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I have a feeling Lindsay Clandfield won’t like this one, but hey! I’m thinking up a fun activity for a class next week before we go on our half-term holiday (the students get one week off from lessons).

This video is fantastic:

Anil Desai is a British-Asian comedian, who began his career on the BBC series Goodness Gracious Me (which could be a rich source for other lessons!). The video comes from publicity around his stint at the Edinburgh Fringe performing his Stand Up Chameleon show.

How could I use this for an activity in class. Twitter does it for inspiration again: I sent out the message “I really want to do something in a lesson with this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcFrHIbBSJs #impressions” and got the following replies:

@springrose12: @harrisonmike Incredibly funny:))) You can find the photos of the celebrities he is imitating and ask kids to match them maybe:)))

@vladkaslniecko: @harrisonmike great video! I guess, kind of matching game would be nice before watching the vid…match actors with famous lines from movies

@vladkaslniecko: @harrisonmike …or something like improvisations…funny small talk where some stds are the people from vid (hidden identity)

Cool ideas! Thank you Tuba and Vladka =)

So, things I might (or might not) do:

  • play the video without sound, and ask the students what is going on
  • show images on the board, or provide pictures for the students of the celebrities and characters that Anil impersonates, and see what the students know
  • see if the students can match Anil’s impersonations to the pictures of the celebrities/characters
  • general discussion about impressionists, why they are funny, do the students know any other famous impressionists (in the UK you have Alistair McGowan, Rory Bremner; in the US there’s Tina Fey, who did a great Sarah Palin)
  • look at famous quotes from any of the celebs/characters impersonated (maybe making language plants to see if the students can guess them)

Any more ideas???