Today is Thanksgiving and in today’s globalized world, whatever happens in the USA has repercussions everywhere. At the CARLEE on Monday we had the pleasure of listening to an American, Christina Vouros talking about her county’s culture and what this special day means to American people. As well as being a great opportunity for teachers to practice their oral comprehension, work on their pronunciation and deepen their understanding of American culture, Christina’s presentation also provided us with the opportunity to suggest some ideas about about how to use this event as a context for incorporating culture into our lessons. This particular celebration (especially the story of the first Thanksgiving) is a great context for teaching our pupils about intercultural awareness, understanding multiple perspectives, using critical thinking skills, showing empathy and tolerance, being kind and helping each other. If you are interested in knowing more about the ideas and activities we discussed, then you can take a look at the presentation from Monday’s session.
Thanksgiving is followed by Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which are more American-born events that have a direct impact on our lives here in Spain. So why not take advantage of them to encourage your pupils to make connections between they learn in class with what’s happening in the real world? Are we responsible consumers? Should we always believe everything advertisements tell us? Is it acceptable to push or fight with each other to get a bargain in a shop? Or another idea is to teach your pupils about the ‘Giving Tuesday‘ movement (November 28th). After spending money in the sales, how many ways can they think of giving something back to other people?
Next Monday we will continue the course, but this time it will be with with a Scottish accent thanks to the participation of our Erasmus intern Alyson Anderson. We will be using St. Andrew’s Day (Nov 30th) as an excuse to teach our pupils something about Scottish culture and also as a context for raising issues such as gender equality, the right to freedom and unity vs. independence.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!