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Future Society

Level: Intermediate & above

Timing: Approx I hour and 40 mins but could easily be expanded or reduced.

Aim: To engage Ss imaginations in order to motivate them in the reading of an authentic text and thereby encourage deep processing.

Mats: 1 copy of newspaper article entitled "Mega Computing in a Speck of Dust" per S.


Stage One

T: Eliciting ideas from Ss mind - map important inventions/technological advances of the 20th Century. Make sure Ss understand "inventions" and "technological advances" 1st.

Stage Two - Group Work

T: Instruct Ss. Remind them that simple, basic drawings are all we are looking for, there are no points scored for artistic merit!

Ss: Come up with at least 5 ideas for inventions/technological advances for a future society. One S draws the group's ideas.

Each group picks their best or favourite idea and then two of it's members come up to the board and present it to the class - one student draws it out on the WB and the other explains it.

Stage Three

T: Inform Ss that shortly they will be reading a newspaper article entitled "Mega Computing in a Speck of Dust" (write on WB).

Ss: Bearing in mind what they have just been working on in stages one and two, Ss guess what article is going to be about.

T: BEFORE giving out texts tell Ss that dictionaries are not allowed, that they are to guess or ignore any words they dont know. 

Breathing Exercise - (derived from Schuster and Gritton, 1986) Instruct Ss how to do the following exercise:

Breathe for 10 in/out cycles of nose breathing. Close your eyes while doing so & think only of your breathing. Let all other thoughts float out of your mind. Let your breathing happen naturally without forcing it to go slow or to go quick. Just let it be. After ten cycles come back to the classroom. (a cycle is 1 breathe in & 1 breathe out). 

T: Hand out copies of text.

Ss: Read text.

T: Put following instructions and questions on WB:

In the same groups as before answer the following question:

Does this article relate to any of your group's ideas and/or to any of the ideas presented to the class by the other groups?

How do you think this advance could change society?

Do you think this is a positive or a negative development?

Ss: Discuss the questions.

T: Allow sufficient time for Ss to discuss and then ask for their ideas in open class.

Stage Four - Optional

T: Ask Ss what they can tell you about the passive. Youre looking particularly for how its formed and how to recognise it, also for the short forms. If they dont know youll have to give them this information. (Eventually Ill have a link here for info on the passive in case youre not too hot on that grammar point yourself - hassle me to sort it out if Im taking too long!)

Tell Ss to identify all the examples of the passive in the text and to say what form they are - they can work alone or in pairs . Go to mega passives  for a version of the article with all the passive forms highlighted and explained. 

Check in open class.

Homework or Back Up

Ss: Draw their vision of a future world and add a commentary. 

(You could make this a competition with the best drawing being voted for by the class. Homework prizes were insisted on at the school where I wrote this lesson. Personally I dislike this idea as it encourages Ss [ and Ts ] to think that one person is 'better' than another or 'not as good' as another rather than promoting the more realistic view that everyone learns at their own pace and in their own way.)


So what did you think? How did it go? Let me & others know at the Efl Alt Message Board!


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