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Burns Night

Course: Weekly lessons, Unit: Arts and literature

  • 80 mins
  • In class
  • Listening
  • A2


Lesson goals:

  • Understand and respond to a video about an important Scottish poet, Robert Burns, and how he is celebrated
  • Research and write about a new celebration for another person

Published by

EF Education First



Success criteria:

  • Correctly answer questions about a video on the life of Robert Burns
  • Identify the meaning and use of key language from the video
  • Correctly use the past simple to describe the life of another writer, artist, or musician
  • Describe how this person should be celebrated, giving reasons

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Activities (11)

Introduction

Introduction

Recommendations

  • 2 mins
  • Class
  • Core
  • Discussion


Student instructions

No student instructions


Teacher notes

No teacher notes

 

Warm up

Warm up

Recommendations

  • 4 mins
  • Group
  • Core
  • Multiple choice, closed


Student instructions

No student instructions


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is to generate interest in the topic of literary celebrations by drawing attention to some events. It is not important if the students know anything about these events.
Suggested answers
1. True: It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors, such as Maurice Druon, Halldor K. Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo. But in fact, because Spain and England used different calendars at the time, Shakespeare really died 10 days after Cervantes.

 

Lead in

Lead in

Recommendations

  • 9 mins
  • Group
  • Core
  • Writing, open


Student instructions

No student instructions


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is to predict the story of Robert Burns, which the students will learn about in the Watch activities. It also provides the opportunity to pre-teach key vocabulary (see the Language notes).
For each group appoint one student to do the writing. Monitor and make a note of errors students make using the past simple that can be worked on in the Extension activity.

 

Watch 1

Watch 1

Recommendations

  • 5 mins
  • Individual, Group, Class
  • Core
  • Web site


Student instructions

Watch the video and compare the real story of Robert Burns with your guesses in Lead in.


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is for students to check their predictions from Lead in by watching a video explaining the life and legacy of Robert Burns.
Have students discuss differences between the video and their version of Robert Burns's life, either in their groups or as a class. It is not important for students to understand the excerpts from Burns's poems or songs, as they use the Scots language.

 

Watch 2

Watch 2

Recommendations

  • 6 mins
  • Individual
  • Core
  • Multiple choice, closed


Student instructions

Read the questions, then watch the video in Watch 1 to answer them.


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is for students to practise listening for details. They should read the questions before watching the video in Watch 1 again, then return to answer the questions.
Alternatively, display the video to the whole class as they focus on the activity.


 

Language

Language

Recommendations

  • 5 mins
  • Individual
  • Core
  • Matching, closed


Student instructions

Match the definitions to the words. You do not need to use all the definitions.


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is to expand students' range of vocabulary based on language from the video, and practise guessing the meaning of words from context.
Language notes
As a general rule, quite means 'not very' when it is followed by gradable adjectives such as big, strong, etc. However, when it is followed by non-gradable adjectives, such as extraordinary, it usually means 'very'.

 

Practice

Practice

Recommendations

  • 8 mins
  • Individual, Pair, Class
  • Support
  • Gap fill, mixed


Student instructions

Read the reference material 'The simple past' and complete the sentences about writers and literary celebrations. Use the correct form of the verbs from the list in the simple past form (positive, negative, or question).
You will need to use some verbs more than once. One sentence has two possible answers.


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is to provide practise both with the use of verbs from the video, and the simple past form.


 

Plan and produce

Plan and produce

Recommendations

  • 20 mins
  • Group
  • Core
  • Writing, open


Student instructions

No student instructions


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is to collaboratively research and produce a text about a writer, artist, or musician, and then to propose a celebration for them.
If students find it difficult to think of a suitable person, suggest some important people from their own cultural history. It does not matter if the source material the students use to research the person is not in English, although they may need help translating some details. Students may find it useful and engaging to be able to talk about great people from their own cultures in English.

 

Peer review

Peer review

Recommendations

  • 10 mins
  • Group
  • Core
  • Multiple choice, open


Student instructions

Show your text to another group. Read the other group's text and answer the questions. Then talk to them about their work. Explain your answers.


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is to encourage students to reflect on and review the writing task in the Plan and produce activity.
Encourage students to explain their answers in their discussion. Students can edit and finalize their texts after they have discussed them with the other group.

 

Follow up

Follow up

Recommendations

  • 5 mins
  • Group, Class
  • Challenge
  • Discussion


Student instructions

No student instructions


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is to personalize the topic of the lesson by having students discuss their opinions about celebrations of writers and other artists.

 

Exit ticket

Exit ticket

Recommendations

  • 6 mins
  • Individual
  • Text entry, open


Student instructions

No student instructions


Teacher notes

The aim of this activity is for students to review their work from the lesson, and identify what they did well and what they would like to improve.

 
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