Leaving Home

Download this eLesson Inspiration in PDF format: Leaving Home.pdf

Pre-viewing Activities

‘Set the Scene’

Show your students the following picture and ask some questions encouraging them to explore it. E.g. Who are the boys in the picture? How old are they? Where are they? What do you think they are doing? When was this photo taken?


Then show them the 2nd picture and tell them that the boys are on an 83 kilometre march demanding the banning of nuclear weapons.


‘How many words?’

Read out the following sentences from the poem in a quick pace. Ask students to listen carefully to each one and write down how many words it contains. After reading out all five sentences check the answers. Get them to repeat the sentences slowly, counting the words with their fingers, and then quickly as part of natural speech.
1 It’s out of the question. 2 Take a tin of bins. 3 You’ll get ill if you don’t eat. 4 You can’t go without a spare pair of trousers. 5 They won’t have banned the bomb by then.
Note: When students listen to the poem, these sentences will ‘stand out’ and ring familiar.


Post-viewing Activities


In this poem we meet a family of three.

  • Who are the three people?
  • What does each person say?
  • What is each one of them doing?
  • What do you find out about them?
  • Why is the boy leaving?

‘Food Words’

Ask your students to recall all the food items that are mentioned in the poem (chicken, tin of beans, fresh fruit, dates, oranges, raisins). Then ask them to recall the last lines of the poem (‘Phone us if you need more food. Good bye.’) Why do you think there is so much mention of food? What does this signify? Note: these could be focusing tasks for a 2nd listening.

‘Spot the questions’

  • What questions does the mother ask his son? (E.g. ’What would you do in the evenings? What would you eat?’)
  • What questions are not asked? (E.g. Why do you want to go?)
  • In your view, what is the mother’s attitude to nuclear weapons and to politics?
  • What do you find out about the mother-son relationship?

Note: these could be focusing tasks for a 2nd listening.

‘Follow-up discussion’

Here are some questions to facilitate this:

  • Have you ever taken part in a march, or other form of demonstration?
  • What other forms of protests are there?
  • Have you ever seen a flash-mob?
  • In your view, what can be achieved by a flash-mob?
  • Would you take part in one?
  • Can you think of anything that would make you take part in a protest, flash-mob, etc.?
  • In your opinion, at what age does one become grown-up?
  • What does it mean to be responsible for your own life?
  • When is the right time to leave home?

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