Sunday, November 08, 2009

Remember, remember 5th November - EFL/ESL plan

I know it's a little late but I thought I'd post this anyway. It's aimed at advanced and upper - intermediate students.

1 - Write out this short poem on the board;

"Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot."

2 - Explain any words such as gunpowder, plot and treason then ask them in groups to speculate on the meaning. Click here for more background on the Gunpowder plot.

3 - Each groups writes up their opinion in just one sentence and puts in on the board.

4 - Students then use Youtube to find out what happened. Alternatively, you set this for homework.

5 - In order to avoid students simply copying and pasting from Wiki each group has to present the events in just 60 seconds without the aid of notes. Another idea is that the present a 2 minute slide show.

6 - When you feel that the students have understood the facts behind the Gunpowder Plot then tell them that they are going to pretend that they are journalists who are reporting the event as if it was happening now. To hep understand the idea direct them to the BBC's On This Day web page where historical events are reported as if they were breaking news.

7 - The easiest way to do this is find a similar news story from recent times and change the details in order to make it fit in the Guy Fawkes story.

8 - The students then produce a version that can be filmed. The students form groups in order to decide how to shot the story as a straight to camera news piece. Show them some examples from CNN and Reuters. They can use the video camera, mobile/cell phones, web cameras or digital cameras for this. The footage can be edited with Window Movie Maker or iMovie.

Alternatively, they can download footage from Youtube (Real Player will let you do that) and do the report as a voiceover. On a technical note videos from Youtube are .flv files whch cannot be used in Movie Maker, however Real Player does allow you to convert .flv to .wmv which are compatible.

I'm currently doing this with students though from a slightly different starting point. Instead of Guy Fawkes they choose a place and time in history they'd like to visit and report on that instead.

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