Family drama is always the most dramatic facet of life.
That has been proven again in our recent activity in English.
In Task 4 in our learners’ material, the students were asked to share their most unforgettable family conflict.
Of course, this kind of lesson (or part of a lesson, initial tasks phase in particular) requires preparation.
First, I preassigned the task. I told my students to write their most memorable family conflict. I made some adlib as to inspire them to take the task seriously.
Then, I downloaded a very dramatic background music. I don’t usually bring my speakers anymore in school, but good thing that I was able to borrow speakers for every class. I had four classes.
I wrote my lesson plan a day before so that everything would be fresh in memory and the hype would be intense.
The following day marked one of the most dramatic sessions in my teaching career when a lot of my students cried in our activity.
After our greeting, I told my students to remain standing. I instructed then to take their seats only if they belong in the categories (ex. “if you never experienced financial problem”). We processed the activity and some students shared that they realized that they’re not alone with their struggles.
After that, I asked them to read their assignment. I made some variations. In one class, I grouped them together. In another class, I asked them to just read it to themselves. In another one, I called few students to share.
The sharing was surprising because few of them were already crying.
After the sharing, I asked them to close their eyes and follow everything I told them while playing the background music. (This is not my original activity. I learned this from my friend who is a pscyhology graduate. He did it in our retreat in 2015).
I made some exhortation. I asked my students to imagine what they put in their assignments and search within their hearts what they felt about it. Many of them started to cry. Some shed tears while few of them really sobbed aloud. I had to roam around and tap those who were really moved. My friend told me before that it’s very important to monitor participants because activities like this can awaken strong emotions. In fact, I am responsible of 60+ students in every class.
In the middle of the background music, I boldly asked my students to let go their baggages and negative feelings.
After the song, we processed our activity. One student pointed how blessed she was and realized that she haven’t valued her family much. Another disclosed her family conflict experience. One student expressed his future plans.
All in all, the activity made the students aware of the impact of a family conflict and how they can resolve these conflicts. Althought not all can be solved, students and I came up with ways on how they can divert themselves to other things.
The activity served as an avenue for my students to reflect and express themselves.
I did not take pictures, but the image of my session in every class will stay in me forever.