Here you’ll find some practical ideas for working with the clip. Choose the ones that suit your teaching aims, particular group of learners, your teaching style, and then plan your own lesson.
Show the picture above and challenge your class to come up with 20 questions about Jim in 1 minute. Help with language if necessary. If they get stuck, give examples of your own. With your examples, encourage them to think of creative questions. E.g.
- What was Jim like as a child?
- What was his dream job?
- What’s his favourite food?
Show the picture of Jim, and ask for a volunteer to take on his identity for a few minutes. Give him a minute to take a good look at the picture and get into role. In the meantime, tell the rest of the class that they are journalists and they will have to write a ‘Day in the life of X’ type of article. They have 5 minutes to interview ‘X’, the person they will write about. This interview will be the basis for their article. Invite the volunteer to come to the front of the classroom and sit facing the class, and let the journalists ask their questions.
After about five minutes, ask the journalists to decide on an interesting title for their articles and to share this with the class.
Put students into pairs and ask them to write a paragraph introducing Jim. You can give them the framework below, or just ask them to do it as a free writing activity.
He is ________ years old. He works as a ____________ . He is married with _______ children. He lives in _________ . He really enjoys _____________ . His friends say that he is very ____________ . His children think he is ____________ . What do you think?
‘Reading Aloud with Prompters’
Give out the text below and ask students to go over it trying to recall the missing words. Tell them NOT to write in the words, just to work from memory. Then ask for a volunteer to come up front and read out the text. If s/he gets stuck, the group should act as the prompter in the theatre and remind them of the word. If nobody remembers, you can help. Have several rounds of this, till the students practically learn the text.
For d_______, Jim has s___________ with p___________ , h______________ , and a______________ . In September 2013, he v______________ to go through this p_______________ t_______________ . Since filming Jim has t______ c_______ of his life. He is now s___________ to have his own h__________ and is a_____________ Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for the first time e____ .
Key: decades / struggled / poverty / homelessness / alcoholism / volunteered / physical transformation / taken control / scheduled / housing / attending
Note: If needed, you can practise pronuncing the words before the text is read out.
‘Reflect & Share’
Ask your students to think about the following quotation:
“Beware, so long as you live, of judging men by their outward appearance.” (Jean de la Fontaine)
Ask them to relate the quote to their own lives. Do any stories / personal experiences come to mind? Give them some time to reflect, and then ask them to share in pairs or small groups. Then invite one or two students to share their stories with the whole class.
Tell your class that in some UK schools a homeless person is invited as a guest in order to raise awareness of homelessness. If Jim was now here with them, what would they like to find out from him? Everyone should write at least two questions that they would like to put to him. Then tell them that in fact Jim is here and is ready to have a conversation with them. Depending on the maturity of your group, choose one of the options below:
a- Choose a student by turning to him or her saying: ‘Thank you very much, Jim, for agreeing to visit our class today and being ready to answer a few questions.’
b- Ask for a volunteer.
c- Take on the role of Jim.
Note: This is quite a powerful, high-risk activity. You need to know your students very well to decide whether you can do it or not . It also requires some time for debriefing and discussion. For example, after they have interviewed ‘Jim’, you may want to ask the student who acted in role what it felt like to take on a homeless person’s perspective. It is also a good idea to let the group share their thoughts and feelings related to the experience.
Below is a link to a 4-minute video that tells the story of a 16 year-old girl who became homeless after a family breakup. The language is clear, and easy to follow. You can suggest the video as an optional, task-less follow up for students who are interested.