ELT Experiences

Experiences of an English Language Teacher

Zeitgeist 2012: A Lesson Plan

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Last year, I wrote a lesson plan in relation to Zeitgeist 2011.  As 2012 is drawing to a close, I thought it suitable to reflect, as I had done with the #12from12 challenge, and to review the year in a greater context to world events.  Many events occurred during this year which are highlighted very well in the Google Zeitgeist video below.

As with last year’s lesson plan, you could review learner’s of the year, reflect on their achievements and aims for the future, perhaps with the use or the making of a poster.  Get learners to bring in their most important photos of 2012 and get them to share them with the class.

Context & Introduction to Topic

When starting the class ask students:

  • what they have achieved during 2012
  • what is their most memorable event during the year
  • what was the most surprising element of 2012
  • learner and/or teacher resolutions for 2013

Monitor language for correct tense usage, monitor language as well as boarding and scaffolding emergent language.

Zeitgeist 2012 YouTube Video

  1. Tell learners that they are going to be watching a video but put learners in pairs or small groups.
  2. Describe to each pair or group of learners that before they watch the video, they need to work together and think of five important events that happened in 2012.
  3. Elicit possible important events during 2012 from the learners and write their suggestions on the whiteboard.
  4. Tell learners that they are going to watch a video that is related to 2012.  The learners need to watch the video and check to see if any of their suggestions are in the video.
  5. Play the video.
  6. Once the video has been played, ask learners to mention what events that were suggested (and transcribed on the whiteboard) are in the video.
  7. Elicit any other important events from 2012 the learners and add these to the whiteboard (if the learners can remember some of the other important events in the video).
  8. Play the video for a second time.

Discussion Time

  1. Once several events from 2012 have been written on the board, tell students that they are going to be working in groups and have to re-order the events in importance (one being the most important and the last one being least important).  All learners within the group must accept the order of importance.
  2. Monitor learners for suitable or potential language that could be used to scaffold (I think … is the most important, Why do you think …?, What do you think?, etc).
  3. After learners have completed the re-ordering activity, get several groups together and to compare results with the potential to debate.
  4. Allow sometime once the debate/discussion has finished for feedback and error correction.
If you would like to review 2011 with the class, then feel free to develop the lesson with the Google Zeitgeist 2011 video (available below).  This will broaden potential discussion and greater reflection for language learners.
As ever, any comments or feedback on the lesson idea above would be greatly appreciated.  I would like to wish all my fellow readers a wonderful Christmas and all the best for the New Year.
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Author: Martin Sketchley

I have been an English language teacher for over 10 years both abroad and now currently in the UK. I am highly interested in teaching to young learners, professional development and curriculum development.

2 thoughts on “Zeitgeist 2012: A Lesson Plan

  1. I'm looking for more information on getting TEFL certified. I have a BA in bio, but no experience creating lesson plans. Was looking into http://www.unitefl.com Any thoughts on their program or similar programs? How about a CELTA?

  2. Hello. I would recommend that you complete a CELTA course at one centre. It is traditionally a 4 week course with a combination of teaching practice and input from the tutors. You will learn all you need to know about lesson planning, delivering a lesson and have a chance to get your foot in the door with various schools around the world. I hope this helps.

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