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Tag: environment

DE F20 ADV – German politics

Language Resident/Assistant Name: Eva Saunders

Credit to: INES FISTER, DE F17 INT German Parliament – Bundestag
(I modified her class for online. Had the group research be homework so we had more time to discuss current politics and added some explainity videos.)

Day and Date: 11/10/2020

Language and Level (intermediate or advanced class): Advanced

Class theme/topics discussed: German government and current politics

Goal of the class: Discuss current politics and trends in Germany

How did you structure the class?

A) Warm-Up: How do you feel right now that the US election is over? Did you celebrate?

B) Discussion: Did you know yesterday was the first anniversary of the fall of the Wall in Berlin? How much do you know about that? Fill in knowledge gaps, if needed with a short video:

C) Homework Recap: Students present their research about a German political party each. Then talk about 6 major parties in Germany and where they are on the spectrum. Look at how large each party is in the Parliament. Discuss some topics the parties have discussed recently or topics the students are especially interested in.

D) Extra Activity (if not talking about the fall of the wall or if students want to go deeper):
a) Video about how parliament is elected:

b) Video about how chancellor is elected:

What technology, media or props did you use? (internet resources, playmobiles, handouts, etc.) Prop: Share Screen function in Zoom, Chat, Youtube, Google Sheets, Course Website as a resource for homework and reference

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

I modified the previous lesson plan to having the students each present a party that was prepared as homework, because they seemed to be interested in the current policies and we had more time to talk about that this way. But the research could also be done during the class. I assigned each a party, so we didn’t hear about the same party several times.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

I would leave as is. I asked the students which direction they wanted to go deeper in and they wanted to know more about parliament elections. They were very interested and engaged this way.

If you have a more detailed lesson plan, please attach it below (OK to use target language for that).  Please attach any handouts as well.

Virtual Handout in target language:  (Password: GERMAN)

ES F20 INT/ADV Climate Change

Language Resident: Katherine Pérez Gutiérrez

Class theme/topic discussed : Climate Change

Goal of the class 

  • Talk about environment and climate change issues

Class structure

  • Warm-up Focused Free Writing (cred. Tilman Viëtor): I give students 5 sentences/words related with climate change (eating habits, waste, habits change, economic system, tourism, 3 Rs). After choosing one, they have 3-5 min to write about how that word/sentence is related to environment & climate change.
  • Activity 2 Intro questions: What do you know about climate change? What climate change related issues do you know about? Is there anything you do to help the environment? Do you think tourism has anything to do with the environment? What do you think about recycling?
  • Activity 3 UN Discussion: I show students key words related to what UN recommends people to do to for a greener world post-pandemic. They have to discuss why they think this term is there and how it is related to environment/climate change. (Key words: Nature, essential goods and services, energy, eating systems, cities, public funds)
  • Activity 4 What about my town?: In groups, students look up environment issues their cities/states are struggling, and how people (individuals & government) are dealing with it (measures being adopted).
  • Extra activity: Students have to choose one of the many issues discusses in class and choose a measure, that they could implement in their lives, aimed at solving this issue (You can ask how did that go a few weeks afterwards 🙂
  • Extra activity 2: Discuss the consequences social distancing and quarantine has had on environment (Less contamination, wild animals on the street, etc.)

Resources used

Reflection: What worked/did not work? How can it be improved?

  • It was a fun class. I was worried students would not be willing to talk much about the topic because it tends to be repetitive, but having activity 4 helped because they brought the topic into their own lives. We did not have enough time to do extra activities.
  • Having questions related to each key word on activity 3, in case students are a bit lost as to how to address the topic can be useful. I did not need them with the advanced class, but I used a few of them with the intermediate class.


  • Questions for activity 3:
  • Naturaleza: ¿Crees que dependemos demasiado del petróleo? ¿Se te ocurren otras alternativas?
  • Servicios esenciales: ¿Cómo debería controlarse el gasto de agua? ¿De qué manera se puede proteger lugares con escasez hídrica?
  • Energía: ¿Crees que malgastamos mucha energía? ¿Cómo? ¿Piensas que deberíamos dar prioridad a las energías renovables? ¿Si pudieras elegir una energía renovable cuál sería? ¿Qué problemas crees que tienen las energías renovables? ¿Crees que deberíamos usar la energía nuclear?
  • Sistemas alimentarios: ¿Crees que hay sistemas alimentarios más perjudiciales que otros? ¿Cómo afectan las diferencias alimentarias de distintas culturas los espacios físicos?
  • Ciudades: ¿Piensas que el tráfico en las ciudades debería ser controlado de alguna manera?¿Crees que el turismo tiene algo que ver con el medioambiente?
  • Dinero público: Crees que se puede compatibilizar el Desarrollo economico con el deterioro medioambiental? Crees que los gobiernos estan lo suficientemente comprometidos con el cuidado del medio ambiente?

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