Main Aim: By the end of the lesson the students will have practised
speaking through taking part in a drama.
Sub Aims: By the end of the lesson the students will have:
(a) practised reading for gist (general understanding) and
(b) practised exchanging information in the form of an
information gap activity
Time: 30-40 minutes for stages 1-4; 45 minutes for stages 5 and 6.
Materials: 1 copy each of reading text; cut up versions of text; copies of
Worksheet 1 for each student; role play cards (Worksheet 2)
Rationale: This lesson aims to achieve a balance between the familiar and
unfamiliar. For the latter the students will learn something about a religious
festival they are unlikely to know much about – the Muslim festival of Eid
(Ramadan). A jigsaw activity will allow the students to share the knowledge of
what they have learnt about Eid. For the familiar, the students will take part in
a drama featuring a typical family gathering at Christmas time. Each student
will be given a role. If you have a large class the drama can be undertaken in
two groups. From stage 5 the lesson could be used for Christmas.
Stage 1: Lead In: 10-12 minutes
Lead in to the lesson by writing on the board the following religious festivals:
Elicit what these words share in common (religious festivals) and check to
ensure students understand that Chanukah is a Jewish festival, whilst Eid is a
Muslim festival. You could at this stage ask whether the students know
anything about these two non-Christian festivals. If not, then tell them that in a
few minutes they will read about one of these two festivals.
Now put the students into groups of three and write the following questions on
1. What’s your favourite religious festival and why?
2. How does your family celebrate this festival?
3. Do you know of any other religious festivals? If so, tell your group
4. Is there any religious festival you don’t look forward to? Why?
Take feedback from the students and be prepared to ask one or two follow up
questions giving the students a chance to develop the conversation.
Methodology note: The aim of the lead in is to stimulate interest in the topic of
religious festivals. Students are likely to have something to say about this topic
because in all likelihood they will have had some experience of engaging in a
religious festival. This therefore gives you an opportunity to personalise the lead in
by perhaps asking students to relate some personal experiences of religious
Stage 2: Pre-reading: 5-7 minutes
Tell the students that in a moment they are going to read a text about the
Muslim festival of Eid (Ramadan). Before the students read the text write the
three paragraph headings on the board:
Explain to the students / elicit what ‘fasting’ means (a period of time without
food or drink) and ask each group to write 4 questions they would like
answered about Eid. Set a strict time limit of five minutes. Ask one person in
each group to be a spokesperson. Encourage students to give feedback and
board their ideas and questions.
Methodology note: The festival of Eid is likely to be something your students
have limited knowledge of. The aim of this task is to get the students to think
about what might happen during this festival. ‘Gifts’ and ‘family gatherings’ are
likely to be familiar sub topical areas, whilst the notion of ‘fasting’ will have been
elicited/explained earlier. The great thing is that just by mentioning these sub
topics the mystique of Eid is to some extent stripped away and that in fact this
festival is similar to something they (the students) might have experienced.
Stage 3: Reading: 10-12 minutes
Cut up the text about Eid into the three paragraph headings (fasting, gifts, and
family gatherings) Put the students into new groups of three students each
and give each group one paragraph (for example: group 1 has fasting; group
2, gifts; group 3 family gatherings). Tell the students to read their paragraph
and on completion tell them to turn over the text so as it is face down. The
students now tell each other what they can remember about their paragraph.
They can then look at the text and help each other with understanding any
do not understand. Distribute dictionaries and encourage their use and
monitor the students to help out with any difficulties.
Next, re-form the groups so as in each group there is one person who has
read one of the paragraphs. The students now exchange information telling
each other about one of three aspects of the festival of Eid. Take feedback
encouraging the students to tell you what they have learnt. Ask the students if
their questions from the pre-reading stage have been answered.
Methodology note: The aim of the reading stage is to encourage the students to
interact with the topic intensively so as they can confidently contribute to the
information gap stage later which follows.
Stage 4: Summary completion: 10 minutes
The students will now complete a summary about the festival of Eid by using
worksheet 1. The students work individually to do this activity. Monitor and
be prepared to help the students as and when necessary. Allow the students
to compare answers in pairs or small groups and then check. Now point out
the discussion questions at the bottom of the page and encourage students to
give full answers to the questions.
Methodology note: The aim of this stage is for the students to consolidate the
information about Eid they have learnt from the reading stage. The questions at the
end of the activity provide an opportunity for the students to discuss their feelings
Stage 5: Preparation for Role Play: 10-15 minutes
This roleplay would be better done in December, just before Christmas
so this part of the lesson could be done in December. This is a humorous
view of a British Christmas and is not entirely typical! In this activity the
students are going to role play a family gathering at Christmas time – but from
a typical British point of view! Begin by eliciting a typical Polish Christmas
and then tell the students that in Britain people typically eat and drink too
much and watch lots of awful TV. It’s also, unfortunately, a time for family
arguments, bored children, and unpleasant relatives. Tell the students that
they are going to role play a ‘typical’ British Christmas family gathering and
assign roles (see Worksheet 2) by cutting the strips along the lines as
indicated in worksheet 2. Allow time for the students to read their role cards
and help with any difficult language. Make sure the students don’t read other
student’s role card.
There are 7/8 role cards (depends on number of children you want to include) so if
you have a big class divide the students into 2 groups. Altogether, the role play
should last 30 minutes.
Stage 6: The Roleplay: 30-40 minutes
For the actual roleplay you could provide some realia such as a TV remote control, a
tray for mother (to carry food and drinks), and some actual food and drink. You might
have to tell somebody to start – e.g.: by one of the kids asking father to change TV
channels but other than this allow the students to run the roleplay in their own way.
Listen out for good and bad examples of language to be fed back later.
Methodology note: Getting students involved in a drama stimulates the
imagination and will encourage them to try and produce the language they
need in order to express themselves.
Below is an outline of the festival of Eid. In pairs complete the summary
by choosing a word from the box
mosque nuts fasting daylight
pray exchanged curries extended
Ramadan is the month of (1) _______in the run up to Eid
when Muslims don’t eat in (2) _______hours. Eid begins
with prayers when men go to the (3) _______and some
women do, too. Sometimes, Muslims (4) ______at home.
Breakfast is normally prepared by women and contains
sweet noodles with milk and (5) _____.
At Eid (6) ________families and friends visit you or you
visit them. Sweets are (7) ________and money is given to
anyone younger than you. There is normally a fantastic
party in the evenings with lots of (8)______, roti, pakora
Discuss these questions with your partner:
1. Would you like to experience Eid? Why/Why not?
2. What do you think about the idea of fasting for a whole month? What
kind of food would you eat?
3. What other impressions do you have of this festival?
Worksheet 2 – Roles for Christmas party.
CHILDREN (2/3) – You are very bored and you have also had too much to eat.
Your mother has asked you to be on your best behaviour – something you are
determined not to do. You want to make everyone angry. You are also upset
because the gifts you received for Christmas are not as you wanted. You don’t
think your parents have spent enough for your Christmas presents. Make life
difficult for everyone!!
GRANDMOTHER – Christmas was far better when you were younger. You
think the children get everything too easily. You only got an apple and orange
for Christmas – no videos or computer games. Susan, your eldest grandchild,
is wasting her time going to university and should get a job. You do, however,
like her boyfriend, David. Your daughter (Mother) is getting too over excited
about and panicking too much about the day. You used to be able to cook for
many more people on Christmas day. You have always disliked your son-in-
law (Father) because you think he is very lazy. You have also had a lot to
drink and you want to criticise everybody.
MOTHER – You have been working really hard all day making a Christmas
meal but no one has helped you and now there is loads of washing up to do.
You have also had a lot to drink and feel like an argument. Christmas is
important for you and you try to organise a game so as everyone can get
involved in the Christmas spirit. Try to stop your husband (Father) from
drinking too much.
FATHER – You have had too much to drink and the children are irritating you.
You would like to have an argument with somebody. There are too many
people and really you just want to watch the TV programme. Mother is
annoying you because she wants you to do the washing up – something you
have no intention of doing! You don’t like Susan’s boyfriend because he is
being too nice to everyone.
SUSAN – You are really irritated and angry. Everyone is being unpleasant to
you and your boyfriend. You are not happy with your boyfriend because he is
being too nice to everyone. Mother might ask you to do the washing up but
refuse and don’t be prepared to accept everything that Grandmother says to
SUSAN’S BOYFRIEND – You are trying to be nice to everyone but finding it
very difficult. You want to impress Susan by showing that you can have a
good relationship with her family. You don’t have a job and you don’t want to
study. You just like to drink beer and enjoy yourself. You don’t want to speak
to Susan’s father because he seems very unpleasant. Try to avoid any
contact with him!