Thursday, September 19, 2013

Make a global connection - Lesson plan by Hana Tichá

A few weeks ago I had posted my answer to the #30GoalsEDU blogging challenge together with this wonderful picture I found googling. The picture showed the globe and happy children of all races holding hands around the Earth.
When I posted it, my colleague and partner in the 30 Goals challenge and "we're on the air" project Hana Tichá  from the Czech Republic came up with so many wonderful ideas how we could use this picture in the classroom, so I suggested she write about it as a guest in my blog!!!

Make a (Global) Connection

Level: Pre-intermediate – intermediate, age: teens
Language focus: vocabulary: countries, languages
Speaking: What generally makes people happy, cultural differences
Other skills: brainstorming ideas, making mind maps, strategy planning, using meditation
Length: 45 min

Ask Ss to stand up in a circle and hold hands (at first, depending on their age, you will hear some giggling and the kids may be a bit reluctant to touch each other. If somebody feels really uncomfortable with this, don’t force them; let them choose if they want to participate. Based on my experience, most Ss love this.)

Tell your Ss they are going to meditate for a while. When I do this, I usually put a candle in a big jar and place it in the middle of the circle. It’s a kind of a warm up, even though it works the opposite way – it calms Ss down. Ask them to focus their attention on the light and send all their thoughts away. After a while, when they are silent and serious, ask them to think of something positive and send this positive energy around the circle. Then Ss sit down.

Ask the Ss if they feel happier now that they have received all the positive energy from the others. Then ask them what generally makes them happy. This can be discussed in groups or pairs. Ask them if they think that all children in the world have all the things that make them happy.
Display the picture of children holding hands. Ask Ss where the kids come from (from different parts of the world). Ask your Ss to work in groups of three and brainstorm as many countries as they can think of. They can use an online tool for making mind maps, such as Text 2 Mind Map on They can organize the countries according to continents. Ask Ss to find out what language is spoken in each country.

Divide the Ss into groups and get each group to choose one country. Each group should choose a different country, preferably from a different continent. They will make their own project about a typical life of the children in the country. They can go to the library and use the internet. As the outcome, the can make a PowerPoint presentation, YouTube video slide
show, use the Windows Live Movie Maker, etc. Some groups can make a paper project, illustrate it, find pictures in magazines, or print out pictures from the Internet to make a comic, poster or a leaflet.

They can also make clothes, do a role play or a pantomime to show a traditional dance, for example.
Ask your Ss to plan a strategy. The members of each group should decide on what they will do (depending on their strengths and interests). Encourage the Ss to discuss everything in English. At the end of the lesson, each group will give you a list of the tasks each student is going to accomplish. The project itself can be done as homework or in the next lesson (and as their homework, the Ss will have to find all the materials for the project and bring them to the lesson).

Here are some things about Hana:

Have fun !

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