Monday, March 11, 2013

Greed and Money

Money can be very interesting, relevant and fun topics for students. Personally, I also just believe that it is also just really important for our students to discuss these issues to look at greater ones such as greed, materialism,  etc. 

The Film English Blog has yet another great short film on this and as always a ton a resources. Here's the link: 

 It also has a step-by-step lesson plan for teachers on the topic as well as discussion questions and common proverbs about money that are also fun for students to learn and debate about. For example:

Film English contributor Keiran Donaghy provides the following phrases along with a list of discussion questions. :

1. Money doesn’t grow on trees.
2. Money makes the world go around.
3. Money is the root of all evil.
4. Money is power.
5. Money can’t buy you happiness.
6. The money’s burning a hole in his pocket.
7. That’s money down the drain.
8. She spends money like water.
9. She’s rolling in money.
10. She’s made of money.

For some other discussion questions, see:

Song Comparison/Analysis/Discussion 

There are lots of songs out there but I found the most effective were Jessie J's 'Pricetag' and Pink Floyd's 'Money'. These two musically and lyrically are very different and the students had a great time. These  present two different points and I asked the students to answer  questions about them one at a time. Below are examples of the questions:

  • What does the singer believe about money?
  • Is it important to him or her? 
  • Pick a line that represents his or her opinion? 
  • Do you agree with him or her? Why or why not? 
  • Write four lines to the rest of the song in the mind-set of the singer. 
After listening to both songs and answering the questions we then compared and contrasted the songs and discussed which we related to the most.

 For bigger classes I would suggest using more songs and small groups, giving each group a different set of lyrics to read, analyze and answer questions about.

Also, if you'd like to get students talking and using conditionals you can ask them what they would do if they won the lottery or if they had a million dollars. 

For lottery activities look at this website, another fantastic resource with video and questions:

For song ideas you can use  'If I Had a Million Dollars' by Barenaked Ladies or 'Billionare' by Travie McCoy

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