Crime and the Law- related music, books, films and TV shows

If you want to increase your vocabulary to talk about crime and the law, you can listen to the songs on this playlist (or any others):

You can also watch any of these films:

  • Witness For The Prosecution (Billy Wilder 1957) [Good depiction of the British legal system, based on a play by Agatha Christie]

  • Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock 1954) [Alleged murder]

  • To Catch a Thief (Alfred Hitchcock 1955) [romance / thriller about a retired thief / cat burglar]

  • Take The Money and Run (Woody Allen 1969) [hilarious comedy about a petty thief who always gets caught]
  • A Few Good Men (Rob Reiner 1992) [courtroom drama about the US Marines in Guantanamo]


Monty Python’s Flying Circus (BBC 1969-1974)- They had many different sketches dealing with crimes and criminals, among which you can watch:

Blackadder Goes Forth (BBC 1989)- Court Martial

Sherlock (BBC 2010-2017). Excellent show. Can’t comment any more.

Finally, Roald Dahl wrote several short stories for adults, some of which have to do with crimes. You may read “Lamb to the Slaughter“, for example, or “The Landlady“. You can also watch TV episodes based on the stories.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents- “Lamb to the Slaughter” (directed by Alfred Hitchcock, script by Roald Dahl based on his own short story):

Tales of the Unexpected (Anglia Television)- The Landlady (introduced by Roald Dahl):

Recent TV shows related to crime:

Big Little Lies (HBO):

13 Reasons Why (Netflix):


Cómo editar videos con Chroma Key / Green Screen

Muchas veces me preguntan cómo se pueden editar vídeos para hacer el efecto chroma. En este video os cuento cómo lo hago yo, usando el iPad y la aplicación Green Screen by Do Ink. Con ella, se puede grabar primero el video con los “actores”, y luego se edita para añadir el fondo deseado:

Como veis, se puede poner de fondo una o varias imágenes fijas, así como videos.

El efecto green screen también se puede conseguir con Touchcast Studio, que es una aplicación gratuita, pero en ese caso tenéis que elegir el fondo que vais a usar antes de la grabación, y después grabar. Aquí tenéis el tutorial para usar Touchcast y la green screen. A mí me da más “libertad” poder concentrarme en grabar, volver a repetir tomas, etc, y luego poder editar el fondo o fondos que se quieren usar, pero podéis probarla también.

En cualquier caso, el truco maestro: si queréis crear el efecto de la “capa de invisibilidad” a lo Harry Potter, cubrid al actor con otra tela del mismo tono de verde. Desaparecerá como por arte de magia.

*Para Android: aparentemente,  Kinemaster permite crear el efecto croma.

literary classics-year 1: plot summary

Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe:

Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift:

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley:

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson:

Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott:

Lord of the Flies, by William Golding:

Using a green screen in the classroom

For quite some time I had been toying with the idea of using a green screen for some activity, or for the end product of a project. And finally I’ve had the chance to do it both with my year 1 students and with some of the teachers learning English at CARLEE.

I bought a reasonably priced green screen from a well-known online retailer. I have some trouble getting it to stick to the frame, but until I come up with a better option, good old duct tape will have to do. It’s not the smartest of setups, I should have ironed the screen, I know, but I get by.


Then, I bought the Green Screen app by Do Ink (not too expensive anyway, but I’m sure there must be others, and for other platforms as well). Then, it’s as easy as A,B,C. You simply record the video with the “actors” playing their roles in front of the green screen with the usual camera (in my case, of my ipad). Then, students have to choose up to three pictures to be used as their background. Of course, these pictures need to be related to the product they’re creating. You may even trim the video or the pictures a bit, or resize the video in case some parts outside the chroma key were recorded. Then, you mix the two elements, and there you have it! A lovely video! It’s a good excuse to foster speaking, creativity…

M5U4- Sport

This week’s topic is sport. You may download the handout here.

Listening: You may watch this news item about teenage girls in a rugby team. Then, go to this website, and answer the questions about the video.

Writing: Ex. 8 p. 48.

These are the notes I took during the session: