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Sitcom activity: review writing
The students read some reviews of popular sitcoms. Then they then watch a sitcom or a clip of a sitcom, discuss their impressions and share their ideas and then write their own reviews using the readings as a model.
You will need to show your students some sitcom reviews that they read and use as models. They can read the reviews online or you can print some reviews.
Go to http://uktv.co.uk/gold/homepage/sid/5527 and click on a sitcom or do a Google search with the name of a sitcom and the word 'review'. You will also need access to a sitcom, either a whole sitcom episode or a few clips of the same sitcom. Clips can be found on YouTube. For a comprehensive list of UK sitcoms go to http://www.sitcom.co.uk/list_top.shtml
Introduce the idea of reviews. On the board write the following:
- How do you choose which book to buy?
- How do you decide which film or television programmes to watch?
Get students to discuss the questions in small groups and try to elicit the word 'review'. Ask students what other kind of reviews there are.
Tell students they are going to read some reviews of sitcoms. Either provide students with a selection of reviews or get them to read the reviews online. Students should be encouraged to look at the language used and to analyse the reviews to see what information is included.
Have a short feedback session to elicit the main ideas from the students. Write them on the board under the following headings:
- Things that are included in sitcom reviews
- Interesting vocabulary or expressions used.
Tell the students they are going to watch a sitcom and write their own review. Play the sitcom or a few clips from the same sitcom.
After watching put students into small groups to discuss the sitcom and share their ideas, impressions and opinions.
Encourage the students to refer to the notes on the board and to use the reviews they have read as a model. Set a word count and a time limit. 100 - 150 words is average.
The writing stage can be done as a homework activity if there is not enough time in the lesson for students to do it well.