Friday, October 15, 2010

Actor Johnny Depp helps avert a mutiny


A group of schoolchildren in Britain got the surprise of their lives recently, when actor Johnny Depp showed up at the school, dressed as the character Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean.

Actor Johnny Depp surprised
students at Meridian
Primary School in London.
Image: Edward Scissorhands,
Wikimedia Commons
Grade-four student Beatrice Delap had written Depp a letter, telling him that she wanted to mutiny against the teachers at Meridian Primary School in Greenwich, and that she needed his help.

She got the letter into Depp’s hands by giving it to a security guard where Depp was filming Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides at a location nearby.

She never dreamed he would actually show up at her school!

Not only did he show up, but he brought with him a cast of four pirates in full costume. They performed pirate songs and dances at a quickly arranged assembly.

Depp called Delap out of the audience and gave her a hug, joking that, “maybe we shouldn’t mutiny ‘cause there are police outside monitoring me.” Instead, he suggested that they eat candy every day and not brush their teeth until they turn green and fall out.

He pulled out Beatrice’s letter, which read:

“We are a bunch of budding young pirates. Normally we’re a right handful, but we’re having trouble mutinying against the teachers. We’d love it if you could come and help.”

He said he plans to frame the letter.

Related Links
Someone (presumably a teacher) took a video of the visit. View the two-minute YouTube video here.

Curriculum Connection
Before students begin reading, encourage them to formulate questions about the article after reading the title: “Jack Sparrow Shows up at Primary School.” Then have students pose questions while they read and after they are finished reading the article. 

Discuss these questions as a class and encourage students to use inference and prediction to answer the questions. 

As a class, indentify why questioning is useful as a reading comprehension strategy (for people to focus their reading and to clarify their understanding of a text). 

identify a variety of reading comprehension strategies and use them appropriately before, during, and after reading to understand texts (OME, Reading: 1.3)

identify a variety of reading comprehension strategies and use them appropriately before, during, and after reading to understand increasingly complex texts (OME, Reading: 1.3). 

Grammar Feature
Quotation marks are used twice in the article for the following purposes: to indicate speech and to quote the student’s letter to Johnny Depp. 

Discuss when and how quotation marks are used in writing. 

Extensions for Primary and Junior 
Johnny Depp’s unexpected visit would have been a wonderful surprise for the students at Meridian Primary School. If you could choose any famous person to come and visit your school, who would you pick and why?

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