Here is a quick writing lesson idea which I recently put together. I received some really good feedback from my students about it so I thought it was only fair to share it with you.
The lesson was originally designed for my ILEC (International Legal English Cert) students and the task rubric takes the form of part 1 of the writing exam. The recommended level for this material is Strong upper-intermediate (B2+) and above.
The text for the lesson is a set of lyrics by Scroobius Pip from the UK hip hop duo Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip. A link to the YouTube video can be found here.
The main theme of the lesson is God, religion and what you would say to him if you had the chance. Clearly, this is a difficult subject for some students, so think carefully about whether it can be used in your classroom.
The lead in is entirely up to you. I simply began by asking who believed in God and who didn’t. I then announced that God had written a letter to mankind and that I had a copy. The reason I had a copy was because the people in the room had been tasked with the job of replying to him.
I then distributed a copy of the task rubric to each student;
God has recently contacted the people of Earth and he is not happy with us.
There has been much debate as to who should reply and how to answer. The world’s leaders have elected you to respond, therefore creating a buffer zone between them and any potential blame for the onset of Armageddon if it all goes wrong.
Choose your words carefully.
Read the letter carefully, on which you have made some notes. Then using all the information in your notes, write a letter to God on behalf of the entire population of the Earth.
Write a letter of between 150 –180words in an appropriate style. Do not write a postal address.
Once the students had read the rubric and were clear on what they had to do, I showed them the letter and the notes that had been made. Click here to open the word document. A copy of the rubric is on the second page.
We dealt with any unknown vocabulary and then talked about how the students might respond. I mentioned that they might want to think about their own relationship with God and how this might affect their response, as well as the register they think would be most appropriate.
The students really enjoyed the process and their finished letters were funny, touching and cleverly done. They commented on how difficult it was to begin the letter and how they had to think a lot more about the style they wanted to use, compared to that of the normal coursebook tasks. Overall, it was a successful departure from the standard course material and a fun writing exercise.
Please feel free to edit the word document as you see fit. The comments I made were appropriate to the class and the time, but you may feel the need to change them.
Please comment on the lesson if you used it and let me know how it went. Enjoy!