I’ve opened a can or worms. It all started with a frantic search for an activity to use in class.
Then I came across Face down!*
And it all made sense.
Uber-busy teachers can download the lesson plan here. Face-Down.pdf (132 downloads)
1. Show one of the Face Down photos using a projector. This is my favourite:
2. Ask learners for their immediate explanations. This gets rid of ‘everyday explanations’.
3. Give learners slips of people. Ask them to think of alternative explanations, and write this explanation in one sentence on their piece of paper. Tell them that this explanation is secret – they mustn’t show it to anyone.
4. As they finish their sentences, take a look and check for basic mistakes. Correct quickly if necessary.
5. When everyone has a sentence to explain the picture. Tell them:
You have to ask questions to find out the other person’s explanation for the unusual situation in the picture.
The person can only answer yes or no. You have five minutes.
Choose one person to go first – they will answer questions from the other learners.
6. They ask their questions, the person replies with yes or no.
7. After each turn, feed in a few corrections and useful language for guessing. For example,
Can I/ we have a clue? (You’re) getting warmer
No, not really You could say that
You’re on the right track (there) You’re way off track (there)
8. After everyone has finished – decide on the best explanation for the picture. Two explanations I really liked were:
She’s protesting against people throwing away art
She’s trying to get a good look at the picture from ground level
I’m so out of touch.
Apparently this whole ‘lying down’ pretending to be dead was big in 2011 – and is also called ‘planking’.
This is not to be confused with several other viral trends including Milking, Teapotting, Owling, Horsemaning or Batmanning.
Oh well, the ‘planking’ photos I’ve seen aren’t as funny – I still love the Face Down concept.
I hope you found this lesson fun with your learners.
The world is a strange place.
Let’s keep it that way.