- Tell your students they are going to be using their coursebook in a different way for this lesson: they are going to be coursebook writers, editors and publishers. Elicit all the roles involved in producing the final product, i.e. the coursebook.
- Ask them to go through the first unit and decide with a partner what topics & characters the unit is about. Check that they understand that they should not describe the language/skill focus of the unit, i.e. grammar/vocabulary/reading, etc.
- Round-up and elicit topics, e.g. the weather, daily routines of a teenage boy living in London, his friends from British colonies, his mother and so on.
- Now, tell them they are going to do the same with the other units but that this time they are going to focus their attention on “The Others”, i.e. topics and characters who are not in the coursebook. Elicit the following:
|Topic/character||Tick if NOT present|
|1. Elderly people/|
|2. Disabled people/disabilities|
|3. Problematic teenagers/teenage problems|
|4. Bullying/victims and bullies|
|5. Gay characters|
|6. Gay parenting|
|7. Single parenting|
- Make sure that the students take an active part in coming up with characters and themes that might not be in the coursebook. They will come up with other themes/groups that we have not thought of, e.g. rappers, drug abuse, etc. You must be ready to accept these or else the whole lesson will flop!
- Divide the class into groups of 3. Each group is assigned a language skill (reading, listening, speaking, writing) or system (grammar, vocabulary, phonology, discourse) and a topic/group of people from the list above. Assign both the topic/group of people from their list of “Others” and the skill. You could let the students choose if they are sure and already have an idea of what they’d like to focus on. Assign a variety of topics/groups, e.g. elderly people, gay parenting, poverty and –most importantly- make sure they don’t only focus on their language point or skill but also on the content.
- Tell the students they’re going to design a coursebook page modeling it on their coursebook. Their unit will have to be about or be featuring one of the topics/groups from the list of The Others. Brainstorm what they will need, e.g. pictures, a title, a text, comprehension-checking questions. Get them to plan first by using the following grid:
|WHAT we need for the UNIT||Where to find it/how to produce it|
|Text||Google (select the most interesting, at the right level, etc.)|
|Comprehension-checking questions or T/F||Design 8 T/F statements based on information from the text|
|Listening material||Find a podcast or record one ourselves!|
- Before students start designing and making their coursebook unit, you have to make sure that they are ready to start or else they won’t know what to do.
- Allocate at least 40 minutes for the learners in the group to prepare their unit. It is important that they understand that their unit has to be about one of the topics or featuring one of the groups from the list of “The Others”. Try to encourage them to make their unit engaging and appealing. A unit with a disabled character could be about the weather: it doesn’t have to talk about disability! Think about Stephen Hawking: the unit could be about science!
- Monitor closely while students are working: this is a great opportunity for them to work on language skills and systems as they will have to think abut comprehension-checking questions, functional exponents, etc.
- If the students finish their units by the end of the lesson, they can post them around the room and have a look at each other’s units. If not, finish it for homework. Monitor closely and correct accordingly.
- In the following lesson students can try their lessons out as each group will have the opportunity to test their lessons.