally, of course, we have Mog.
Mog was not dreaming sweet dreams, Mog was having a nightmare.
1:06 : «Hello, fire service. Hello? Hello...»
2:04 «Follow that cat!»
2:08 : «All clear Boss.»
2:21 : As the neighbours gathered, the fireman told everyone how Mog had saved the day.
«She deserves a medal»
«I think she'd rather have an egg»
But there was no egg for Mog. There was no Christmas at all. At least, that's what they thought... but everyone else thought: if the Thomas's and Mog can't have a Christmas, they can share ours. So that's exactly what they all did.
«There you go Mog»
Hello, dear readers!
Celebrating Halloween with my students is always fun! ! And this year we’ve decided to make something special! I hope that some of you are very good at scrapbooking but if you’ve never heard about this activity before, read this short definition from Wikipedia:
Scrapbooking is a method, an art for preserving, presenting, arranging personal and family history in the form of a book, box, card.
An early known American scrapbooker and inventor of scrapbooking supplies was Mark Twain. Twain was known to carry scrapbooks on his travels as he collected souvenirs, clippings and pictures.
Nowadays the hobby of scrapbooking is very popular and you can find lots of tips and ideas on social networks.
Most of my students, especially girls, are fond of card making which is a kind of scrapbooking. We always make cards for Christmas, St. Valentine’s Day and Women’s Day. I am absolutely sure it’s a fantastic way to develop your creativity. Moreover, working together, you master your skills in teambuilding: you learn from other members of your group how to cooperate together in order to make your own incredible funny item (card), you learn to be supportive and responsible.
So, we started with collecting stuff for our cards. You can buy scrapbooking paper and various templates at any craft store. I bought a set of black cardboard for kids’ craft at so-called “Fix price store”. It cost me only 55 roubles (1$) which is quite cheap. There are similar shops in the UK which are called “One pound” where you can buy any item for 1 pound only.
Solid objects such as plants, silverware, or small trinkets can be used too when further visual representation is needed.
What I like best about our cards is that they are special and have got their personalized touches. They give my students the feeling of proud for something unique they have made and that is not wide spread. Actually, their friends and parents appreciated all the effort that has been done into designing.
Halloween scrapbook paper (“Mystery forest”)
Halloween black-and-white or coloured templates or foam shapes (a haunted house, a bat, a ghost, a skeleton, a black cat, a witch, a jack-o’-lantern, a spider, a skull, etc.)
set of coloured cardboard
white computer paper
glow in the dark Halloween stickers
Halloween felt sheets
black pipe cleaners
easy glue eyes
- Choose the patterns on the Internet and download them. Print the patterns on white paper or cardboard.
- Cut out the patterns. When cutting out shapes, try rotating the paper instead of the scissors.
- Glue card items on the scrapbook paper but don't overload it!
- Celebrate a special occasion or event with cherished photos.
- If you want to be tuned into the ins and outs of the scrapping stuff, read different blog posts about scrapbooking.
- Work together in groups or in pairs. As the English proverb says “Two heads are better than one".
- Let your imagination run wild and don't be afraid to be bold! Move pieces on the cardboard until you are absolutely happy with the picture (with your card)