Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty

“Gritting my toothless gums in seething RAGE is what keeps my skin taut.”

“That’s what really annoys me about Twitter. Can’t do the disappointed sigh and the threatening silence just becomes –  silence”

“In the grand World Cup of life, I am of course in the group of death”.

These are just a few of the things Granny O’Grimm has to say on her  Twitter page . So when she reads Sleeping Beauty to her granddaughter, you can probably guess that it isn’t going to be the traditional take on the story.

In this lesson, students talk about some traditional fairy tales before watching the Oscar-nominated Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty. They then use their imagination (and / or memory)  to fill part of the story with adjectives before retelling in the style of Granny O’Grimm. Finally, they write the subtitles in their own language. If their language is Spanish, they can compare their version with one that has already been put on YouTube, and if not, they could go to overstream to subtitle the clip in their L1.

Click here for detailed Teacher’s Notes

For more about Granny O’Grimm, see her website . Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty was written by Kathleen O’Rourke , directed by Nicky Phelan, and produced by brownbagfilms.


The Saddest Lines

In 1994 to promote the film “Il Postino” Miramax released  The Postman (Il Postino): Music From The Miramax Motion Picture, which, besides the film’s score, includes Pablo Neruda’s poems recited by many celebrities. Today’s lesson is based on the beautiful reading of Love Poem No. 20 by Andy García. It’s a translation exercise and, although the example here is from the original Spanish, I’ve included links to versions of the poem in other languages. It appears to be very easy to find in almost any language on the web as it’s so famous. What I like about using poetry is that it makes people think about how to express themselves in a much more creative way. And of course, there isn’t necessarily a correct answer…

Neruda Teacher’s notes

The saddest lines in Spanish

The saddest lines in English

Here are translations into other languages:

The saddest lines in French

The saddest lines in German

The saddest lines in Italian

The saddest lines in Portuguese


Steve’s Talk at TESOL Spain

Here’s the handout from my talk at TESOL. Thanks to everyone who attended.

Tried and Tested Handout


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