Channing Tatum’s six-pack

Some teachers, like myself, are coming back from holidays this week and I thought an R-rated lesson might help spice things up.

Some weeks ago I came across an article on Vanity Fair talking about Channing Tatum’s career on the eve of the release of Magic Mike XXL. I knew it would interest a pair of private students who like his films, even if the article needed to be adapted more havily than usual (because it’s a cover story, it’s too long to be used in a 60-minute lesson).

Now, just like my first post on this blog, this lesson might not be suited for people who are under 18, or who may be offended be the innuendo-packed trailer. Keep that in mind before clicking below.

I started the lesson by showing the students some posters of films by Channing Tatum and getting them to tell me whether they had seen them and what they liked about each film. Besides the more obvious choices like Dear John, I also included Foxcatcher. I was almost sure my students wouldn’t have seen it (they hadn’t), but it is mentioned in the article so I thought it would be a good idea to ask them about it.

(All posters were taken from


I also asked them if they knew which of these movies was about to get a sequel and we watched the trailer for Magic Mike XXL.

We discussed whether they would like to watch it and if in general sequels are better or worse than the original film. We then moved on to the article, which you can find below:

Vanity Fair – Channing Tatum

I used the following while-reading questions:

  • Does the author think Channing is two-faced? Why or why not?
  • What was his first starring role?
  • Has he been nominated for an Oscar? What does the author think about it?
  • What does the author predict for Channing’s future? Why?

I also showed them the Vanity Fair’s cover photo and asked them to guess how old Channing Tatum was, before reading the article. I was shocked to discover he is 35, and so were my students.

There is a lot of language you might choose to work with in this article, and my selections can be seen in bold. After discussing the meaning of the words and expressions, I asked my students the following questions.

  • Would you feel jaunty if you had to go to a job interview tomorrow?
  • Has anything unprecedented happened in your life this year?
  • Did you meet anyone at university who was seemingly boring at first but that turned out to be the opposite?
  • In what ways are you unlike your classmates from university?
  • Do you think entering university was a breakthrough in your lives?
  • Do you have plans to binge-watch any series in July?
  • Have you ever been on a shopping spree?

To wrap things up I used a short video of Channing on Ellen, where he talks about Magic Mike. The while-watching questions are:

  • Why does Ellen say the movie is popular?
  • What do Channing and Twitch say about waxing?

An interesting cultural note here is that in Australia and New Zealand, the word thong is used for flip-flops, so the joke might not make as much sense there.

Thanks for reading.

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