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  • MikeW
  • Adventurer

    • 33

    • September 28, 2010, 09:21:31 am
    • Seogwipo, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province
David Blaine - Holding Your Breath Record Lesson
« on: December 14, 2010, 08:27:52 am »
This is a lesson that worked rather well with my advanced first grade boys.

I began the class by having everyone stand and hold their breaths. When they exhaled, they would have to sit down. I kept my stopwatch running to see who held the longest. I don't think anyone made it over 1'30".

That part was to contextualize the video on David Blaine, who holds the record at 17'04". The video can be found here:
It's 20 minutes long, but for a 50 minute class, I don't think that's unreasonable. I turned the Korean subtitles on, because some of the material is a little heavy.
We discussed the video, and then I instructed them through a "speed read" drill (which was an idea I got from another user on this site--- Hooray Waygook!).
They each received a strip of paper with the instructions "When you hear," and "You say." Then, one by one, they would read their strips of paper in order and complete a spoken summary of the David Blaine video.
I read through the completed text once, so that they would have a better idea of sentence order and pronunciation. Then we did it a few times, timing it with my phone's "stop watch" feature. They really liked the idea of beating other classes' best times.
I omitted the last seven sentences for smaller classes. Sometimes students would have to read two strips of paper instead of one.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2011, 07:51:23 am by shhowse »

  • dwebsterlfc
  • Veteran

    • 153

    • September 15, 2010, 10:24:21 am
    • Incheon, Korea
Re: David Blaine Lesson
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2010, 10:13:40 am »
This sounds like a good lesson especially for my boys. Did your kids know most of the vocabulary or did you drill that before class?

  • MikeW
  • Adventurer

    • 33

    • September 28, 2010, 09:21:31 am
    • Seogwipo, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province
Re: David Blaine Lesson
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2010, 12:45:37 pm »
I played the video with subtitles so they could grasp the speech better. I wasn't too worried about them learning medical jargon (ala "hypoxic brain damage").
But as I read through the completed speed read, I tried to explain anything that I thought would be difficult, and gave them opportunity to ask questions. They're advanced, so they seem to pick things up quickly.
At the very least, each student had only one or two sentences to concentrate on, so hopefully those sentences/words/grammar points/whatever would stick with them.
Mostly it's a good exercise in pronunciation, listening, and getting shy students to actually speak.

Re: David Blaine Lesson
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2010, 03:17:43 pm »
I'm completely stealing your concept here.  However, I am going to use a different video from the TED website.  The one with illusionist Keith Barry.  Thanks for the work and the idea.

  • munkybutler
  • Waygookin

    • 11

    • January 06, 2011, 01:28:58 pm
    • Chungnam province
Re: David Blaine Lesson
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2011, 01:27:21 pm »
So Chad-uh Teacher,

how did you get on with the Keith Barry video?  I love this concept but I don't know which one will work better.  I think the Keith Barry video is more fun but he speaks so fast I don't know would the students understand him!

  • amurph8
  • Waygookin

    • 18

    • September 06, 2010, 11:21:56 am
    • South Korea
Re: David Blaine - Holding Your Breath Record Lesson
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2011, 02:06:54 pm »
This lesson worked awesome for my high school boys!

They were really interested in the video, and the speed reading drill was great listening, reading, speaking and teamwork practice.  I didn't focus so much on them reading quickly, but instead getting through it without making any mistakes as a class.  I told them the person who messed up (either wasn't listening or didn't read clearly enough for the next person to understand) had to do five push-ups, then we started all over again until we got through it without any mistakes.  It really kept them on their toes, as they didn't want to be the one to mess it up for the whole class.

At the end of class, I did the breath holding competition if there was time.  Those who were paying close attention used some of the techniques they learned in the video. :)

Thanks for posting this!

  • dapharoah
  • Explorer

    • 9

    • March 05, 2012, 03:50:47 pm
    • Yeongdong, Chungbuk, South Korea
Re: David Blaine - Holding Your Breath Record Lesson
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2012, 09:29:38 am »
this lesson is brilliant! i might adapt it and spend a class beforehand doing some vocab because even my third graders are at quite a low level so the reading part might be a bit hard, but very excited to do this with them! Thanks so much!! ;D