Time is the biggest issue with this lesson, to be honest it could easily be made into a 2 hour+ lesson, so you might want to adapt how I deal with vocabulary etc. to suit your class and teaching style.
Level - Intermediate, Advanced
Age - Mature Teens -> Adults
Skills - Speaking, listening. reading, writing
Time - 60+ minutes
Language Focus - Articles
- Open letter (which should have sections marked into 4)
- Video (below)
- Due to time constraints I made the warm up quite short. I asked the students what they think an 'open letter' is and why someone might want to write one.
Stage 1 - Listening & Reading
- Explain to the students they are going to be read an open letter about the problems our world is currently facing. While listening to it they should read along as they will have to summarise it once it is finished.
FOR LARGE CLASSES - Divide the students into even groups (I tried to keep my students in groups of 3, 4 or 5 students, but you must make sure there are the same number of students in each group, and that there are either 4, 8 or 12 groups)
FOR SMALL CLASSES - Simply divide the class into 4 groups.
- Each group should be assigned one of the sections of the letter. Their task is to make the main messages contained in their paragraph simple enough that a middle school student (a child of around 15) could understand them. The students will likely need help identifying the main components of the paragraph. I found most parts involved a short introduction of the problem, examples and then what Thommo wants to change and how. Helping students identify this pattern helped them simplify the messages.
- Once all the groups are done change the groups so that one person from each part of the letter is now in each new group. the students should explain their part of the letter to their new group.
Stage 3 - Group Discussion
- Now that all the key message have been identified and simplified into manageable chunks ask the groups to go through the letter one section at a time and discuss in their groups whether they agree with the messages contained in the letter or not. If so, why? If not, why not? Ask them to relate any points they can to their lives.
- Depending on the number of groups you can have each group then present their conclusions to the other groups.
Stage 4 - Written & Grammar Work (Possible Homework)
- One grammar focused noticing activity could be to have the students go back to their original groups and rewrite their paragraph but without any articles. The students then swap (possibly next class) their paragraph with another group who must try to re-insert the articles. They can then refer to the original to check how they did. This is also a good time for you to check if there are any common rules being misunderstood by the class.
- As homework I asked my class to write their own open letters to mankind with the messages they want to share with the world.
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- To deal with the difficult vocabulary and to save time I decided to translate the difficult but important words into Korean at the bottom of each paragraph. Here is an example: