Mystery (Wo)man

Classroom activities

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.


‘Who is s/he?’

Tell your students that they will now solve a mystery. They will read a short blog post and need to figure out who the writer is.

  • Is it a man or woman?
  • Around what age?
  • What does this person do for a living?
  • What makes you think so?

Hand out the text and give them 5 minutes to read and make their guesses.  Mystery (Wo)man Text

Note: the aim is to create interest and to ‘prime their minds’ for the listening that follows. The text is not the transcript of the video, but it contains information that is mentioned in the video. When the students watch and listen, the story mentioned in the text will ring familiar. This can build their confidence to listen and understand.

‘Unjumble the quote’

Ask your students to unjumble the quotation; figure out the right order of the words. You can write the words on the board or dictate it to them.  Ask them not to shout in the solution, just raise their hands if they’ve got it. Wait till most of your students have got it.

someone old / it’s impossible / I love to see / before / what young people can do / tells them

(David Brower)

‘Reflect and Share’

The aim of this activity is to explore what activism and being an activist means. Ask your students to think individually about the following questions, then discuss them together.

  • What is the root of the word ‘activist’?
  • What does it mean?
  • Can you think of some activists? Is being an activist their full-time job?
  • What professions do you associate with activism?


‘Three questions’

Ask your students to formulate 3 questions they would like to put to the person in the video. They do this as individual work. When they’re ready, listen to their questions.

Note: When you come out of watching mode, it’s good to have a short, transition phase of  individual reflection before you move on to speaking activities. It can facilitate more in-depth processing.

‘One similarity, one difference’

Ask your students to think of one similarity and one difference between them and the person in the video. With some groups, it might help to do this as a complete the sentence type dictation.

Something Kyle and I have in common is that we ………………

One difference between us is that …………………………………


Dictate the following lexical chunks, and then ask your student to decide which one is the odd one out.

finance a project / current issue / spread the message / win a prize / activism can be fun / take action

Note: This task has no single correct answer. It could be ‘take action’ (it was mentioned several times),’ win a prize’ (appears neither in the text or in the video), ‘activism can be fun’ (only chunk with 4 words) etc. The aim is to engage your learners with some useful lexical chunks, make the phrases more memorable for them.

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One Response to Mystery (Wo)man

  1. Bill Templer April 5, 2014 at 4:01 pm #


    Check out ‘surfing for change’ on Google. You’ll find Kyle’s site also on Facebook

    As here in Hawaii: against GMO-free (genetically modified organism) experiments in agriculture this is about food and change: especially in Hawaii fighting Monsanto in Hawaii chemical experiments GMO-foods research on pesticides in Hawaii polluting the water  acute poisoning anti-corporate activism big corporate agro-business food growers hold companies accountable what are they spraying in the open air? Testing zones are often near schools, endangering pupils

    Buy local, surf global Google that — you can find that on youtube, a good video with Kyle: focused in part on clothing manufacture in Sri Lanka buy locally, shop responsibly

    Many other videos with Surfing for Change on youtube, just browse for it using the name Kyle Thiermann

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