Back to the Future
Intermediate to Upper Intermediate, Prep Speaking level
To provide Ss with the opportunity to think about the future and discuss optimistic and pessimistic predictions of the future.
To provide Ss with the opportunity to practice proper usage of the future tenses (simple, continuous, and perfect), within the context of discussing predictions of the future.
Procedure (70-83 minutes)
Elicit from the WC if any of the Ss are familiar with the show 'Futurama.' Instruct the Ss that they are going to watch the first episode (the pilot) of this show. "In this episode the main character, Fry, is accidentally sent 1,000 years into the future--into the year 3000." Elicit from the Ss whether or not they think that 1,000 years in the future will look, sound, smell, or feel different from today. Elicit from the WC any predictions they might have--of how 3000 will look like in 'Futurama.' Instruct the WC, while watching the clip of this episode, to take notes on the year 3000. "What exists in the year 3000? What doesn't exist in the year 3000?" Futurama Space Pilot 3000 (Season 1, Episode 1): Stop at 7:40 https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5w3432 Following a viewing, bring the WC together for discussion. Elicit from some of the Ss their observations. Write a selection of the Ss' answers on the WB. Elicit from the WC their thoughts and opinions on the world that 'Futurama' presents. "Would you like to live in this future? Why or why not?" T Observations on the pilot episode: --Flying cars --Alien species living with humans --Public transport through pneumatic tubes --Overcrowded city with lots of tall buildings --Electronic advertising everywhere --Automatic sliding doors --Personal jet packs --Flying bicycles --Projected computer screen --Machine-powered medical table (no doctors) --Permanently-assigned career (no choice or autonomy)
Write on the WB '2050' and beneath the heading the following categories: ENVIRONMENT, TECHNOLOGY, FAMILY, CITY-LIFE, TRANSPORTATION, EDUCATION, MEDICAL, ENTERTAINMENT. Elicit from the WC their predictions of the future (in the next 30 years). Focus on each of the categories on the WB and elicit specific changes the Ss think will occur within these categories. Write some of the Ss' answers on the WB. Stress on usage of the TL (future simple, continuous, and perfect). --FAMILY example: "In 30 years' time, how many children will we be having? Will 'family' look the same?" --MEDICAL example: "In 30 years' time, do you think we will have cured cancer?" --TRANSPORTATION example: "In 30 years' time, what will be the most popular form of transportation for people living in cities?" Following discussion (or if Ss are having difficulty with providing examples for the WB categories), project on the WB some specific predictions about life in the year 2050 ('In Thirty Years'). Elicit from the WC their thoughts on these predictions. Do they think they are a possible reality for our future or not? How so?
Instruct the WC that they are going to read some predictions of life in the year 2050. Instruct the Ss to first create a sentence from each of the prompts. "Use the future simple, continuous, or perfect tense to create a sentence from each of the prompts." Divide the WC into groups and distribute the 'Future Predictions' HO. Provide FB for EC and to verify that the sentences are grammatically correct. Instruct the groups to discuss these predictions. "Which of these predictions do you agree with and which do you disagree with? Why?" Following GW discussion, bring the WC together for FB. Write on the WB OPTIMISTIC and PESSIMISTIC. Elicit from the WC the meaning for these two terms. Refer the WC to the 'Future Predictions' HO. "Which of these predictions would you label as 'optimistic' about the future and which would you label as 'pessimistic' about the future?" Write the Ss' answers on the WB.
Inform the WC that they are going to find out how optimistic--or pessimistic--their fellow peers are. "Your teacher wants to know who is the most optimistic, and the most pessimistic, person in this class." Instruct the WC that they will need to ask two of their peers some questions concerning the future and certain difficult situations. "There are four possible answers, to each of the 5 questions, that your fellow peer must choose from. After you get an answer from your fellow peer, ask for a reason for 'why' they chose the answer that they did." Demonstrate the activity with a Ss first. Provide the Ss with at least 15-20 minutes to complete the activity. As the activity begins to quiet down, bring everyone together for some WC FB and to determine who is the most optimistic, and the most pessimistic, person in the prep class.