The greatest challenge I faced this week was to make my teen students eager to talk about death because it is a sensitive topic. I could hear their asking me - Teacher, why do I have to learn about this? I tried to start the lesson with a video scene that would only give them a hint of what the lesson would be about. I showed the following scene and played hangman. I had their attention, and they wanted to know more about the movie, the characters, the story, etc.
They finally guessed the topic of the lesson - talking about death. We made a word-web with all the words they could relate to the theme. My task now was to have them talk about meaningful situations and engage them emotionally to a content that they might not really be willing to share, or just have not had any previous experience with. I showed the movie segment below to make sure they understood the game we were about to play.
We played the line game with sentences that I had written using the collocations they would be exposed to in the unit.
- Stand on the line if you have lost somebody dear to you.
- Approach the line if you have ever attended a funeral.
- Stand close to the line if you know somebody who has become a widow/widower.
- Stand close to the line if you believe it is wise to write a will.
- Stand close to the line if you believe in life after death.
- Stand close to the line if you believe there are rules about how a widow/widower should behave after their partner's death.
- Stand close to the line if you believe children should not attend funerals.
I was happy I came up with this idea because students did not want to stop the game and there was a lot of meaningful exchange of information.