Events from May
Learning Objectives: To highlight some of this month’s history anniversaries. Practise language of debate, ranking and discussion.
Preparation Time: 0 minutes
Completion Time: 15–30 minutes
Skill/Grammar: Reading, speaking/ranking importance, more important than, giving reasons
Age/Level: Secondary–Adult/ Intermediate and above
Resources: Student text
- Ask students what important historical events there are for May.
- Give out the list of historical anniversaries to students and ask them to read them.
Some key vocabulary: psychiatrist, unconscious, commit suicide, vaccine, eradicate, inject, telegraph, landmark moment, inventor, sculptor, represent
- Give them two minutes to read the anniversaries then ask them to turn over the text so they can’t see it. Ask the following comprehension questions:
What war ended? (Second World War)
Who was a politician? (Margaret Thatcher)
Who invented the telegraph? (Samuel Morse)
What was a terrible disease? (smallpox)
Who was interested in your feelings? (Sigmund Freud)
Who painted the Mona Lisa? (Leonardo da Vinci)
• Ask students to get into six groups. Give each group a historical anniversary and ask them to prepare an argument to say why it is the most important event. They might want to use language such as
‘… the most important because …’, ‘Obviously/Clearly …’, ‘While … are important …’, ‘ … more significant than …’, etc.
• Bring the class together and ask each group to state their case in one minute. Other groups can ask questions.
• Ask the class which event they really believe is the most important.
• Finally, direct students to the final few hypothetical questions about the type of world in which they would prefer to live.
1 Your teacher is going to ask you some questions. Don’t look at the text. Who can answer the quickest?
2 Ask your teacher about the words you don’t understand.
3 Get into groups of four. Your teacher will give you an event. You must say why that event is more important than all the others.
4 Present your ideas to the class. Tell other groups why they are wrong!
5 Which event do you really believe is the most important?
6 Discuss in pairs. Would you prefer to live in a world …
… with great artists or great psychiatrists?
… with no war or no disease?
… with telephones or equality between the sexes.