I actually saw this video a couple of weeks ago on my daughter’s facebook wall. I found it just appropriate for educational purposes, especially for secondary school students as the language has nothing of the artificiality some coursebooks show, but it is genuinely present day.

I. Warmer: Hangman

We played hangman with the name: “Ryan Higa”. As some of my students are hooked on youtube videos I was hoping for at least one of them to have heard of Ryan Higa. Well, they didn’t, so I just informed them that there was a guy with that name and videos by him on youtube, one of which we were going to watch.

II. Lead-in

We discussed a bit about ‘Draw my life’ videos that some of the students have already heard of. We watched the firs 14 seconds of the video and students had to answer the questions:

1. Why didn’t he want to draw his life?

2. Why did he do it in the end?

III. Discussion

Students were discussing what they expected to see in the video. What  are the main events in a young person’s life and gave ideas how those events could be drawn. We also agreed what tenses they can use if they wanted to talk about past events.

Everybody was given about 3-4 minutes to do a quick sketch of one period of their own lives which then they shared in small groups (3 students) and talked about the drawings.

IV. Watching

They watched the video 0′:14″ – 02′:08″ – but it was muted. The students had to take notes of what they think happened in Ryan’s life. I stopped the video at some places to give my students time to write down events. They shared their notes in small groups again and completed each other’s notes.

Then we watched the same segment with sound and checked their guesses.

02′:09″ – 02′:55″: The end of the previous part of the video is about bullying which is a topic we have already discussed in class. Students had to give ideas of what a bullied person can do in such a situation. Then we watched what Ryan had done to escape it.

Finally sutdents had to predict what the next part if his life would be, how things had turned out for him later on. After this prediction activity students were curious enough to be really interested in the homework which was to watch the rest of the video and summarise it.

Possible follow-up:

I think it wouldl be a nice follow-up to encourage the students to draw their lives. Of course not everybody is willing to prepare a video but a series of drawings is just as good as a video and the objecitve would be using narrative tenses – the drawings being only bacground for that.