Friday, August 13, 2010

The Power of Words

Have you ever seen those movies and TV shows with a scene where a woman is taking a bubble bath, drinking a glass of wine?
I've always wanted to do this. So tonight, on my night off, with the house to myself, I made a bubble bath (sans bubbles, unfortunately) poured a glass of boxed wine, and turned on the most recent episode of This American Life.

This American Life is a public radio program based in Chicago. As host Ira Glass would say himself, there is no easy way to describe it, other than that the program takes a theme and tells stories based on that theme. I've been an addict to this show since I was introduced to it by my roommate last fall. I subscribe to the podcast, and every week I upload a new show (or a rerun, which is usually still new to me).

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So anyway, a partner of This American Life is a program called Radiolab. It's similar in that they use a theme to tell one or a number of stories, though these stories are usually more experimental or scientifically based.

After listening to the latest TAL episode (and at this point, I've dried off and am on to glass #2), I saw that Radiolab had posted a video.

I've been brainstorming about how to use either of these radio programs in class. They both speak about such relevant, probing themes, and demonstrate the art of storytelling brilliantly, a lesson topical for any English class.

After watching this Radiolab video titled "Words" tonight, I know there is a lesson there. But what? Watch for yourself and tell me, what do you think is the lesson?

Lesson or none, it is still a beautiful video that captures the real power of our english language.

P.S. I know this has nothing to do with my bubble bath/wine fantasy that began this blog, but I was just practicing my art of storytelling! :-)


Anonymous said...

Ms. B-
I had to watch it twice, because it took me a wHile to "get it." I guess the thing i see in the video is that things are a Hell of a lot more connected than they may initially seem. Seems like it could make a good social justice lesson to me. But, I'm only a teacher in training. So, what do i know?

Mr. Ozek

Anonymous said...

This video illustrates the complexity of the English language, in which one word can be used to describe a multitude of images, actions, or ideas. Using this as an eye opener, you could demonstrate to your students that they could more accurately convey their intended message by utilizing a larger vocabulary, rather than relying on basic verbs and adjectives.

Lisa said...

What a splendid film! I think anyone watching it will be inspired by the English language. Maybe it's an Orientation Film for the beginning of the year?!

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