Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Talking about Death

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.

  1. Stand on the line if you have lost somebody dear to you. 
  2. Approach the line if you have ever attended a funeral.
  3. Stand close to the line if you know somebody who has become a widow/widower.
  4. Stand close to the line if you believe it is wise to write a will.
  5. Stand close to the line if you believe in life after death.
  6. Stand close to the line if you believe there are rules about how a widow/widower should behave after their partner's death.
  7. 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.

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