Published on 26th April, 2012 in Global Bloggers by Valentina Castellani

We recently commemorated 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic. Belfast holds a special relationship with this unlucky ship, as it was built here. The memorial garden has been renovated and the brand new Titanic museum has just opened. This important occasion was the inspiration for a lesson dedicated to important events in our lives. In Unit 9 Life & Style Global Elementary, Part 2 deals with life events and rites of passage.

First I wrote a few years on the board: 1984, 2001, 1998, 2006. I told my students that each year represented an important event in my life. In pairs they had to guess what the event was.* After briefly discussing about it and checking if they guessed it right or wrong, I asked them to do the same about themselves. I asked them to move around the class and try to guess about each other’s important events.

We then looked at exercise 1 under Vocabulary and Speaking. They had to match the two columns together and we then checked the answers. I asked them if each sentence was true or false for their country: e.g. Do people leave home at 18 in your country? We found out about each country’s similarities and differences.

We then moved to the Reading section and I asked my students if, for each event we had just looked at, there was any special celebration – if it was a rite of passage. Once the concept of rite of passage was clear to them, I asked them to read the text in the unit and answer the questions in exercise 2 under the Reading section. Students found the text very interesting and they shared a few more unusual rites of passage from their own countries.

We then looked at some sentences taken from the text, as in the Grammar section in the unit. We focused on the use of the superlative, meaning and form. To practise the superlative, students completed exercise one and two in the Grammar section.

I then asked my students to choose an important event in their country. I told them to prepare a brief presentation on the event, following the outline given in the unit in the Speaking section. In class they only had to look at the outline and write down some notes about each section. The outline on the book really helped them to organise their text, and I walked around monitoring their work and helping them. The preparation of the presentation was their homework, and the following day we all learned something new about each country’s traditions.

*1984: the year I was born; 2001: the first time I visited Ireland; 1998: the year I started high school; 2006: the year I graduated from university.