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Lesson Plan No.4 "What is Secret & Beautiful in My Country?"

There are so many 'presentation' assignments where a student is asked to share about a cultural feature in their country. Often what happens is that after a while you get the same 'touristy' kinds of content. "This is the Eiffel Tower, and in France it is really....". 

Ho hum.

I decided to re-package this presentation assignment with a little tweak that hopefully elicits much better, more interesting, useful content that both the students and the teacher could enjoy.

I was inspired to do this after reading over an article by Donald W. George called, "The Way of Iced Coffee". It details the ritualized experience of ordering ice coffee in a cafe in Japan. What occurred to me was even though it was a vivid description of a simple and small event, it was extremely enjoyable. It was the wonderful combination of sound, sight, smell, touch and taste that captured my imagination and made this a timeless cultural event. Even more, it's a very personal and even secret event. 

Something secret and beautiful.

When I lead my students into this thinking, I start seeing them go through all the little wonderful experiences they have gone through that makes their country special. Gone are the standard speeches of overused tourist spots. Now they share a story of a 'hole-in-a wall' seafood restaurant where the tiger shrimp overlooking a portion of a night-lit river are exquisite. 

Here is the lesson I put together...enjoy and let me know what you think:

Lesson Plan No.4 “What’s Secret and Beautiful in My Country”
This in NOT a presentation of stereotypes in your country. Instead, you are going to describe one thing that is beautiful, really beautiful in your country. It could be a building, a lake, mountain a town, or even a person. That’s why it is a secret because your audience may not know of this special thing. You need you use a large amount of descriptive details-try using the 4 senses of sight, sound, touch, taste to make your presentation especially rich. Talk about how you feel about your secret and beautiful place, but don’t just say that you like it or love it…tell us why you do. This presentation needs to be 5-10 minutes long.

Here's a Grading Rubric I Used:

Student Name:


Did you write on the board? []No []Yes, but just a little bit. []Yes, and it was good []

Did you use note cards? []No []Yes

Did you give a warm greeting? []No []Yes

Did you avoid talking about a stereotype? []No []Yes

On a Scale of 1 to 10, how well did you use descriptive details? (a '1' means not great at all and a '10' means the best)

How well did you elaborate? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Did you give a warm farewell? []No []Yes

How long was it? Less than 5, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,  More than 10 minutes.

Other notes:

copyrighted by Roger Dupuy 2007 under the Creative Commons License