3 things I learned while my plane crashed - Ric Elias (for EFL students)

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For upper intermediate EFL students. Watch the clip and do the activities.

For upper intermediate EFL students. Watch the clip and do the activities.

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  • 1. 3 things I learned while my plane crashed (TED)by Ric Eliashttp://efllecturer.blogspot.com/2011/07/3-things-i-learned-while-my-plane.htmlYou are going to 1. watch a clip about what a man learnt from a plane crash 2. read a text and do a vocabulary matching exercise 3. discuss what you would do in an imaginary situations using the 2nd conditional 4. write about what we learn from difficulty Ric Elias was a survivor of Flight 1549 which crash- landed soon after take off from New York in 2009. In this short clip he tells us the three things he learned about himself from the accident and how everything in his life changed from that moment on.1) IntroductionWatch this clip about Flight 1549 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imDFSnklB0k • What caused the accident? • Where did the aircraft land?2) Discuss • Have you ever flown in an aeroplane? • Do you like flying? • Have you ever had any problems while flying? • What do you think about when you fly? • How would you feel if something like Flight 1549 happened to you? • Do you think we can learn anything when bad things happen to us? • What do you think are the most important things in life?
  • 2. 3) Read the following textRic Elias descibes what happened when the plane stated to fall.Find the answers to these questions while reading 1. Where was he sitting? 2. Who did he talk to? 3. What three things did the pilot do?Imagine a big explosion as you climb through 3,000 ft. Imagine a plane full ofsmoke. Imagine an engine going clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack.It sounds scary. Well I had a unique seat that day. I was sitting in 1D. I wasthe only one who could talk to the flight attendants. So I looked at them rightaway, and they said, "No problem. We probably hit some birds." The pilot hadalready turned the plane around, and we werent that far. You could seeManhattan. Two minutes later, three things happened at the same time. Thepilot lines up the plane with the Hudson River. Thats usually not the route. Heturns off the engines. Now imagine being in a plane with no sound. And thenhe says three words -- the most unemotional three words Ive ever heard. Hesays, "Brace for impact." I didnt have to talk to the flight attendant anymore.I could see in her eyes, it was terror. Life was over.4) Watch the videoThe title of this video is "3 things I learned while my plane crashed"Before you watch - what 3 things about life do you think Ric learned?Watch the video to find out if you are right.http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YtkUt9zuBxk
  • 3. Read the text to check your answersNow I want to share with you three things I learned about myself that day. Ilearned that it all changes in an instant. We have this bucket list, we havethese things we want to do in life, and I thought about all the people I wantedto reach out to that I didnt, all the fences I wanted to mend, all theexperiences I wanted to have and I never did. As I thought about that later on,I came up with a saying, which is, "I collect bad wines." Because if the wineis ready and the person is there, Im opening it. I no longer want to postponeanything in life. And that urgency, that purpose, has really changed my life.The second thing I learned that day -- and this is as we clear the GeorgeWashington Bridge, which was by not a lot -- I thought about, wow, I reallyfeel one real regret. Ive lived a good life. In my own humanity and mistakes,Ive tried to get better at everything I tried. But in my humanity, I also allow myego to get in. And I regretted the time I wasted on things that did not matterwith people that matter. And I thought about my relationship with my wife, withmy friends, with people. And after, as I reflected on that, I decided toeliminate negative energy from my life. Its not perfect, but its a lot better. Ivenot had a fight with my wife in two years. It feels great. I no longer try to beright; I choose to be happy.The third thing I learned -- and this is as your mental clock starts going, "15,14, 13." You can see the water coming. Im saying, "Please blow up." I dontwant this thing to break in 20 pieces like youve seen in those documentaries.And as were coming down, I had a sense of, wow, dying is not scary. Itsalmost like weve been preparing for it our whole lives. But it was very sad. Ididnt want to go; I love my life. And that sadness really framed in one thought,which is, I only wish for one thing. I only wish I could see my kids grow up.About a month later, I was at a performance by my daughter -- first-grader,not much artistic talent ... ... yet. And Im balling, Im crying, like a little kid.And it made all the sense in the world to me. I realized at that point, byconnecting those two dots, that the only thing that matters in my life is being agreat dad. Above all, above all, the only goal I have in life is to be a good dad.I was given the gift of a miracle, of not dying that day. I was given anothergift, which was to be able to see into the future and come back and livedifferently. I challenge you guys that are flying today, imagine the same thinghappens on your plane -- and please dont -- but imagine, and how would youchange? What would you get done that youre waiting to get done becauseyou think youll be here forever? How would you change your relationshipsand the negative energy in them? And more than anything, are you being thebest parent you can?Thank you.
  • 4. 5) Read the text againSome words in the text have been highlighted in bold.Can you match the words on the left with the definitions on the right?The first has been done for you.bucket list = A list of things to do before you diefences to mend Presentcame up with Not… anymoreno longer Repair friendships / relationshipsurgency Remove / get rid of / endpurpose Cryingclear Miss (not hit)regret Aim / goaleliminate Feel sorry aboutballing Importancegift Found / invented / producedAnswers at the bottom of this page6) Grammar DiscussionAt the end Ric says "I challenge you guys that are flying today, imagine thesame thing happens on your plane... how would you change? What wouldyou get done that youre waiting to get done because you think youll be hereforever? How would you change your relationships and the negative energy inthem?"Ric asks us to imagine this situation happening to us (although we hope itnever does!)If we are talking about imaginary situations in the present or future what tensedo we use?Answer = 2nd Conditional = What would you do if it happened?Would + verb + If +PastorIf + Past + Would + verb. See presentation belowIf you are not sure or cant remember how to use conditional 2 look hereConditionals 1 and 2More practice on conditionals here http://efllecturer.blogspot.com/2011/04/conditionals-1-and-2.htmland here http://www.scoop.it/t/conditionals
  • 5. 7) Now discuss these questionsImagine you are Ric in the plane. If something like this happened to you... • What would you change about yourself? • Would you do anything different in your life? • What would you remember? • What would you be thankful for? • What would you regret? • What would you change in your relationships with your friends and family? • What decisions would you make for the future?8) WritingDo you agree or disagree with the following statement? Most experiences inour lives that seemed difficult at the time become valuable lessons for thefuture. Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer. (250words - IELTS)Writing tips and ideas - Dont forget to plan! • Look carefully at the question • Think about what you have learned in life (eg learning to drive, learning English, relationships...). • Do you agree with the statement? Why? Why not? • How much have you learned from doing things that seemed difficult at first? • Can you think of any examples? Say what was difficult about them and what you learned. • Contrast the idea; think of some easy things you have learned. Do you think they as important? Do they give as much satisfaction? • What do we learn about ourselves from learning difficult things? • Dont forget to sum up your ideas in your conclusion.Find out more about Flight 1549 herehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Airways_Flight_1549Watch the clip on TED with an interactive transcripthttp://www.ted.com/talks/ric_elias.htmlHappy and safe flying to everyone!http://efllecturer.blogspot.com/2011/07/3-things-i-learned-while-my-plane.html
  • 6. http://efllecturer.blogspot.com/2011/07/3-things-i-learned-while-my-plane.htmlAnswersIntro) answers = 1) Birds 2) In the Hudson River3) Answers -1) Seat 1D 2) Flight attendants 3) The pilot lines up the planewith the Hudson River. He turns off the engines. He says, "Brace for impact."4) Answers 1. He no longer wants to postpone anything in life 2. He decided to eliminate negative energy from his life 3. The only goal he has in life is to be a good dad5) Vocabulary matching exercise answersbucket list = A list of things to do before you diefences to mend Repair friendships / relationshipscame up with Found / invented / producedno longer Not… anymoreurgency Importancepurpose Aim / goalclear Miss (not hit)regret Feel sorry abouteliminate Remove / get rid of / endballing Cryinggift Present