It was saddened to have learnt about the passing of our great Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She was truly an inspiration and figure that all students that I had the pleasure to teach, knew a little about. In today’s post, I am sharing some videos, material, etc. that you could use in your lessons to raise student awareness about the Queen and the Royal Family.
1. A Look Back At The Queen’s Life: Video Quiz
When it comes to interactive videos which incorporate quizzes, I tend to get students to come up to computer and select or type the correct answer. The following video is a great introduction to the life of Queen Elizabeth II and after students have completed it, you could get students to try to recall as much information as possible. One possible grammar point on this lesson would naturally lead to the Past Simple.
2. Marking The Queen’s Jubilee: Video Quiz
Much like the previous suggestion, the video below incorporates a quiz revolving round tea with the Queen. It is a great British tradition where people, regardless status, have tea with each other. In the following video, Paddington Bear is invited to have tea with the Queen to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee. You could get students to first share their ideas on protocols when having tea with a Queen or King (i.e. what should people do and not do). Board up these ideas and then get students to watch the video, completing the quiz. As a note, the Queen ate jam sandwiches everyday since childhood, and something which is of relevance in the following video below.
3. The Queen Remembered: BBC Podcast
As an alternative, you could get students to listen to an episode of a podcast from BBC Sounds, ‘The Queen Remembered’, at home for selfstudy. This will be best suited to students who is a strong intermediate or above. Explain to students that they will listen to the first podcast as mentioned above, making notes of what they listen, and when returning to class the next day they will have an opportunity to share what they had learnt.
Have a listen to the first episode of the podcast above, making a note of the language used in the podcast, and develop some comprehension questions (which you could dictate to learners) such as:
- How old was Princess Elizabeth when she became Queen? (25 years old)
- What date did Princess Elizabeth become Queen? (6 February 1952)
- How did Princess Elizabeth and her sister, Princess Margaret, speak to child evacuees during the Second World War? (Through the wireless on Children’s Hour)
- How old was the young Elizabeth when she signed up for service during the Second World War? (18 years old)
- How did the general public feel when Princess Elizabeth married a Greek Prince? (There was a 40% public disapproval rating)
- Why did Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip go on a tour of South Africa? (To mark the 21st birthday of Princess Elizabeth)
- When was the Royal Wedding between Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip? (November 1947)
- Who were Princess Elizabeth’s and Prince Philip’s first two children and when were they married? (Charles (1948) and Anne (1950))
- Where were Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip living in their early years of marriage? (Malta as Prince Philip was stationed there with the Navy)
4. Discussion Questions: Royal Family
Another way to get students interested or involved in the topic of the Royal Family is to either dictate or board up the following questions:
- What do you know about the Royal Family? Share your knowledge with others.
- What other countries have Royal Families?
- Does your country have a Royal Family? If so, can you share a bit more information to your partner?
- What functions do the Royal Family provide?
- What do you think that a King or Queen does each day? Share your ideas with others.
- What question(s) would you ask a King or Queen?
As with any class discussion, monitor students and make a note of any language that could be corrected or scaffolded. Try to elicit ideas, views, etc. from the whole class after the student to student discussion. You could incorporate the following video to add more a debate between the Monarchy and a Republic.
5. The Crown: Netflix Series
One thing that I decided to incorporate into the classroom is showing the popular Netflix series, ‘The Crown’. Start by showing the following trailer from the series and ask students to make a note of which people were portrayed in this trailer.
Once students have watched the trailer, pair learners together and ask them to retell the trailer to each other (i.e. What scenes do they remember? What people were portrayed? What struggles were shared in the trailer?). Elicit from students and board up their ideas.
Afterwards, start the first episode of the series (if you have a Netflix account) and pause at integral points, nominating students to answer questions about what is happening at these points. You may wish to introduce the movie, ‘The King’s Speech’ so learners could learn more about King George VI.
Feel free to share your own lesson ideas in the comments. As always, a level of discretion is needed when preparing lessons revolving around the Royal Family and it is important to remain impartial and not share any personal opinions in the classroom.