Leigh Davidson Leigh Davidson

Memory and Memories: Remembering One's Childhood
Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate, Prep Speaking level


In this lesson Ss will discuss the subject of memory and childhood memories. A listening activity--of a short film titled 'Apricot'--will guide Ss to think about memory and memories and how they are closely connected to the senses of the body (specifically taste and smell). A productive activity, involving the completion of a web diagram from interview-style questions on memories of the Ss' lives, will wrap up the lesson.


Main Aims

  • To provide Ss with the opportunity to practice asking and answering interview-style questions on their childhood and what they remember from it.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide Ss with the opportunity to practice gist and detailed listening, within the context of the subject of childhood memories and remembering.


Warmer/Lead-in (10-13 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Write on the WB the five senses of the body: TOUCH, TASTE, SIGHT, HEARING, and SMELL. Elicit from the WC which of the senses they think are the strongest and why? Write on the WB some common smells: CANDLES, CIGARETTES, VINEGAR, FRESH BREAD, COFFEE, TEA, PERFUME, DISINFECTANT, SUN CREAM, LEMONS, PAINT. Elicit from the WC what the Ss think of (or remember) when they encounter these smells. "Do you connect a specific memory, or thought, to any of these smells?" If the Ss did not know the correct answer to the warmer question, highlight the smell memories and explain that smell is the most detailed and direct sense connected to our brain (olfactory receptors/neurons that are just behind the nasal passage). Divide the WC into groups and instruct the Ss to share any special smells they can remember from their childhood. "Explain why these smells bring back such strong memories for you." Share some of the T's own scent-linked memories (e.g. dust and old books connected with my great-grandmother [Super Gran]; coffee connected with my mother). Bring the WC together to share some of their conversation.

Exposure (15-18 minutes) • To provide a model of production expected in coming tasks listening

Show the WC some photos related to childhood. Elicit from the WC what they see and how these pictures may be related to childhood memories. "Do any of these photos remind you of a specific memory from your childhood?" Instruct the Ss, in groups, to answer and discuss some questions on their childhood memories. Distribute the HO on "Childhood Memories." Following GW discussion, bring the WC together for some FB.

Useful Language (4-6 minutes) • To highlight and clarify useful language for coming productive tasks

Write on the WB MEMORY and MEMORIES. Elicit from the WC if they know the differences between the two. ANSWER--Memory: the ability to remember. Memories: things that are remembered.

Productive Task: Apricot Film (23-28 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Inform the WC that they are going to watch a 10 minute film on memory. "The name of this film is called 'Apricot.'" While watching the film, have the Ss try to answer the following: 1) What questions does the man ask the woman? 2) Why do you think he wants to know this information? 3) Why is the title of the film 'Apricot'? Distribute a HO with the film questions and play the film. Youtube: Apricot Future Shorts https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfprSp8_BR8&t=14s Following a viewing of the film, pair Ss into groups and have them share their notes with each other and try to answer the previous questions. Following discussion, bring the groups together for WC FB. If Ss struggle with answering the last question, focus the Ss' previous discussion on memory. "What did we see, in this film, that had to do with memory? When the woman is remembering her first love, what sense (of the body) did she connect her memory with most strongly?"

Productive Task: Web Diagram of Memories (25-30 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Instruct the WC that they are going to create a web diagram on memories. Each Ss will interview another Ss, asking a series of questions and writing down their partner's answers, completing a web diagram in the process. Have half of the class complete a web diagram on childhood memories (age 0-16) and half of the class complete a web diagram on young adult memories (age 16+). Each Ss should interview 2 of their peers. Each Ss must create two questions to ask to complete their web diagram before starting the interview process. Provide for at least 20-30 minutes to complete this activity. Play some soothing music in the background during the activity. Following the activity, elicit some of the memories collected from some of the Ss. Provide FB for any errors noticed during the lesson.

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