Poverty and Humanity

Additional Info

  • Name: Poverty and Humanity

  • Linguistic dimension

  • CEFR Level: B1, B2
  • Linguistic dimension - Skill(s): Reading / Writing
  • Duration: 3 x 45
  • Target language: ENGLISH or any other
  • ICT dimension

  • ICT resources:

    Xmind : http://www.xmind.net

    Speechable: http://www.speechable.com





    Wordle (http://www.wordle.net)

    Poster My Wall (http://www.postermywall.com)

    Padlet (http://padlet.com)

    Canva (https://www.canva.com)

    Thinglink (https://www.thinglink.com)

    Toondoo (http://www.toondoo.com)

    Storybird (https://storybird.com)

    Websites about Victorian Britain: (http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhistory/victorian_britain) or (http://resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/homework/victorians.html

    Interactive crossword : file:///C:/Users/Folio/Desktop/olivercrossword.htm.htm

    Cloze test 1: file:///C:/Users/Folio/Desktop/Oliver%20cloze%201.htm

    Cloze test 2: file:///C:/Users/Folio/Desktop/oliver%20cloze%202.htm

    Cloze test 3: file:///C:/Users/Folio/Desktop/oliver%20cloze%203.htm



  • ICT competences: 1. Create mind maps 2. Add speech bubbles to a text 3. Do the comprehension activity online or respond to the online survey 4. Create a word cloud and create a poster / a short story/ an interactive photo/ a leaflet or build an information wall 5. Use Padlet to present the characters in a story 6. Make comic strips or make an animated version of the continuation of a story 7. Do an interactive crossword puzzle 8. Do interactive cloze test activities
  • Detailed description of the task

  • Situation / theme(s): Poverty- based on an adapted excerpt of Charles Dickens’s novel “Oliver Twist”
  • Product requirements or prerequisites: In order to implement this lesson, an IWB is necessary as well as computers/ tablets for the learners so they can use the free software suggested. In most cases, learners need to create an account for using this software
  • I can...:
    • write simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest.
    • connect phrases in a simple way in order to describe experiences and events
    • narrate a story or relate the plot of a book, understand the description of events
  • Product: Students should be able to create a word cloud/ poster/ padlet/ comic strip/ voki presentation/ ppt or prezi presentation
  • Product requirements or prerequisites:

    In order to implement this lesson, an IWB is necessary as well as computers/ tablets for the learners so they can use the free software suggested. In most cases, learners need to create an account for using this software.

  • Process:

    Pre task

    Activity 1 Which year are we in now?  Subtract about  200 years. What year is it now? We will travel to London in the beginning of the 19th century and learn what life was like in Victorian Britain. To do this, we will have to make some posters with the information we will collect. Your task is to put the information you are given (topic titles, texts and photos) on a mind map and present to class the description of that era. Your tool for the task is Xmind software (http://www.xmind.net).  If the texts are long, make notes out of them. You can look at a sample template below:

    dickens 1

    1. TOPICS

    1. Britain in Victorian times
    1. The poor and the rich in Victorian times
    1. Children at work
    1. The workhouse
    1. Oliver Twist
      Β. TEXTS

    a. The story takes place in London. A baby is born, but his mother dies, so the church sends Oliver to a workhouse. When Oliver asks for more food, they send him out. In the streets, he meets a gang of thieves, but a good man saves him and offers him a home.

    b.The director of the workhouse was the Beadle. He took all the decisions about everything in the workhouse with a board. There was also a master, a cook, assistants, a doctor and a teacher.


    c. Poor Victorian children worked to help their families. Many started work at the age of five. Children worked on farms, in rich homes, in factories and on city streets, selling things. They also worked as chimney sweepers, cleaning the inside of chimneys.


    d. Victorian Britain is named after Queen Victoria, who was Britain's queen from 1837 until 1901.


    e.There was no electricity. Instead, gas lamps or candles were used for light. There were no cars. People travelled by boat or train, or used coach horses to move from place to place.


    f. The poor worked long hours, lived in very poor houses and ate poor food. Many of them lived in the streets. Poor children looked thin and hungry, wore poor clothes, and some had no shoes. Poor children had to work and the orphans lived in workhouses.


    g. Factory owners took children because they were cheap, had small fingers, and could get under the machines. Work was hard and dangerous for children. Children had accidents and died at work.


    h. Workhouses were places where poor people or orphan children. They all had to work in the workhouse. Food was too little and tasteless and the same every day. The children learnt to do a job. Everybody had to wear a uniform and obey the rules.


    i. Oliver Twist was a novel published in 1837 by Charles Dickens, a British writer who lived in Victorian times. It tells the sad story of an orphan boy, Oliver, who has lots of unhappy experiences before he finds a real family in the end.


    j. The rich, didn’t need to work, lived in big houses with servants and wore nice clothes. Rich children went to school or had lessons at home and they also went on holidays.


    k. Britain became the richest and the strongest country in the world. Factories and machines were built and cities grew big, because people left their villages and went there to work in the factories.


         B. Photos

    dickens 2                      dickens 3

    dickens 4                      dickens 5

    dickens 8                            dickens 7

    dickens 10                   dickens 9


    • You can download photo of your own choice related to each topic from the Web.
    • Alternatively, you can use the photos given.


    Activity 2: Look at the picture below.

    Discuss with your group where the children are and what is happening. Then use SPEECHABLE (http://www.speechable.com) to add 3 speech bubbles, one for the young boy with the bowl, one for the man in the apron and one for the boys at the table. Then exchange your work with the other groups explaining your ideas. The picture can be downloaded from http://riskwerk.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/more-please.png

    You can vote for the best speech bubble!

    dickens 11

    Activity 3: Read an extract of Charles Dickens’s novel “Oliver Twist” by clicking on http://charlesdickenspage.com/twist_more.html or use the adapted version below.

                                           Oliver Twist,  by Charles Dickens (1837). Chapter 2

                     “Please, sir, I want some more”                                                dickens 12

                                                 The room, in which the boys ate their food, was a large stone hall, with a copper pot at one end. From this  dickens 13                                             copper pot the master, dressed in an apron and helped by one or two women, served the soup at        mealtimes. Each boy had one bowl, and no more -- except on great holidays, when he had half a roll of bread too.

    The bowls never needed to be washed. The boys polished them with their spoons till they shone again. And when they had done this (which never took very long, as the spoons were nearly as large as the bowls), they sat looking at the copper  pot on the fireplace with such willing eyes, as if they could have eaten even the bricks of the fireplace. Oliver Twist and the other boys were so hungry that one boy, whopov 14            was tall for his age, whispered to the others that if he didn’t have another bowl of soup every day, some night he might just eat the boy who slept next to him. He had wild, hungry eyes and they believed him. They talked about who should walk up to the master after supper that evening, and ask for more; the task fell to Oliver Twist.

                                                                                    The evening arrived and the boys took their places. The master, in his cook's uniform,                                                                            stood at the copper pot; his     assistants stood behind him. They served out the soup and it soon disappeared.

    dickens 15   

    Then the boys whispeed to each other and pushed Oliver. He rose from the table and, walkingto the master, bowl and spoon in hand, said, 'Please, sir, I want some more.'The master was a fat, healthy man but he turned very pale.                                                        He looked with surprise at the small rebel for some seconds and then held up the copper pot. The assistants were paralysed with wonder; the boys with fear.

    'What?!' said the master in a low voice.

    'Please, sir,' said Oliver, 'I want some more.'

    The master hit Oliver's head with the ladle, grabbed him by the arm and shouted loudly for the Beadle (it seems that this strictly will raise questions. If that is the purpose, maintain; if not, eliminate). The Board (will students understand this?) of Directors, led by Mr. Limbkins, were talking seriously when Mr. Bumble rushed into the room in great excitement  and said,

    'Mr Limbkins, I beg your pardon, sir! Oliver Twist has asked for more!'

    There was a general surprise. Horror was on the face of every assistant every face. (Because the boys were NOT surprised or horrified!)

    'For MORE!' repeated Mr. Limbkins. ‘Be cool, Bumble, and answer me clearly. Do I understand that he asked for more after he had eaten the dinner we gave him?'

    'He did, sir,' answered Bumble.

    'That boy will be hung,' said one member of the Board. 'I know that boy will be hung.'……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    Rebel : someone who does not do what others tell him to do

    Then, the teachers ask students (not all teachers are familiar with Ss) to:

    Activity 4: Watch a movie clip on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr4WxEQHiCE) work with your group and list and share with the class the differences you may have spotted between the clip and the text you read.

    Task cycle

    Activity 5:  Oliver had a hard time in the workhouse. Things have changed over the years but still there are a lot of people who suffer in many different ways. Imagine that you and your classmates are a group of teen volunteers who wish to work for the refugees who recently arrived on an island in Southern Europe. Your task is to help people your age to feel more comfortable and get settled in the special camps created for them. In groups, select one of the following tasks

    Differentiated end products in group work. The teacher can choose according to the learners’ level.

    1. Use Canva (https://www.canva.com) to create a leaflet about the camp and camp life.
    2. Use Poster My Wall (http://www.postermywall.com) to create a poster that could appear at the main entrance/gate of the refugee camp and help young people.
    3. Use Thinglink (https://www.thinglink.com) to create an interactive photo of a part of the camp, providing information about specific things or areas in it.
    4.  Use Padlet (https://padlet.com) to build an information wall with possible European country destinations for refugees. Use

               1.  a text explaining who you are suggesting this country for and why

               2.  further information in picture, audio, video or written document form.

    1. Use Toondoo (http://www.toondoo.com ) to design a comic strip with important camp rules for the refugee children.
    2. Create a hopeful short story (up to 5 pages) for the refugee children in the camp using Storybird (https://storybird.com).

    When you have finished, report to the class about your initiative.

    Language focus

    Activity 6: Do an interactive crossword puzzle on Oliver Twist and check your vocabulary knowledge. You can find the crossword puzzle here

    Activity 7: Work with a partner and do the 3 short interactive cloze test activities.

    Cloze test 1 : please click here.


    Cloze test 2 : please click here.

    Cloze test 3 : please click here.

  • Division of roles (optional): Pair and Group work
  • Consolidating activities suggested or follow up plan:

    The language focus cycle could be divided in two parts: Activity 7 can be done in the class as it should be done in pairs and Activity 6 can be assigned as homework so learners have the time to consolidate.

  • Success factors or evaluation criteria:

    Students have carried out the tasks well if they have successfully reached the outcome of the lessonnamely, a video/comic strip/poster/short story/leaflet to help teenage refugees, using the suggested ICT tools. The teacher will evaluate using direct observation of the task performance according to the success criteria described below and can also provide students with a self - evaluation sheet to check if they have responded appropriately to the CEFR criteria set for this lesson namely the “can do” statements.

    Students have done well if :

    • Content: They have created a video/comic strip/poster/short story/leaflet to help teenage refugees

    • Vocabulary: They have used vocabulary and expressions connected to the topic. They have a good score (over 65%) in the language focus cloze texts

    • Grammatical correctness: They have used complex grammatical constructions and expressions; there has been minor influence by mother tongue in learners’ speech. They have used the correct verb tense, word order and spelling. 

    • Fluency: They have been able to talk for a longer period of time without lacking words or making too many mistakes;

    • Coherence: They have been able to link  sentences with fitting connectors and used conjunctions quite frequently;

    • Interaction: They are active within the small and larger groups, and share their ideas and accept other people’s opinion and criticism.

    • Pronunciation: They could pronounce the words used correctly and  could correct some major mistakes made  by classmates or group members;

  • Authors: Vasiliki (Bessie) Gioldasi This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Ioannis Karras This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Acknowledgements: Based on material created by Ms. Marianthi Kotadaki, EFL State School Advisor in Ileia, Western Greece
  • Didactic added value of the task and other information

  • Practical hints for teachers:

    Teachers should have tried all these sites and created accounts in order to avoid delays throughout the trialling. Students should have been given time to become familiar with the aforementioned ICT tools.

  • Additional methodological or didactic comments:

    Depending on the linguistic level or abilities of our learners, activity 5 in the task cycle caters for differentiated learning styles or needs. It is not necessary to use all of the suggested activities, the teacher can choose accordingly. The task in the aforementioned activity has been changed so as to suit current reality.

  • Reasons why this task is a model of best practices:

    It was designed to develop language competences using ICT tools as well as social competences by encouraging students to reflect on issues concerning people in need.

    The task suggested is based on material used for EFL teacher training in Greece and thus, it has been trialled and evaluated successfully in different teaching contexts in Greece.  

  • Impact that it is expected to have on the teaching practices and attitudes:

    There are lots suggestions for user-friendly online tools which teachers can easily adopt and incorporate in their teaching situations.

    Teachers become familiar with the use of TBLT methodology by organising their teaching based on the 3 task cycles.

  • Reasons why this task travels well:

    It is based on a well- known, classic novel and it deals with a topic which concerns people worldwide.

    In every language and culture, there are similar works that any language teacher can use instead.

  • Rationale and/or theoretical underpinnings of the task: The lesson is organised in the 3 cycles (pre-task, task, language focus) based on Willis& Willis view of task based learning and teaching
  • Preferencial target age group(s): High school students

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