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Fear Factor Fun

Subjects

  • Language Arts

Grades

  • 3-5
  • 6-8
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Brief Description

Students write vivid descriptions of new Fear Factor stunts that they “invent.”

Objectives

Students
  • design Fear Factor stunts that would test the endurance (and stomachs) of their peers.
  • write descriptions -- including excellent adjectives and adverbs -- to punch up (make more graphic, more vivid) the basic stunt descriptions.
  • rate their peers' stunt-description writing with votes of thumbs up or thumbs down.

Keywords

adjectives, adverbs, descriptive writing, description, writing, Fear Factor, TV, television, stunt

Materials Needed

  • paper and pencil
  • video clips from the TV show "Fear Factor" (optional)

The Lesson

Begin this lesson by asking students if they are familiar with the TV show "Fear Factor." Ask students if they think they could write some great descriptions of activities that might be found on the show.

Provide class practice by challenging students to use interesting language to describe two Fear Factor stunts with these titles:

  • Car Crawl
  • Rat Pit
For example, lead students to write a description of the Car Crawl stunt that might look something like this: Drive the red, rear wheel drive car with no tread on the tires up a 45-degree incline which has been coated with black, gooey, axel grease.

The Rat Pit stunt might be described in this way: Wearing only khaki shorts, a T-shirt, and tennies, leap into a 12-foot-deep pit, damp with rain and filled with one dozen brown rats the size of small dogs. Grab the knotted rope ladder and hoist yourself to the top of the pit without letting rats out.

If you are able, show video of contestants doing a Fear Factor stunt or two. Don't show the show's host, Joe Rogan, explaining the stunt; simply show the stunt in action. Then ask students to write vivid descriptions of the stunts.

The Fear Factor Web site's Gross Stunts Archive is another source for information. You might select a few descriptions and images to share that would be appropriate for your students.

Caution students to stay away from words or images related to violence.

Finally, challenge students to work in small teams to come up with descriptions of "Fear Factor" stunts they would like to see but have never seen. They should write vivid descriptions for three activities they'd like to challenge their classmates to perform -- one activity in each of the following categories:

  • Something to be eaten
  • A show of physical strength or endurance
  • Use of a vehicle or another medium (for example, air or water)
Teams will design three activities they feel would test the endurance of peers. They should include strong adjectives and adverbs to make their basic stunt descriptions more graphic.

When teams have written their stunt descriptions, peers will rate the success of them. Team members will read a description and classmates will rate it "thumbs up" for excellent imagery or "thumbs down" for less than excellent descriptors.

Optional Wrap-Up Activity
Conclude the activity by inviting students to choose one of their team's stunt descriptions and draw a picture to illustrate it.

Create a classroom display from students' descriptions and drawings.

Assessment

Students will be assessed on
  • how well they work with teammates;
  • the descriptions they come up with (success will be concluded by a vote of at least 3/4 thumbs up);
  • participation in the classroom judging of descriptions; and
  • their drawings (optional).

Submitted By

VaReane Heese, Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, Nebraska


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Copyright © 2005 Education World

04/01/2005