Enter the Matrix...
This is a fun activity to do with older/more advanced students. With all the hype at the moment around the last two "Matrix" films, it`s something that really grabs their interest!
You`ll need a copy of the original Matrix film - look for the scene (about halfway through) where Morpheus is first explaining to Neo about how the war with the machines started etc. It`s the part where we find out how all humans are essentially just batteries now. Don`t tell the students beforehand what they are going to see.
Play them the clip, then ask the class to tell you what happened in the scene, what were the characters talking about? Once they get going, use the clip to springboard into a discussion about technology. You could have a sheet ready with prepared questions like...
Do you think that could happen?
Do you think it has already happened? Are we really living in the Matrix?
If you think no, then why not, how can you be sure? If you think yes, then what makes you say that?
As their imaginations start to run away with them, it can really get interesting to see what they think of :) You can go on to ask them to think about whether we rely too much on technology these days - I`m working in Canada, so I used the example of the recent blackout here, when life pretty much ground to a halt until power was restored.
IF you still have time at the end of that (I guess it depends on how long your classes are!) then you can ask them to think about themselves and technology. Do they have a computer at home? Do they remember a time before they had one? Could they live without it now? When was their first time on the internet? Who did they send their first e-mail to - can they remember? Could they live without the internet now? :) And so on and so forth!
Let me know if it works for you! :)
Gaspé, Québec, Canada
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