“True Love” vs. “Her”

Where is the flower going?
Where is the flower going?

This is a lead-in activity before we begin studying the story “True Love” by Asimov, as part of our literature program.

I don’t usually post activities until I have tried them out with the students. However, since the question of what the first weeks of the new school year will be like is so unclear, I don’t feel like waiting. At the moment we have been told that only some of the students will come each day (rotation) so that we can teach in classrooms next to the shelters and get to them in time.

Hopefully there will be a follow-up post.

I designed this activity for very weak students who must study this Asimov story. Not only is their English poor, their general knowledge is very poor too. They must watch the slideshow in class, then copy out the sentences that describe what both tales have in common.

I hope that making the connection to the movie “Her” (Spike Jonze) in their minds will help them understand that the narrator of this story is a talking-thinking computer. It’s not a hard concept to imagine nowadays. I deliberately did not include the fact that the story is an old one (1977) as I think it will really help the students if they imagine the computer Joe as a laptop or tablet, things they relate to. It’s not ¬†important that Asimov probably imagined it as a huge mainframe thing filling a whole room.

I used EDpuzzle to crop a section of the official trailer of the movie. I chose this section because it works without sound. There is no need to understand the speech (which isn’t very clear for a weak student that CAN hear well) to see how happy the man is and that he is communicating with the cell phone. I also wanted the students to have the information regarding the movie, so that it will be clear that the clip is not from the story!¬†

Another reason I chose to compare the story to the film as it is a good opportunity to review one of the higher order thinking skills we must teach for the literature program; comparing and contrasting. It’s also a chance to review the very useful phrase “in common”. The students encounter it on their unseen exams.

Here is the slideshow. I hope it will work well!


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