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This is a conversation lesson plan for higher levels (B2+) based on Daniel Kish’s TED talk “How I use sonar to navigate the world”.
You can either watch the video in class or set it as homework. I have included a copy of the transcript which some students may find useful. You can download the lesson plan below:
TED Talk Daniel Kish Lesson Plan
Daniel Kish TED (transcript)
What do you call a person who can’t see?
What would it be like to be blind?
How do you feel when you see a blind person in the street?
Are there any advantages to be being blind?
Think of some things that blind people can and can’t do.
How do blind people navigate the world?
What do you think would be the most difficult thing for a blind person to do?
Show the video.
What was your initial reaction to the video?
What did you think when you first saw Daniel?
What did he say about the way in which people treat and react to blind people in society?
What’s his message?
Describe how he navigates the world.
What does he call this system?
Do you think you could use flash sonar?
Do you think you have good eyesight/a good sense of smell etc.?
With a partner try to put your senses in order of importance. (This should spark off a lively debate)
Try and come up with a definitive order as a class.
If you had to lose one of your senses, which would you choose and why?
Divide the class into 5 groups and write the 5 senses on small pieces of paper. Each group picks a piece of paper, they then have to explain why the sense they have picked is the most important. Give them a few minutes to think of some arguments and every day situations to back them up.
Follow up activity
Students write a CAE/CPE report/proposal detailing ways in which a school or public space could be adapted for blind people. Alternatively, you could set an essay based on the TED talk evaluating Daniel Kish’s upbringing compared to more conventional parenting styles for blind/disabled children.