This is a lesson that I made for an assessed class at my school. It worked very well both in opening students minds to the real effects climate change is having on people around the world and getting the students talking about climate change and the necessary vocabulary for that. I hope you and your students enjoy it.
Level - Intermediate, Advanced
Age - Teens -> Adults
Skills - Speaking, listening, writing, reading, note taking.
Time - 50 -> 60 minutes+ depending on choice of activities and whether homework is set.
Language - Vocabulary to do with climate change.
- Activity Sheets (below)
- Video (below)
- The second part of this lesson (the mingling activity) is adapted from an activity created by Owain Llewellyn who works for the British Council and is accessible here. The British Council provide fantastic resources for English language students and teachers so please support them whenever possible.
- Don't tell the students beforehand what the topic of the day's class is.
- Ask the students to work with a partner and to think of the biggest problems the world is currently facing.
- Collect all the students answers on the board. I guarantee one of the answers will be global warming. When you have collated the answers on the board focus in on global warming and use this to try and elicit climate change e.g what is causing global warming, what can we see changing outside every year etc.
- Introduce some context to the video by showing the students the picture below. Ask them what the picture is of, the once they figure out it is an island ask them what problem related to climate change they might have. They will probably quickly figured out it is sinking due to rising sea levels.
- Tell students we are going to watch a short film about the effect rising sea levels is having on the islanders. Tell the students that as they watch they should make short notes in the table provided about what is happening to the people on the island. Make sure the students understand they will need the notes to complete their homework at the end.
- Show the film twice as in the first run the students will be too engaged with the film to make notes. It's also good for comprehension.
- Collate the answers on the board. This is especially important for mixed ability classes as all the students need al the information at the end of class.
- Depending on your students you might want to put this after the mingling activity and have students use the context of the notes they make to figure out the meanings. I decided to put it before the mingling and note taking activity to provide more support for the students with the following activity.
- Give the students the vocabulary sheets along with the pictures to help them. Have the students work with a partner to figure out the meanings.
- Drill the new language to practice pronunciation.
Reading Comprehension (Note-Taking)
- Introduce note taking from written work to the students. Have the students read the short article on climate change and then discuss with their partner which set of notes is better and why.
- As a class collate the reasons why example 2 is better.
Mingling Activity (Speaking & Listening)
- Now it's the students turn to make notes. Hand out the activity sheets below (you will notice there are 5 different activity sheets, each with a different article at the top.
- Each students must make notes on their article using the underlined vocabulary.
- It is essential to make it absolutely clear to the students that they should only answer one question.
- Once all the students are finished they must all stand up and get the rest of the answers from the other students. This takes at least 10 minutes. Remind the students they will need these notes for their homework. I made the following rules for the students.
1) It must be done in English.
2) They can not ask anyone sat next to them.
3) Under no circumstances can they show their paper to anybody. It must be done via listening and speaking.
For homework I had the students write a short newspaper article about the problems facing Takuu Island and how it is related to climate change using their notes they made throughout the class.
And that's it. I hope you and your students enjoy the lesson. If you use the lesson or have any suggestions for improvements I would love to hear from you.
Also, don't forget you can follow me on twitter @AlexSWalsh
One more thing, check out the newspaper reports my students produced over at the ESL Learners Output Library by clicking here.