April 3, 2012 by k. liz
It isn’t often that I come across a youtube video that I think is perfect for the English classroom, but I was trying to find a video of the ants in Brazil that take care of butterfly larvae (because I’d just read about it in a book) and when I opened this video, I was surprisingly pleased to see a video that would be really helpful for the classroom. I realize that the content is a little weird, but doesn’t that just make it more fun?
I doubt I’ll be using this in the kindergarten classroom, but I’m sure this would be great for any students above a beginner level. There are loads of activities to do with this video, but one that I think would make a lot of sense is to have the students take notes and then write a compare/contrast paragraph. The video is set up perfectly.
Just a quick overall of the gist of the video in case you don’t watch the whole thing: there is a series of “odd couples” in nature. This particular episode is about the fire ants and butterfly larva working together and a certain species of shark and parasite that work together. For both sets of animals, the documentary relates the animals to human examples. For the ants and larva, they talk about bodyguards and bodyguard competitions. The entire video is less than 10 minutes long, and you could really use just half of it for your activity. Or, you could use all 10 episodes and have students work in groups to present just one couple to the class.
I was excited about this because the set up is perfect for compare/contrast activities and the level of language is relatively slow and easy to follow, though not obviously adapted for second language learners, so you are still giving them an authentic listening piece.