Our House

Posted on January 19, 2011

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Our house, in the middle of our street

This lesson is about homes and streets: Take your students for a walk down your street and get them speaking about where they live. Follow up with a little Madness, then suggest they make a video and upload it to the world. In other words, a bit of speaking, a bit of listening and a bit of project work. It is probably best suited to upper-intermediate and advanced students.

Step One : Show your students your street

  • Use Google Maps (see image 1 below) to zoom down on the street where you grew up (or on any other street which is special to you). If available, use the Streetview function (image 2) to get right down to pavement level.
  • Tell your students about your house and street, and encourage them to ask you questions about what it was like to live there. Ask your students to note down words related to streets and houses while they are listening to you (e.g. pavement, wide, semi-detached house, garden, drive, roof etc).
  • Put your students into pairs and ask them to give brief descriptions of their streets.

Image 1 : Our house, at the end of our street in Cardiff (Google Maps)

Image 2 : Our house, at the end of our street in Cardiff (Google Streetview)

Step Two : Conversation activity

  • Ask your students to go through the following conversation questions in pairs or small groups.

Step Three : Song – Our House by Madness

  • I am fond of a bit of Madness, and the song fits nicely!
  • As for a possible task, I was going to gap-fill it but I fell asleep while tippexing … Yawn! Then I came across Vicky Saumell‘s superlative series of blog posts on using songs with students. Here’s part 2 on practical ideas. There are so many great ideas here that I thought I’d just leave you with a downloadable and editable copy of the lyrics and then let you decide how best to exploit the song (hope Suggs & Co don’t mind!).

Step Four : Task – Make a video of your street

  • Show your students a few videos from Visitmystreet: a website that allows members to upload short videos of streets they know or they live in.
  • If you have keen, project-minded students, ask them whether they would be interested in producing a few mini-documentaries to show the world where they live. Once they’ve done the filming it’s simply a question of signing up and uploading their videos.
  • I have to be honest, I didn’t actually get around to doing this step with my students. As the task involves mobile or flipcam recording it is a little bit more complicated from a logistical point of view … Basically, I chickened out! If you decide to have a go yourself, please let me know how you and your students get on!

That’s about all for now!

Hope you enjoy this lesson!