A couple of days ago I came across a teacher’s blog* suggesting we should watch some 2 minute videos on nature by Conservation International and then ask the students to develop similar short speeches to present to the class.
I tried this activity out in two different versions and was amazed by the results!
These spectacular videos of nature are commented by actors impersonating an aspect of nature: Mother Nature, the Sky, the Ocean, the Mountain, Water, Ice and many more…
In the first activity I asked some tired adults at the end of their late evening’s two-hour conversation lesson to watch the video on Mother Nature with subtitles in English. I then gave them 3 minutes to discuss in two teams what they were going to say impersonating Water in one group and the Sky in the other. They had to speak for between 30 seconds and a minute since it was late and the lesson was drawing to a close. One representative from each team made interesting and detailed descriptions of their characteristics as elements of nature filling the minute easily. Despite the late hour their speeches were very complete and they really enjoyed the brief activity.
The second activity involved showing youngsters aged between 9 and 13 the same videos and having them repeat each sentence after the actor (stopping the video) and reading the subtitles. I then asked them to imagine they were an element of nature and to write it up. We subsequently recorded them reading it as well. The written work which resulted was pretty amazing for their age and they were truly interested in the work they were doing – not such an easy feat for this age group.
I therefore recommend this activity and would be curious to hear other experiences on the subject. The videos belong to the series: Nature is speaking.
(*if only I could remember whose)
I hope you like this suggestion.
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My name is Susan Brodar, born in London into a multilingual family and brought up bilingual English / Italian.