This is a listening and speaking activity for strong intermediate students. To be honest, I think that it is more suitable for advanced students, but I did want it to let you know about this beautiful film about 88-year-old Bermudian Johnny Barnes, who devotes six hours a day to an endearing traffic ritual that has made him one of the island’s most cherished citizens.
Get together with an English speaking friend or relative and discuss these questions:
What makes you happy?
How could you be happier than you are now?
What might help people in general to feel happier?
How closely is money related to happiness?
What problems may prevent people from feeling happy?
Have you heard of any famous rich people who do a lot for the needy?
What can people do to help others apart from giving money?
Have you ever made a sacrifice for another person? If so, what happened?
Has anyone ever helped you at a difficult moment in your life? If so, what happened?
In what practical ways can we be kind to other people in our everyday life?
Now watch Matt Morris film on Johnny Barnes, Mr Happy Man. It is longish, around 10 minutes. Note down any information you understand, be it Johnny's routine, Johnny's life story, his neighbours' reactions and feelings, encounters different people have had with him, whatever.
Compare your notes with those of the person you are working with.
Mr. Happy Man from Matt Morris Films on Vimeo.
You can read the transcript here.