Conversation Class Lesson Plan

Section: Advanced Conversation
Date: 10. November 2009

Class theme/topics discussed: The fall of the Berlin Wall

How did you pick this theme or topic? This lesson was one of the last ones before the German Special Dinner, which will be centered on the fall of the Berlin Wall. So I thought it might be interesting for my students to learn and talk a little bit about how the Berlin Wall was built, separated Germany and then finally fell.

How did you present the material? (handouts, group work, general discussion, student presentations, etc.)
I asked the students about their knowledge of the Berlin Wall and how it came down in 1989. Then, I handed them an article about the Fall of the Berlin Wall, which we read and discussed. I asked them some more questions (e.g. “Do you think everyone was happy that the Wall fell?” or “Do you think it is possible that there might be another Wall sometime in the future?”) and the students discussed these quite lively. Then, I told them about the upcoming German Special Dinner and my ideas for it. I told them that we would like to have bricks on every table to represent pieces of the Berlin Wall and that they could draw on these bricks. I handed out 4 bricks to them (2 each) and pens and my students started drawing. Meanwhile we were talking about the German Dinner.

How did students react?
At first, the students did not seem very excited about the topic, maybe because they are not especially interested in German history. But later in the lesson, when I asked them about their ideas for painting the ‘Wall’ and when we started to paint the bricks, the students had a lot of fun.

Did they engage with each other and you?
Yes. More in the second activity.

What materials or media did you use? (articles, satellite tv, digital projector, etc.)
Article on the Berlin Wall
Slideshow on computer

Would you recommend this activity for a future class? Why or why not?
Yes, I would. But I would try to make the theoretic part of this lesson more interesting.