Reading and listening activity: Californication, by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Hi, everyone!

 Here’s an activity I used with High School students some time ago. You can start the class by asking what the students know about California, where it is, etc. Then, the students are supposed to complete the text from Wikipedia with the words given. Check the answers and talk about the text. Finally, follow the instructions for the song activity.


My students really liked the class, and so did I, as I love RHCP!

1)     Fill in the blanks with words below.
UNIQUE – COUNTRIES – STATE – CULTURE – SUNNY – PARADISE –  UNIVERSITIES INDUSTRY – WORLD
California is a _________ located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area (after Alaska and Texas). It is home to eight of the nation’s fifty most populated cities (Los AngelesSan DiegoSan JoseSan FranciscoFresnoSacramentoLong Beach and Oakland). The culture of California is closely tied to the culture of the United States as a whole. However, there are features that are ___________ to California. With roots in the ________ of Spain, the culture of Mexico, and the culture of the eastern United States, California integrates foods, languages and traditions from all over the ____________. California culture has also been greatly influenced by several other large immigrant populations, especially those from Latin America and East Asia. California has long been a subject of interest in the public mind and has often been promoted by its boosters as a kind of _____________. In the early 20th Century, many Americans saw the Golden State as an ideal resort destination, ___________ and dry all year round with easy access to the ocean, deserts and mountains. In the 1960s, popular music groups such as The Beach Boys promoted the image of Californians as laid-back, tanned beach-goers.
In terms of socio-cultural mores and national politics, Californians are perceived as more liberal than other Americans, especially those who live in the inland states. The state, in whole, is perceived as liberal, though Northern California is seen as more liberal than the South. California is also home to many prestigious ____________ including Stanford University, the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the University of Southern California. The hippie movement began in San Francisco, California, in the early 1960s and progressed into the late 1970s.
California is home to the center of the American film ____________, which has given rise to the popular fashion movie-star image. Hollywood has had a profound effect on culture all across the world since the early 20th century. Today, in spite of fierce competition from other ___________ and even other states within the US, California still rules the industry and its productions are screened all over the world, influencing the perception of fiction and even reality of millions of people from just about any other countries in all parts of the globe.
2)     Listen to the song and put the lines in order. 

(Californication, by Red Hot Chili Peppers)
  
Little girls from Sweden
Dream of silver screen quotations ( 2 )
And if you want these kind of dreams
It’s Californication ( 
3 )
Psychic spies from China
Try to steal your mind’s elation ( 1 )

It’s understood that Hollywood 
sells Californication ( 
3 )
The sun may rise in the East 
At least it settles in the final location ( 
)
It’s the edge of the world
And all of western civilization ( 1 )

Celebrity skin is this your chin ( 
3 )
Pay your surgeon very well ( 1 )
Or is that war your waging  ( 4 )
To break the spell of aging ( 2 )

[Chorus:]
First born unicorn
Hard core soft porn
Dream of Californication (2x)

A teenage bride with a baby inside 
Getting high on information ( 
2 ) 
Marry me girl be my fairy to the world 
Be my very own constellation ( 
1 )
And buy me a star on the boulevard ( 3 )
It’s Californication

And Alderon’s not far away
It’s Californication ( 
3 )
Cobain can you hear the spheres
Singing songs off station to station ( 
2 )
Space may be the final frontier
But it’s made in a Hollywood basement ( 
1 )

and I don’t mean on vacation ( 
3 )
Control of population everybody’s been there ( 2 )
Born and raised by those who praise ( 1 )

[Chorus]

Destruction leads to a very rough road
But it also breeds creation ( 1 )

And tidal waves couldn’t save the world
From Californication ( 
3 )
And earthquakes are to a girl’s guitar
They’re just another good vibration ( 
2 )

Pay your surgeon very well ( 
1 )
There is no test ( 4 )
Sicker than the rest ( 3 )
To break the spell of aging ( 2 )
But this is what you’re craving ( 4 )

[CHORUS]