In my lessons this week, we’ve been learning about California. One of the activities has been to watch this video, a clip promoting tourism in California. It’s only about 30 seconds long, but I love all the visuals: makes me miss my state!
I’ve also enjoyed using it in class because it depicts a lot of California stereotypes, while simultaneously trying to dispel them. “Sure,” this clip seems to say, “A lot of people like to surf. But that’s not all California has to offer.” Stereotypes aren’t truths. But they sometimes originate in a truth.
Here’s the transcript for the clip:
People have a lot of misconceptions about California, but none of them are really true. None of them! They think we’re all suffers, or celebrities. That we’re all into yoga. And that everyone owns a winery, or a skateboard. And that we all drive convertibles. Where do they get these ideas? Like how we all live in bikinis, and act like rock stars. You want to know the truth about California? Get out here! We’ll show you how we roll.
In some of my upper level classes, after watching this film, I have the kids rewrite the script. Instead of it being a piece on California, I ask them to write one for France. It’s interesting listening to what they know are stereotypes about their own country.
During one period, I had fun writing one of my own for France:
People have a lot of misconceptions about France, but none of them are really true. None of them! They think we eat nothing but escargot and frog legs. That we dress in all black and always wear scarves. They think we all live in Paris where la vie en rose magically plays ceaselessly throughout the entire city. They think romance waits around every corner. That we drink only wine. And we all own a Vespa or Smart Car. You want to know the truth about France? Get out here! We’ll show you what it’s really like.
Anyway, there’s my little bit of creativity for the day. I had fun with it.
Where are you from? What stereotypes do others have of your home?