Cultural Excursions





Cultural Excursions




a)   Holidays 


Activity Length


Activity Suggestions for Students


Activity 1


Getting ready




o        (Oral expression)

o        In groups of two, the students ask each other questions so as to learn about holidays in each other’s countries.

o        After this preparation, each student exposes his or her partner’s holidays to the rest of the class.

o        Students of the same nationality intervene to complete the list.



Activity 2













o        Document resuming 3 series of separated elements:

1.     Dates of holidays in the target country;

2.     Name of the celebration or of the famous event;

3.     Brief description of this celebration.


OR: the teacher writes down the information on pieces of cardboard that s/he gives at random to the students. They try to find their 2 matching partners…



o        Grammar: time prepositions

o        The teacher asks if they know the “target” country’s holidays.

o        S/he gives them a document with celebrations dates, names and descriptions … OR s/he gives them pieces of cardboard (cf. left column)

o        Students try to match trios (For instance: December 25 — Christmas — Christian celebration commemorating Jesus of Nazareth’s birth in the city of Bethlehem)  

o        They compare those celebrations with their own, then say what is common and what is different. 




European Celebrations… (to complete and modify)



·         January 1st

·         November 1st 

·         November 11

·         December 25




·         Remembrance Day

·         Ascension Day

·         Labour Day

·         National Holiday

·         Whitsuntide

·         All Saints’ Day

·         Carnival

·         New Year’s Day

·         Christmas

·         Easter





1.      Usually linked to the Christian feast of Shrove Tuesday, this type of celebration is relatively well spread in Europe and South America. It usually consists in a period of time when the residents of a town dress up to go out together and sing and dance in the streets, sometimes around a parade.


2.      It is a Catholic celebration, during which all saints are honoured. It takes place the day before All Souls’ Day. In several European countries, people usually meditate in cemeteries and clean the graves on this day.


3.      This celebration (from Greek pentêkostê, « fiftieth day ») marks the beginning of the spread of Christianity. It is celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter to commemorate the illumination of the Apostles by the Holy Ghost.


4.      This is celebrated on this day in many countries around the world. Important workers unions’ and left-wing parties demonstrate for the occasion.


5.      This religious feast celebrates Jesus-Christ’s resurrection, three days after his crucifixion on Good Friday, marking the end of the Lent fasting. It is the most holy day of the Christian calendar, followed with Christmas.




  1. Carnival
  2. All Saints’ Day
  3. Whitsuntide
  4. Labour Day
  5. Easter


Activity 3



o        The teacher gives images illustrating those holidays.



o        Students determine the holiday represented on each images.

o        They describe and interpret those images.




Here are pictures or images illustrating those holidays. Match the names to the illustrations.


1 2 3             


4 La Nativité      5      


6       7  8



9 10



11    12  







Activity 4




o        Discussion

o        In your country, do those celebrations go with several days off? And “here”?

o        Do children have more days off than adults?

o        Do the people in the country you are actually in now have right to more days off/holidays than you and your fellow countrymen?

o        (Do you know the ’expression “to make a long weekend of it”? Does it exist in your country?)

o        When in the year do you have more holidays? Why, according to you?

o        What do your fellow countrymen usually do during a day off? And you?

o        And during longer holidays?


Activity 5



o        Conversation

o        Which holidays gave you the fondest memories? Tell why… (Activity to make in groups of two: one tells the other, then each student tells his or her partner’s fondest memory to the whole class  à revising past times)







a)   To the Cinema


REMARK: the following activities can be re-adapted and used for theatre or opera


Activity Length


Activity Suggestions for Students


Activity 1

Getting ready




o        Give out a map of the “target” city.


Grammar and vocabulary: place prepositions, verbs expressing a direction…

o        The teacher gives a starting point on the city map (university, a place everybody knows…)

o        S/he explains the way from this starting point to the closest cinema.

o        In case there is more than one cinema in the city, ask a student to do the same exercise (after telling him where the cinema is located).


Activity 2



o        Show to the students the schedule of a cinema (taken from a local newspaper for instance) without telling them what it is.

o        What do you have in front of you?

o        Give a description, as detailed as possible, of what you see (à I see movie titles, schedules, names of places/of cinemas)


Activity 3







o        Discussion


o        If necessary, grammar:

-          The time

-          Time indicators and time prepositions



o        How do you learn about new movie releases?

o        Do you look for information on the movie before watching it? 

o        Do you trust your friends’ taste?

o        Did you ever go and watch a movie you didn’t know anything about? Was it a good or a bad surprise? Explain. 

o        What other ways do you have to get an idea of the movie? (Specialised magazines? Radio or TV shows? etc.)



Activity 4




o        Give students the summary of 5 or 6 movies of different types. Separately, give the film titles or the posters.

o        Vocabulary: Take note, in the summaries, of the difficult/unknown words. List them. Show another list, made out of synonyms or definitions of those difficult words.


o        Students read the words from a table in two columns, two lists of words. They match each word from the first column to its synonym or its definition.

o        Students read each summary and try to match a title/poster to a movie.

o        They make a list of different movie types (à comedies, drama, fantasy, documentaries…)

o        If needed, the teacher helps them to complete the list.




Vocabulary—Example table (to fill in accordingly to the summaries one chose)


(Difficult words from the summaries)

(Synonyms, definitions)












































Activity 5







o        Discussion




o        Vocabulary and grammar: argumentation.

o        The teacher chooses a student (X) and asks the rest of the class to guess X’s favourite type of movies. The students justify their answers. When some students have spoken, student X can confirm or not what the others said about him.

o        Students explain their taste (àI prefer…because…)

Activity 6



15 ‘

o        Give students a dialogue with some missing words, related to movies. The words are either taken out or given separately in alphabetical order (with or with “intruders”, that is, words that do not belong to the text.)







Fill in the following text (with words from the list)…


¾      _____________ at the cinema tonight?

¾     They ___________ La Dolce Vita, by Fellini.

¾     Is it the _____________________ (f.v.)?

¾     No, it isn’t ________________, it’s the ____________________ (o.v.), with ___________________ of course.

¾     Where is it on?

¾     It’s on at the “Churchill’s”. There are three ____________ in that cinema. Well, that’s the “Red” one, with the biggest ______________.

¾     At what time is the ____________________?

¾     There is a _______________ at 17pm and another one at 20pm

¾     Etc….


Dubbing / dubbed / auditoriums / what’s on / there is / show / seats /  are showing / shows / sits / screens / with subtitles / subtitled / French version / …




Activity 5




o        Give a list of imaginary list of movie titles to students. 

o        Take inspiration from famous movies (famous for their quality or their commercial success) to create those titles.


o        For each title, students write a catchy summary of the story (from 7 to 10 lines).



Write, for each of these imaginary movie names, a catchy summary of the story (from 7 to 10 lines). To help you, here is a sentence to start the plot. 


·         The Plumber Comes Back (psychological drama): Martha, whose husband is violent and alcoholic, falls in love with the plumber.

·         Fluffy and Silly, Faithful Dogs (children movie): Fluffy and Silly, two really nice poodles, are abandoned by their keepers during the holidays.

·         The Three Doomed Cranes’ Island (fantastic adventure): a group of explorers finds a mysterious island that doesn’t appear on any map…

·         Rambo VII (war story): Sylvester Stallone’s great comeback, stronger than ever and armed to the teeth…

·         Back to my Mother’s! (romantic comedy): it isn’t fine anymore between Isabel and Barney since he flirted with Betty, Isabel’s best friend…

·         Tomorrow’s Better than the Day After Tomorrow: Goldfish Operation (spy story): Special Agent 008 is sent in special mission to get back a top-secret microfilm, hidden in a venomous goldfish.

·         Frying Pan Massacre (horror): after a UFO flies above a small village in California, housewives are victim of a terrible spell that turns them into hysterical creatures.




Activity 6




o        Find images illustrating what one can find in a cinema: a cell phone / popcorn / a young child / candy / …



o        Students name what they see.

o        They classify those words/images into two groups: those who belong in a cinema and those who do not.

o        They choose the elements or behaviour that would be the less and the most annoying for them as moviegoer. They explain why. 

o        They explain what is absolutely normal in their country and, on the contrary, what is shocking.



Amongst those elements, which one does not belong in a cinema? What element would be the most annoying to you, as moviegoer? Which one would be the less annoying?


1      2   3




4      5       6



7   8 9         


10                   11





Activity 7




o        The teacher gives to each student a dozen of pictures: some clearly belong to the world of cinema (seats, a projector, a ticket office), others clearly less so.


NB: This activity can be written or oral.




o        In groups of two, or alone, the students make up a story that will include at least 10 of the pictures they were given.



In groups of two or alone, make up a story that will include at least 10 of the following pictures…

1. A screen


2. A Palm tree

3. A projector







4. Red seats

Spaghettis amatriciana


5. Spaghettis Bolognese

6.      An old book




7. A cat (in a tree)

8. A ticket office


9. Brad Pitt

10. A dinosaur

11. Roses

12. A Formula One car


Activity 8



35 ‘

o        The teacher gives the student the reproduction of a cinema ticket (from the target country, if possible).




o        Discussion


o        Students describe as precisely as possible what they see.

o        They try to define what is different from a cinema ticket in their own country (size, colour, information, etc.)

o        How do you occupy space in a cinema? Do you sometimes sit next to someone you don’t know?

o        Do you think it’s normal to pay to see a movie? Why?

o        What to think of the violence depicted in movies?

o        What are the advantages and disadvantages of cinema compared to television? 

o        Do you have a TV at home? Why?

o        Are you in favour or against having a TV at home?






Describe those cinema tickets into details. What kind of information can you find on them?










b)   A concert…



Activity Length


Activity Suggestions for Students


Activity 1



o        Pictures representing different musical styles (from Bach to Michael Jackson…)



o        Students look at the pictures and say which musical style they refer to.




Look at the pictures and tell which musical style they refer to.






  2.            3 



4              5 



6     7  




8    9 




10     11  




12              13





  1. World Music
  2. Reggae — Bob Marley
  3. Electronic Music
  4. Hard-rock
  5. Soul — James Brown
  6. Classical Music
  7. Pop — Michael Jackson
  8. Rap — Nas
  9. Classical Music — Bach
  10. Pop
  11. Adult Contemporary — Céline Dion
  12. Jazz — Keith Jarret
  13. World Music – Bossa



Activity 2



(At least 15’)

o        Extracts of songs by those artists (or from those musical styles)



o        Pop song from the “target” language to use in many ways (fill in the blank; listening comprehension…)


o        Students listen to songs (or extracts) and say what types of music they are.


o        Students listen to a song from the “target” language.



Activity 3



o        Oral Expression



o        Argumentation

o        The class will try to guess the musical taste of a student chosen by the teacher. The students will explain why they think their classmate likes this or that type of music.



Activity 4



o        Discussion

o        What language is the most used in songs in your country? Why, according to you?

o        What musical style is the most successful? Why, according to you?

o        What / who is in vogue?

o        What / who isn’t at all?

o        What do teenagers listen to? Were you listening to the same things when you were teenagers?



Activity 5





o        Dialogue

o        In groups of two: each student tells his or her partner the memory of the first concert s/he ever went to. S/he does the same with the last concert (Who did s/he see, with whom, where, when, why…)

o        After that, each student tells their partner’s memory to the rest of the class.


Activity 6



o        Role-playing game: the teacher gives the reproduction of a concert ticket to the students.



o        In groups of two, the students will play a situation: one received a concert ticket as birthday present. But two “things” do not suit them (the band, the date, the place…). So he or she goes back to the store where the ticket was purchased and speaks to a shop assistant (the other student) to exchange the ticket. 




At the complaints’ department…





Cultural Excursions








  1. Ability to talk about holidays and celebrations from one’s country. 
    1. Ability to compare with the “target” country.
    2. Ability to describe a celebration typical from one’s country.
    3. Ability to recognize a celebration from its description (written or oral), etc.
    4. Ability to describe a painting or a picture illustrating a celebration.



·        Vocabulary

·        Phonetics

·        Syntax





  1. Ability to talk about one’s holidays (latest ones, best ones, worst ones…)


·        Vocabulary

·        Phonetics

·        Syntax





  1. Ability to ask or explain the way.


·        Vocabulary

·        Phonetics

·        Syntax





  1. Ability to describe one’s tastes in music, movies, theatre, etc.


·        Vocabulary

·        Phonetics

·        Syntax






































  1. Ability to summarize a movie, a play. Ability to 


·        Vocabulary

·        Phonetics

·        Syntax





  1. Ability to compare the moviegoers’ behaviour in one’s own country with the “target” country.


·        Vocabulary

·        Phonetics

·        Syntax





  1. Ability to use accurately the vocabulary related to the world of entertainment in a made up story, written and/or told.


·        Vocabulary

·        Phonetics

·        Syntax





  1. Ability to give one’s opinion on movies and television and what they can be used to. Ability to understand a text dealing with this subject.


·        Vocabulary

·        Phonetics

·        Syntax





  1. Ability to ask to exchange tickets (movie, concert…) or an object. Ability to explain why.


·        Vocabulary

·        Phonetics

·        Syntax







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