Lesson Plans

Teaching Blog (continued)

Class 2

  • The song for the second class was Lukas Graham’s “7 Years.” We began with the “Four Corners” activity. I wrote the numbers 11, 20, 30, and 60 on separate pieces of paper and taped each paper in a corner of the room. Then I asked students, “What is the best age?” They got up and stood next to the age they thought was best. (Most clustered around age 20.) Each group came up with reasons why that age is best, and a volunteer spokesperson for the group reported the reasons to the class. Then students took their seats.
  • I explained that Lukas Graham wrote the song “7 Years” after his father died suddenly at age 61. In the song, Lukas describes the ages he’s been—7, 11, and 20—and then looks ahead to the ages he will be—30 and 60. We listened to the song while reading the lyrics. (Annotated lyrics are on the Lesson Plans page.) My students had heard the song often in Mexico and seemed pleased to have the lyrics. Some students began singing along as the recording played, so I played it again and invited them to “whisper sing” along—to basically mouth the words and try to keep up with the singer.
  • I spun off a mini grammar lesson based on the line I started writing songs, I started writing stories. (On the Lesson Plans page, you’ll find an interactive worksheet on the group of verbs that can be followed with either an infinitive or a gerund—startbegincontinuelikelovehate, and can’t stand.)
  • We watched part of the YouTube video “Later That Same Life” (starting at the 32-second mark to about the 2-minute mark). I asked students to guess who the two men were. They guessed it was a son interviewing his father and were surprised to learn that it was an 18-year-old interviewing his future 56-year-old self. I asked them, “What would you like to ask your 56-year-old self?” Some of their questions were:

Did you find the love of your life?
How many children do you have?
Did you achieve all your goals?
Are you happy?
What kind of work do you do?

  • I picked just two of the questions (we were running out of time) and asked students one by one to answer the questions in the present tense, as if they were 56 years old.
  • We ended the class by watching the music video for “7 Years.”

For me, the highpoint of this lesson was listening to my students describe their future selves with such certainty and detail. (Examples: I own two restaurants and have other business investments. I have two children—twin boys.)

Ah, to be 20 again!

Class 3