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An Era of Transgression

Activity 1
WB p. 105

An Era of Transgression

Group 1

Woodstock, 50 years later, a landmark festival and a cautionary tale

The spirit of Woodstock lives on, 50 years after the most famous rock festival ever drew between 400,000 and 500,000 young rock music fans to a farm in upstate New York on a mid-August weekend in 1969.

Together, they made history, overcoming rain, mud and an alarming lack of any infrastructure. They were fueled by a palpable sense of “we-areone” unity — and performances by nearly three dozen acts, including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Santana. […]

Skateboard legend Tony Hawk is equally aware of Woodstock’s impact, even though he was only a year old when the festival took place.

“It was definitely a very perfect storm of musical talent, political movement and unrest,” Hawk, 51, said. “So it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Those sentiments are shared by two Woodstock veterans — Tijuana-bred guitarist Carlos Santana and Sha Na Na leader John “Jocko” Marcellino, who was just 19 when his band played the festival.

“I tell people Woodstock was the best of times and the worst of times,” said La Jolla resident Marcellino. “All these people cooperated and made what could have been a disaster into a great success. It was the birth of ‘Woodstock Nation’.”

“Woodstock changed my life,” said Santana, 71. […] “Because of Woodstock, I was able to witness firsthand that a mass number of humans can co-exist in harmony,” Santana said.

“The festival took place at the end of a strong, volatile decade in American culture, with the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King and John and Robert Kennedy, the mass protests against the war in Vietnam, the police violence in Chicago […], the women’s liberation movement. That was when ‘Woodstock Nation’ was born.” […]

But with or without a festival next month, Woodstock’s 50th anniversary is already being commemorated in multiple ways.

“Woodstock, 50 years later, a landmark festival and a cautionary tale”, George Varga, The San Diego Union‑Tribune, 2019.

Santana Onstage At Woodstock, by Bill Eppridge, 1969.

Group 2

A group of hippies sit on top of a graffi ti-painted bus during Altamont free rock concert, 1969.

You are in charge of one document.

Workbook p. 105

What do you know about Woodstock? The hippie movement? Go online if necessary.

Introduce your document (source, author, main theme). Be ready to present it (where, when, who, what).

Why do Woodstock and the hippie movement still live on in people’s minds?

Useful vocabulary: I would say that the main reason is… During the 1960s, Woodstock showed that… It left its mark on a whole generation because…
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Let's talk this out!

Share your findings and learn about the other documents.

What do the documents reveal about America and Americans at the time?

a. Would you have liked to attend the Woodstock festival? Why or why not?

b. Do you feel attracted to the hippie movement? Why or why not?
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Grammar in progress

Les nombres et les ordinaux

a. Observez les passages soulignés dans le document du Group 1.

b. Trouvez à quoi ils correspondent pour les classer dans trois catégories.

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Let’s learn!

Pronunciation challenge

Prepare a list of words including diphthongs and triphthongs and see if your nearest classmate can pronounce them.
Tip: If necessary, check on what diphthongs and triphthongs are.


  • committed (adj.)
  • rebellious (adj.)
  • resentful (adj.)
  • defend a cause (exp.)
  • pay tribute to (exp.)
  • landmark (n.)
  • legacy / heritage (n.)
  • testimony (n.)
  • threat / menace (n.)
  • embody (v.)
  • rebel (v.)

From French to English

La traduction de « dommage »

damage : dégâts (matériel), injury (physique), loss
compensation : indemnité
It’s a shame (that...), What a pity!, Too bad (that...) : regrettable

On your way to the task ❯❯ Step 1

Interview a Former Hippie

Let’s use what you have learnt in !

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, interview someone who attended the festival. Ask her or him about the socio-political context of the time, her or his experiences and views on contemporary American society.

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