“The beautiful thing about Suicide Squad is how, deep down at its core, it’s the realest comic book movies get: A movie about people who need people. Even the irredeemable degenerates, the villains of the world who’ve not only violated the rules of society but set them on fire.” J. Yamato, The Daily Beast
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
Excerpt: ‘Suicide Squad’ Review By Jen Yamato
“Suicide Squad is probably not a comic book blockbuster for the easily triggered. Cold-blooded murder, familicide, good old-fashioned assault, psychopathy caused by extreme domestic abuse, and various other ills have landed the country’s most violent criminals in Belle Reve Prison, locked away to rot forever for very good reason. And among the human cesspool of evildoers chomping at he bit to break out are a rough and tumble lineup of certain metahumans with superhuman abilities… the world is on high alert.
We’re introduced to the antiheroes of Suicide Squad in order of importance, with all the subtlety of a punch in the face. There’s Smith as Deadshot, exchanging tough guy banter with Belle Reve’s sleazy head guard (Ike Barinholtz) … Robbie’s lethal, lithe, and unpredictable Harley Quinn is next, perched like a caged bird on a rope fashioned from her own straightjacket… all get their (anti)hero moment as they begrudgingly learn to lean on their teammates.
There’s Diablo (Jay Hernandez), an Angeleno wracked with guilt over misusing his gift for starting huge fires with his bare hands; Boomerang (Jai Courtney), the boorish Aussie criminal armed with—you guessed it—a boomerang; Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) a fearsome reptile-man who wears a velour suit;
Slipknot (Adam Beach), the first guy to panic in battle; and Katana (Karen Fukuhara), Rick Flag’s samurai sword-wielding righthand woman. Needless to say stylistic flourishes, like unstable villains, are bountiful in Suicide Squad. The fun is in letting yourself go along with every silly bit.”
NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.
Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.
Time: Approximately 2 hours.
Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.
Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.
I. Pre-Reading Activities
Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos
Directions: Have students examine the titles of the post and of the actual article. After they examine the photos, ask students to create a list of words and ideas that they think might be related to this article.
II. While Reading Activities
Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.
- DC has a fun, grimy antihero team.
- All of them are deranged.
- This is different from the brawny Man of Steel comics.
- Two were serious superhero blockbusters last year.
- Suicide Squad is probably not a comic book blockbuster.
- The squad is the perfect recruiting pool for a shadowy government.
- That was before a mutant zombie alien stabbed the hero.
- June Moone is a sorceress.
- They secured these supervillains with remote controlled neck bombs.
- The film had many flashbacks and montages.
Directions: Place students in groups and after they have read the entire article, have them complete the following paragraphs taken from the article. They can use the words and terms from the list provided, or provide their own terms. They are to find the meanings of any new vocabulary.
Needless to say styles/stylistic flourishes, like unstable/unstoppable villains/villages, are bountiful/beautiful in Suicide Squad. The fun is in letting yourself go along with every silly/silliness bit. Do you like monsters/montages and flashbacks? Ayer loves them. He cannot get enough of them. He leans/leads on both far too heavily for far too long in a movie so stuffed/stiffed to the rafters with colorful characters, there’s barely/bare any room for a serviceable plot.
Directions: Students choose the correct word to complete the sentences taken from the article. They are to choose from the options presented.
It hardly___who the Suicide Squad is fighting or why: These ___just don’t feel like they belong in the same ZIP Code as DC’s gritty urban ___ let alone the same movie. One is a dark and ___witch with a ghoulish hunch and black magic, the other a gigantic___with horns and extend-lava arms. There’s___ in Delevigne’s hungry evil eyes but not much else, making her a___supervillain to set off the Squad.
WORD LIST: demon, matters, menace, lame, demonic, antiheroes,
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: Place students in groups and have them discuss the following comment from the article. Groups may share results as a class.
- “It hardly matters who the Suicide Squad is fighting or why: These supervillains just don’t feel like they belong in the same ZIP Code as DC’s gritty urban antiheroes, let alone the same movie. One is a dark and demonic witch with a ghoulish hunch and black magic, the other a gigantic demon with horns and extend-lava arms. There’s menace in Delevigne’s hungry evil eyes but not much else, making her a lame supervillain to set off the Squad.”
- Have each group list 3 questions they would like to ask any person mentioned in the article.
1-Minute Free Writing Exercise
Directions: Allow students 1 minute to write down one new idea they’ve learned from the reading and one thing they did not understand in the reading. Review the responses as a class.