Friday, September 17, 2010

If Facebook was created years ago: EFL task-based activity

I got this link from a colleague in TESOL on my FB network,!/photo.php?pid=14520790&id=739070012&ref=fbx_album

One of his followers asked who created it- so anyone who would pass it forward could give the right attributes/reference.

Google didn't help, but I found the same graphics with better quality.

This is how you could turn this piece into a creative and fun EFL activity. I think it would be better if you 'localize' the characters/known personalities so students could easily relate to them. This is a great piece for ESP i.e. History, Social Studies, etc.

First, show students the same Facebook messages above. Choose one that does not contain profanity/vulgar words (most of them contain words that you may not want your students to use. Please edit as you wish)

Ask students if they know Abraham Lincoln, Galileo, etc.
Do a little text analysis i.e. what word in the message that connects it to the famous person involved?
For example: Abraham Lincoln: what does 'theater' and/or 'private box seats' got to do with him? What happened to him? Dig real facts here. Get your resources ready.

What about Charles Darwin? What about living creatures evolving from basic forms? And why is the Church so angry at him asking him to shut up?


Once you've gone through the materials, ask students to do some brainstorming.

Brainstorming: Ask students to name famous local people they've encountered in history books or people who have made an impact on their history and culture. Are they considered 'heroes'? What did they do in the past that made them famous?

Write/list the names on the board (wiki or whatever you're using in the classroom). For each historical figure named, write down what their personality/character was like.

Once you've got enough information regarding your list of famous people, ask students to write/compose messages or Facebook updates that they think these people would use. Ask them to look at the given sample for help/inspiration.

Ask them to write/publish their work online i.e. Wiki/blog and share with the Webheads and we'll comment on them!

Have fun!


"Thanks, Aiden. That just brightened my day:-)"
"I quite like this one which explains World War 2. A few inappropriate posts along the way though."
"Great idea and lesson! Thanks for sharing."
"I loved the idea! My students are big fans of Facebook and I'm sure they'll see "language contextualized" !!! thanks for sharing "

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