What is fame? Today we tend to think of movie and sports stars. But what about fame before the dawn of film and television?
In the past, fame came as a result of real accomplishments. It was something a person earned by making a major contribution to the world. Famous historical figures include political leaders like Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill, kings and queens like Henry VIII and Queen Victoria, philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, scientists like Charles Darwin and Marie Curie, and writers like Shakespeare and Charles Dickens.
There are still people other than movie stars who are famous in our world today – as in earlier times, these are statesmen, royals, thinkers and writers, among others. Can you name at least one in each category?
Click here for our suggestion, but make your own list first.
* Statesmen: Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama * Royals: Princes William and Harry, Queen Rania of Jordan * Scientist: Stephen Hawking (physicist) * Writer: J.K.Rowling
Today, the cult of celebrities is at an all-time high. The public cannot get enough gossip about the stars, be it what they wear, who they date, or what they have for lunch. The biggest celebrities can barely leave their homes without the prying eyes of journalists following their every move, and run-ins with the paparazzi are hard to avoid.
Tasks and Activities
Tabloid-type headlines carrying the latest gossip about the stars and their lives are everywhere. They usually sound catchy, in order to grab readers’ attention.
- Read through the headlines in this task. What are these news headlines about? Match headlines with subjects. If you are not sure, then guess! Match Headlines.
- Now write a couple of your own “Hollywood headlines”. You may add names if you want to. (Hint: Alliteration, repeating the same letters or sounds at the beginning of many words, is a common tool used to make headlines more catchy.)
Who Are They
Try this task about famous people: Who are They?
In groups of 3 or 4, prepare and act out a talkshow. One person is the host, the others are celebrities.
- Decide who you want to be (host or celebrity)
- The host prepares questions to ask the different celebrities
- The others find and note down information about the celebrity they have chosen
- Act out the talkshow