The activity can be done as a computer room activity or it can be done as self-study for homework. Students will need access to the internet. You will need one copy of the worksheet for each student.
Put students into small groups and give each group a piece of paper and a pen. Give students a limited time (4 minutes) to write down as many sitcoms as they can think of. They can write the titles of sitcoms from any country and in any language. When the time is up ask each group to count how many sitcoms they have. Award points for each one.
Tell the students they are going to do some research into sitcoms. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. Give students a few minutes to read the instructions and ask any questions. Elicit ideas for the section on 'other information' so that students know what kind of things to write (how long a sitcom has been running, some trivia about one of the actors, a 'catch phrase' from the programme, etc.)
You might like to do the first part of the task in the classroom. If you do, go to www.comedy.co.uk/guide/tv/top/ and print off the list of the top 50 UK sitcoms of all time. Make enough copies for all of the students. Put students into small groups to discuss the list. Get them to discuss the following:
- Have you seen any of these sitcoms?
- What do you think they are about?
- What do the titles mean?
- Are there any words or phrases that you don't understand?
- Which titles look most interesting?
Students choose two sitcoms and watch a clip of each one on www.youtube.com If necessary they do a Google search to find further information. Students complete the table with the necessary information.
Students write a short paragraph saying which clip they preferred and why. These can be corrected in class or handed in and returned in the following class.
As a follow-up activity students can compare their findings and talk about the clips that they watched. The completed tables can be displayed in the classroom so that students can see which sitcoms look the most interesting.