Kung Fu Panda was the surprise hit of last year for me as I originally thought it was some horrible cutesy cr*p aimed at the Japanese market. I saw it on the plane last summer when I went to Malaysia and again when I went to Laos via Bangkok as I was so tired that I fell asleep with 20 minutes left the first time I watched it.
While at home at Christmas I bought a cheap Kung Fu Panda annual in the sales which inspired me to use some of the material inside it as part of my special Kung Fu Panda lesson recently. Having photocopied many pictures of Po (the star of the film), and a maze, wordsearch and ‘cut out’ mask I went about constructing a special fun-packed animal lesson loosely based around some of the units in the kids books. I never do craft work in kids lessons as I have always been of the opinion that in regular lessons it is bit of a cop-out when they are there to learn, practice and produce English via a wide variety of activities and games. However, I guess there’s a time and place for craft work and as a couple of my groups were ahead of pacing I decided to allow them to make a panda poster one week (using the target language of the recent units) and then a mask the following one which was worn while playing the ‘fishing for animals’ magnet game (see pictures to get the idea!)
On top of that I also incorporated some of my personal items into the lesson such as any random animal photos I have (i.e. me holding a crocodile, me and Gromit the dog, swimming with fish, riding an elephant, Jaws, an Okinawan buffalo, my ‘Pringles’ duck impression and so on), my frog ‘croaking’ guiro-type thing, my Aussie magnets, coasters and cork hat.
Special ‘Fu Juice’ was on the menu in one of the lessons which was basically just a bottle of green tea with a new label on it. The kids were fooled up until they tasted it! I also shared out some cheap animal biscuits which had the written English word on them which was a chance to re-enforce their phonics and not just me trying to buy popularity!! Overall, the students seemed to enjoy these special themed lessons and I will now keep an eye out to see how I can shoehorn other such film related things into my lessons.