The activity is finished; movie clips are viewed; dialects are discussed; dialogues are written. Overall, a great success. What did I learn?
1) when you watch a movie on your own, the swearing and other bad parts aren't as obvious as they are when you watch the same movie with 26 fifteen year olds. In 6 minutes, Matt Damon and Robin Williams said the F-word 7 times, as Cory S. was happy to inform me.
2) according to a large majority of students, any movie viewed at school is automatically more interesting than the same movie viewed at home. Therefore, students clamored loudly and almost convincingly enough to let me play the entire film of Men in Black. But I persevered.
3) no matter how many times I give directions and even if I give them both aloud and in writing, a handful of students will still find ways to shirk the complete assignment.
What did they learn?
1) it can be fun to study dialect, especially when they get to watch fun movies.
2) it is very frustrating to watch movie CLIPS.
3) Mark Twain is a genius, an even greater genius than some had previously thought.
4) their English teacher is pretty sweet.
Sometimes I'm so clever I amaze myself. ;)