Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

August 9, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Video & Study Perfect For A Quick TOK Lesson On “The Problem With Slow Motion”

A new study has come out finding that we are more inclined to believe that people have acted intentionally after we see them in slow motion.

You can read about it in these two pieces:

This infamous Draymond Green clip shows how slow motion can bias referees is from The Washington Post.

The Problem With Slow Motion is from The New York Times.

As the Post article explains:

The researchers believe that slow motion makes it appear that a person has more time to think, plan and then act than they really do. Thus, slow-motion video could create the illusion that a person is acting intentionally when he or she is not.

“Seeing something in slow motion gives you the false impression that the actor had more time to act, so it feels more premeditated,” Caruso said. “When you see it in slow motion it just has this, like, air of inevitability.”

And the Post illustrates the point with this Draymond Green video from the NBA playoffs (it also has a video of a shooting that I wouldn’t feel comfortable showing to my class):

Since we’re in Northern California, many of my students will be familiar with this incident.

I plan on showing the video to my Theory Of Knowledge classes when we’re studying Perception, then ask them if they think it was intentional – why or why not. Then I’ll explain what the study found, and ask students to think and discuss what the reasons might be for the research finding. After a short discussion, I’ll tell them what the researchers said about it.

The purpose of the unit is to help students see how and when Perception can help and hinder our search for knowledge, and this is a perfect example.

August 8, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Two Useful Video Clips On The Atomic Bombings Of Japan

Tomorrow will be the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.

Here are two videos that I’m adding to The Best Resources For Learning About The Atomic Bombings Of Japan. I think I will be showing both of them to my Theory of Knowledge classes when we study ethics and debate whether the decision to drop the bombs was the correct one or not:

August 8, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Noise Level Charts

I’m regularly amazed by how much I don’t know…

My colleague and co-author, Katie Hull, is moving to middle school this year, and she attended some trainings last week. She told me that one of the things she learned about and liked a lot was a “noise-level chart.”

Apparently, this is very old-news to elementary school teachers who, by the look of the zillions you can find on Pinterest, have been using them for years.

But I don’t think it’s as well known to high school educators, at least the two of us!

Using something like this could be very helpful in my IB Theory of Knowledge classes, which are very large, and we’re all packed into a very small classroom.

Introducing the chart, practicing it, and then explaining what level the class noise level should be prior to each activity (or, even better, asking them what they think the level should be), could be a very helpful strategy.

Again, it’s probable that most readers of this blog already know about this strategy. I wish somebody had told me about it earlier!

Here’s what I’ve come up with for my classroom – tell me how I can make it better, please:


August 4, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Good Video For Theory Of Knowledge: “Indiana Jones & Pascal’s Wager”

Crash Course has this relatively new video on Pascal’s Wager, and it’s a good one for IB Theory of Knowledge classes.

My big critique of it, though, is the same one I have for all of Crash Course’s videos – he’s speaks so darn fast. Proficient English speakers should be able to get it, but English Language Learners (and I have many in my TOK course) are going to find it tough to access:

August 3, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

Fascinating Interactive Comparing How Democratic & Republican Delegates Described Their States


Vox has published a fascinating interactive comparing how delegates to the Republican and Democratic conventions described their states during the roll call vote for Presidential candidates.

You’ll definitely want to check out Republicans and Democrats think their states are great for totally different reasons.

It would be an excellent piece to use when studying Perception in Theory of Knowledge classes. I’m not exactly sure how it could be used in my English Language Learners classes, but it did give me the idea of having students do a fun exercise using it as a model and having them describe what’s great about their home countries.

Other ideas?

I’m adding it to The Best Sites To Learn About The 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections.

July 30, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

“What Would You Do?” Is A Fantastic Video Series For Theory Of Knowledge Classes


Sometimes, I am amazed by how clueless I can be…

I just learned from a friend about a popular ABC series called “What Would You Do?” It’s basically a much edgier and updated version of “Candid Camera” dealing with important ethical issues. And, apparently, it’s been on TV for years.

It’s absolutely perfect when teaching ethics to IB Theory of Knowledge classes!

Here are three links to their resources:

Here’s the show’s site at ABC. It has a number of videos, as well as short and accessible articles describing a number of the scenarios they use.

They also have a great quiz, asking questions and giving you choices, along with showing video clips of what people actually did in those situations.

And, finally, there’s the show’s YouTube Channel, which has a great selection of their shows. Here’s one example:

July 25, 2016
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Dango” Interprets Your Words Into Emojis


Dango is a new online tool that is supposed to “use deep learning to predict which emojis you want to use.”

Type something into it and, as the above image illustrates, Dango interprets what you wrote into emojis.

I’ve previously shared resources and ideas on how to use emojis in language learning/teaching, and I wonder if I can fit Dango into it somehow:

“Emoji Finder” Could Be A Fun & Different Picture Dictionary For English Language Learners

Here’s a nice lesson on using emojis to teach vocabulary.

Any ideas how to use it in class (I also wonder if I could use it in Theory of Knowledge class when discussing emotion?)

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