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Connecting to the Past - Intermediate Low

Lesson Information

Positive Psychology Learning Outcomes

Students will…

  1. mindfully review their progress over the semester 
  2. describe and remember their past self with an attitude of gratitude.

Language Learning Outcomes

Students will…

  1. Create language based on memorized phrases and formulaic speech.
  2. Describe in all major time frames about familiar and general topics
  3. Listen for specific information.

Materials Needed

Overview

Connecting to the present by remembering who we were in the past can help us better understand ourselves. Now that it is the end of the semester, we can look back to the beginning to see how far we have come and better understand who we are in the present. Accepting and seeing our English in the present compared to the past helps us see how we can improve in the future.

Activate Background Knowledge

Help students understand the concept of ‘Connecting to the past’ by showing the example from “Meet the Robinsons”. Explain that this video is from a movie about a boy named Lewis who travels to the future. The boy likes to invent machines. In the video, the boy meets himself in the future. 

Before watching, ask students, “What advice does the old Lewis give the young Lewis?” Then watch the video, stopping at 1:30. Depending on your students’ proficiency, you may want to turn on closed captions.

Meet The Robinsons - Lewis Meets His Future Self

https://edtechbooks.org/-kQTw

After watching, ask students what advice old Lewis gave young Lewis. 

  • Make the right choices
  • Keep moving forward

Activity 1: Speaking

With a partner, have students answer the following prompt. 

"Imagine you meet yourself when you are 8 years old. What nice things do you say? What advice do you give? Why?"

Model potential answers before students speak.

  • I would say… “You are smart and strong” because I did not believe I was smart when I was little.
  • My advice is… “Study English” because it is easier to learn when you are young.

After 2 minutes of discussion, have a few students share as a class.

Now, with a different partner, have students answer the following prompt. 

Imagine you meet yourself from the beginning of this semester. What nice things do you say? What advice do you give? Why?

Model potential answers.

  • I would say… “You can do this!” because this is a difficult semester.
  • My advice is… “Write new vocabulary words” because I can’t remember all the words I learn.

Activity 2: Grammar

Students will now prepare to describe their progress throughout the semester by using present and past tense verbs to describe their English at the beginning of the semester and their English now. Review regular past tense with your students using the slides 10-16.

Play this Kahoot to review common irregular past tense verbs.

Activity 3: Meditation (Listening)

Help students recognize that connecting to the past helps us be more mindful of the present. Another way to be more mindful and present is by practicing meditation. Explain to students that they will do a short meditation to focus their minds. 

First, have students do the breathing exercise in the following video.

take a deep breath

https://edtechbooks.org/-IHVQ

After students have calmed their minds by breathing, have students close their eyes and visualize as you read out the following prompts.

Imagine yourself at the beginning of the semester. Are you nervous? Are you excited? What do you want to learn? What can you do in English? What is your life like? What good decisions do you make? (pause)

Imagine yourself after one month of the semester. How do you feel? What are you learning? What can you do better? What is your life like? What good decisions do you make? (pause)

Imagine yourself in this last month. What can you do with English? What have you learned? Are you different? How do you feel? What can you do better? (pause)

Activity 4: Speaking

Have students open their eyes. With a small group (2-3 people), have students respond to the following prompt. Model potential answers before students break off into groups. Point out the verbs in present and past tense.

  • Describe your progress over the semester.
    • At the beginning
      • I was… I felt… My friends were… I could… in English
    • After a month
      • I was… I felt… I learned… 
    • Now, 
      • I am… I feel… I can… in English

Activity 5: Listening/Speaking

Students will now listen to a recording of their speech from the beginning of the semester. This can be done by inviting them to choose one from Canvas on their phone (or on a computer). A specific assignment from the beginning of the semester may be chosen for  Before students listen, encourage them to listen with kindness and gratitude to their past self.

After students listen to their recording, have them discuss the following prompts with a partner for three minutes.

  • What do I say in the recording? What is my English like?
  • How is my English different now? Why?

Students may feel upset or discouraged if they feel they have not improved. If this happens, do your best to help them identify one thing they can do now that they couldn’t before. Encourage empathy and hope.

 If time allows, you may have a few students share their experience with the class.

Homework

Throughout the week, students will write letters to their former selves. This will not be homework, but instead part of the follow-up activities at the beginning of class.

Follow-Up

Tuesday:

Begin class by having students write a small note of thanks to themselves from the beginning of the semester. The following prompt can be put on the board to help inspire them.

  • Say thank you to yourself from the beginning of the semester. What decisions did you make? What things did you do well?

You may also show students the following example:

Dear me,

Thank you for the decision to study English. I can understand more English now because of you. Thank you for talking to Maria. She is now my best friend. Thank you for not giving up. It was hard, but now I am ready to go to Ensign College.

Wednesday:

Have students write notes of encouragement to themselves from the beginning of the semester. The following prompt can be put on the board to help inspire them:

  • Help yourself at the beginning of the semester. What was difficult? What were you stressed about? Be nice to yourself.

You may also show students the following example:

Dear me,

You can do this! I know you are stressed. This semester is difficult, but you are strong. You can learn English. Study hard and remember how smart you are!

Thursday:

Have students write notes of advice to themselves from the beginning of the semester. The following prompt can be put on the board to help inspire them:

  • What do you wish was different from this semester? What helped you? What did not help you?

You may also show students the following example:

Dear me,

This semester, do not watch Netflix in Korean. Listen in English. It will help you understand more. Also, talk to more native speakers in English. Study hard and you will learn so much!

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