Monday, October 30, 2006

Back to education

I haven't been blogging much about EFL/ESL over the last week or so, and so I thought I'd make amends by posting a discussion regularly that I use regularly with FCE and post FCE classes. The exercise is based on the environment, a topic that often pops up in the various exams I prepare students for.

Lesson plan

1 This is optional. If you can find the film Soylent Green on DVD/VHS.

2 Tell students that they're going to see part of a film that talks about the future and that they should say what they think is the meaning of the sequence. Play the first three minutes. (Basically, it's a photo-montage that shows how the pace of industrial life has quickened and the effects that is having on the planet).

3 Students discuss their answers in pairs and then report back to the teacher.

4 Give out the photocopy (see below).

5 Do the warm up questions from the photocopy. Students write down their answers then form groups to discuss them.

6 Elicit answers from the groups.

7 Go through the handout, deal with any problems with vocabulary.

8 Divide the class into five groups, one for each lobby and another group who will be judges.

9 Explain to students that each lobby has to talk for two minutes, .presenting their opinions.on why the mill should or should not be built. The judges think of questions to ask each group.

10 Then conduct a class debate; You could use the following format, if you wish.

A - Each lobby presents their opinion (no other group is allowed to speak). While the group is speaking, the other notes down questions, objections etc.

B – The other groups ask their questions.

C – The judges ask questions or asks for clarifications.

The cycle is repeated again for each of the other groups.

11 When every group has had their chance to speak then the judges make their decision and explain to the class what they've chosen an why.

What you could do as a follow up.

1 Ask students to create their own eco-video using their own pictures and/or ones from the internet (they also get to choose their own music). This could be turned into a short video using Window's Movie Maker,which is on every XP equipped PC. Or you could download Microsoft's free Photo Story 3 which is a great way to get newbies creating stuff for say, YouTube.

2 Ask your students to create their own TV/radio spot which sets out their own opinion on the matter. This could be posted on the class blog, again via YouTube or as a podcast using Odeo.

3 Students write their own newspaper article, using the debate as a basis. They should also interview the various parties involved and quote them in the story. It could also be put on a blog.

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