Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Peace, Bro

Since I was only 12 in 1969, I rode on the coattails of the 60s peace-love thing (too young to participate substantially, but old enough to be aware of it).   Still, events like Earth Day and Peace Day are important to me.  Maybe because they represent those younger days?

Anyway, International Peace Day is soon upon us -- Saturday, September 21!

The learners in my Southwest Philly class are from Syria and various countries in Africa.  While researching local community groups in their neighborhood, I discovered that there will be a Peace Day soccer football event this Saturday.  I thought it would be a good way to connect Peace Day to "here and now", so this week's lessons revolve around it.

Yesterday's lesson was an introduction to Peace Day.  The main part of the lesson focused on this video, which I think was excellent for the level of my group (and the modal "can" in question form was not only used repeatedly but supported with graphics!).  They said enthusiastically that they didn't mind watching it again and again.  Before  the last viewing, learners read a copy of the text silently and had a chance to ask questions.  So, the last time we watched the video folks were nodding their heads as they watched.  Always a good feeling when they do that!

Tomorrow, we'll watch another video about Peace Day football events around the world and highlight the modal "will" as a way to express making a commitment.  I hope it will be useful to compare will and can over the two days, but mostly I hope that learners will check out the tournament and report back!  I hear that community groups will be at tables handing out flyers, so I hope this will open the door to further opportunities for learners to get involved in their neighborhood.  If anyone goes, their homework is to bring back flyers.

The second video also offers some great chances for learners to

- do listening practice: I will ask them to listen for the three questions that people ask (What about you?  Are you ready to play?  What will YOU do to make peace on September 21st?)
- do reading practice: There's a small amount of text and I'll prompt them to report on the facts.
- do  more listening practice: we'll listen for the refrain of the song ("Peace for One Day" by Dave Stewart and Jimmy Cliff):

Escape the hate, escape the rage
Let's shine a light, turn a new page

A pleasant Peace Day to you ... oh, and what will YOU do to make peace on that day?  *wink!*

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