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This is a conversation lesson plan based around Rita Pierson’s TED talk entitled: Every Kid Needs a Champion it’s suitable for C1+ although high B2s might be able to deal with it if you break the video up a bit. Download the handout below:
Have students watch the TED talk for homework or you can show it in class as it’s only 8 mins long. Then give out the handout and have students discuss it in small groups or as a class.
- What is the talk about?
- What did you think of the speaker?
- Was she easy to understand?
- What is her message?
Look at these quotes from the talk and discuss the questions below:
“And we know why kids drop out. We know why kids don’t learn. It’s either poverty, low attendance, negative peer influences… We know why.”
- Which of these things do you think has the biggest impact on dropout rates?
- What can be done to help?
“James Comer says that no significant learning can occur without a significant relationship.”
“George Washington Carver says all learning is understanding relationships.”
- What is your interpretation of these quotes?
- Do you agree with them?
A colleague said to me one time, “They don’t pay me to like the kids. They pay me to teach a lesson. The kids should learn it. I should teach it, they should learn it, Case closed.”
Well, I said to her, “You know, kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.”
- What do you think of the teacher’s quotes? Do you agree?
- Do students have to like their teacher to learn from them?
“How do I raise the self-esteem of a child and his academic achievement at the same time?”
- How important is it that a teacher raises their students’ self-esteem?
- What methods does Rita mention? What other ways can they do it?
“One year I came up with a bright idea. I told all my students, “You were chosen to be in my class because I am the best teacher and you are the best students, they put us all together so we could show everybody else how to do it.”
“I gave a quiz, 20 questions. A student missed 18. I put a “+2” on his paper and a big smiley face.”
- What do you think of these methods? Do you think they would work?
“Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”
- What do you think of her message?
- Did you have a “champion” when you were growing up? Who was it?
- How can this message be put into practice?