Wonder Women, Highly Metallic By Ruth La Ferla, The New York Times
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key.
The fashion world has chosen a new look based on the heroine in the Stieg Larsson thriller“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,”.
“It takes sinew and plenty of smarts to make a female action hero, and if you are among the new breed of wonder women dispatching baddies at the multiplex these days, it takes an industrial-strength wardrobe to die for.
Trish Summerville, who designed the costumes for “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” has the formula down pat, peppering a rash of recent interviews with a list of rebel-girl essentials: a biker jacket, a long hooded overcoat, holey cardigans and shredded tees — the components, as it happens, of a micro-collection Ms. Summerville whipped up in December as homage to that movie’s central character.
She is Lisbeth Salander, the agile hacker played by Rooney Mara in the American film adaptation of the Stieg Larsson thriller, her red-lined eyes, freakish piercings and body ink suggesting a hybrid of alien and street thug. A sullen portrait in gray-black, she is also the latest pop phenomenon driving a resurgence of leather and spikes, shredded jeans and scruffy combat boots.
The Salander style, a subversive mélange of goth, punk, classic rock and fetish-wear, has a spate of off-screen counterparts. They include the battle-ready black-on-black uniforms adopted by fashion insiders like the Elle editor Kate Lanphear; and the outlier get-ups of the rap rave group Die Antwoord, whose waxy pallor, gaunt frames and choppy hair call to mind extraterrestrials……Hers is the most dynamic character to jump off the screen in some time…”
Level: Intermediate -Advanced
Language Skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.
Time: approximately 2 hours.
Materials: student handouts (from this lesson) access to news article, and video.
Objective: Students will read and examine the reasons fashion designs follow those of movie characters. Students will also practice reading, speaking, writing and listening skills
I. Pre-Reading Tasks
Analyze headings and photos
Directions: Have students read the title of the post, and the title of the article. Next have them analyze the photos to see if they can predict what information the article will discuss. Then based on this information, direct students to make a list of ideas, words and phrases they might find in this article.
Stimulating Background Knowledge
Pre-reading Discussion Questions
Directions: Have students discuss the following questions regarding fashion in their countries.
- Are the women (and men) fashion-conscious in your country?
- What age groups are more likely to follow fashion trends? (e.g., college students, older people with money)
- Discuss the extent movie actors influence the way people dress.
- Provide examples of famous movie actors from your country, and their dress style.
- What are your personal feelings about dressing like the movie stars? Do you buy clothing because an actor wears them? Explain why or why not.
- Are you influenced by the attire of American actors?
II. While Reading Tasks
Directions: Have students choose the synonyms (the words closest in meaning) for the words in bold. The part of speech for each word is presented in parentheses at the beginning of each sentence. Next, have students fill in the vocabulary chart from Freeology, using the words in bold..
1. (noun) It takes sinew and plenty of smarts to make a female action hero…
2. (verb)…if you are among the new breed of wonder women dispatching baddies…
3. (adjective) She is Lisbeth Salander, the agile hacker played by Rooney Mara…
4. (adjective)…her red-lined eyes, freakish piercings and body ink suggesting a hybrid of alien and street thug.
5. (adjective) A sullen portrait in gray-black, she is also the latest pop phenomenon driving a resurgence of leather and spikes…
6. (adjective) The Salander style, a subversive mélange of goth, punk, classic rock and fetish-wear…
7. (noun)…Rocky Rakovic, a counterculture pundit and the editor of Inked magazine.
8. (adjective) Her saturnine look in the movie mirrors that in several collections on the fall runways.
9. (verb) A studied anonymity, conveyed by choppy hair, unbranded clothing…
10. (adjective)…despite her diminutive stature, “projects this large persona.
11. (verb) …the desire to set things right is what motivates her.
Directions: Place students in groups, have them read the article, then complete the sentences from the article. They are to use the words and terms from the list provided. They are to find the meanings of any new vocabulary.
It takes__ and plenty of __to make a__ action hero.
Trish Summerville, who__the costumes for__.
A__portrait in gray-black, she is also the latest __driving a __of leather and spikes.
But it took Ms. Mara to __a style that has been eclipsed on the runways.
Ms. Mara’s __ an extension of her__ film character, has been all but inescapable, splashed on the__ of W and Vogue.
Her __look in the movie mirrors that in several collections on the fall runways.
Louis Vuitton and the Alexanders, McQueen and Wang, were among an__of __offering exalted variations on urban-industrial chic.
A more__was__ for spring at the__couture presentation.
There the designer, __ adorned his models with__and an armor of __skin.
Salander’s __ otherworldly __is echoed in the __cuffs, rings and earrings of Pamela Love and Eddie Borgo.
Even a line of__from StrangeBeautiful, offered in__, is a slick extension of the trend.
__artists are cashing in. “What Salander has done is__ women to go under the needle with their own__in mind.
So are high-end__. Girls have been coming into my downtown salon asking for more__…
There is also a dash of__, the brand-averse cool hunter of Mr. Gibson’s novel “Pattern Recognition,” a paragon of understatement in __T-shirts, __jeans.
That__of dress is all of a piece with the way these characters live.
She’s __and__…she’s not about to do that in a pair of__shoes.
nail polish, 10 shades of black, Cayce Pollard, boys’ Fruit of the Loom, black 501, image, razor-chic, covers, sullen, pop phenomenon, resurgence, revive, sinew, smarts, female, influential handful, fashion houses, designed, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, saturnine,
taking names, delivering payback, Miu Miu, mode, Riccardo Tisci, multiple piercings, crocodile, untamed style, resurrected, Givenchy, fierce, mien, menacing, Tattoo, inspire, message, hair salons. severe cuts,
Directions: Have students identify the adjectives in the following paragraph. Then have them create sentences using the adjectives.
“Her saturnine look in the movie mirrors that in several collections on the fall runways. Louis Vuitton and the Alexanders, McQueen and Wang, were among an influential handful of fashion houses offering exalted variations on urban-industrial chic. A more untamed style was resurrected for spring at the Givenchy couture presentation. There the designer, Riccardo Tisci, adorned his models with multiple piercings and an armor of crocodile skin.”
III. Post Reading Tasks
Reading Comprehension Check
Directions: Have students use the WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.
Who or What is the article about?
Where does the action/event take place?
When does the action/event take place?
Why did the action/event occur?
How did the action/event occur?
Directions: Have students choose a topic and write an essay. Review ESL Voices Modes of Essay Writing.
Choose three of the following fashion designers, and write an essay in which you discuss who they are (what country) and describe the type of clothing they are known for.
Trish Summerville, Nina Ricci, Prabal Gurung, Louis Vuitton, Alexanders, McQueen and Wang, Givenchy, and Riccardo Tisci.
IV. Listening Activity
Video Clip: Rooney Mara Interview
This is a video clip of an interview with Rooney Mara in which she discusses her role as Lisbeth Salander in Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
Place students in groups and have them think of three questions the interviewer might ask Rooney Mara. Then see if they were correct in their guesses.
While Listening Task -Multiple choice
Directions: Students are to choose the correct response from the ones provided from the video.
“…Amazing film, incredible performance. But I have to cut to the chase...”
This is an idiomatic expression meaning:
race with another person
cut some film
get to the point.
The crucial factor for David Finch casting Rooney Mara for this role was…
she really didn’t know
she looked tough
there was no one else available
The role of Lisbeth Salander was…
easy for someone in shape
a grueling one
not too hard
Mara states, “I was never going to throw in the towel”
This is an idiomatic expression meaning:
How much did the character Lisbeth Salander consume Rooney Mara’s life away from the set?
She didn’t know, but the movie itself consumed her.
Every waking moment.
Didn’t consume her at all.
How did Mara feel about all of the piercings?
she screamed during each one.
She said she was happy to do the piercings.
She’ll never get piercings again.
Were all of the piercings real?
No, some were fake.
Maybe, she wasn’t certain.
According to Mara, which ones hurt more ?
the fake ones.
the real ones.
None of them.
What was Mara’s reaction when she first saw herself in the Salander make-up?
She cried, because they cut her hair.
After a few minutes she was happy and excited.
1. In groups, have students make up questions they would like to ask Rooney Mara.
2, Do any of the students have tattoos? If yes, why did they get it, and where did they get it placed (on their body). Was it painful?
3. If students don’t have a tattoo, would they consider getting one? Explain why or why not.
Please come back again.