I like to challenge my students. I like to choose activities and stimuli that will prove to be thought provoking and different. I have no desire to make them, or me, feel uncomfortable, but I do feel that I need to be pushing them mentally in order for them to come up with an interesting response to the materials I provide.
So in the spirit of 52, I took a look in the January 28th Family supplement of the Guardian newspaper to see what I could find...
Michelle Hanson writes about her embarrassing parents.
Q. Have you ever been embarrassed by somebody? How and why?
Steven Appleby's Loomus cartoon shows 6 cynical ways you can be loved.
Q. Have you ever tried to make someone like you?
Joanna Moorhead interviews family members who have donated organs to their loved ones.
Q. What's the biggest sacrifice you've ever made for someone?
Erica Medcalfe writes about a photo of her father before she was born.
Q. Can you find an old family photo? What did you think was happening in the photo? Who do you think took it? etc
Claire Bainbridge remembers a recipe that she used to eat with her family.
Q. Is there are a particular meal or food that you associate with your childhood / past? Discuss why it is so memorable for you.
David writes a letter to his partner of 42 years, Roy, who died from a stroke.
Q. If you could write a letter to someone from your past, who would you choose?
Charlie Condou writes about the difficult birth of son.
Q. Have you ever been through a period of great stress? How did it feel? How would you advise anyone experiencing it for the first time?
Annalisa Barbieri advises a woman whose daughter has become a porn star.
Q. What advice would you give to this woman? How should she deal with the situation?
The Guardian were looking for contributors for a story about meeting the in-laws.
Question as in the picture.
Follow up article
A quote from the American writer Pearl S Buck.
Q. Do you agree with the quote? Should this be the aim of education?
An anonymous diary of a woman going through a separation.
Q. Who else in society would you like to read a diary by? A prisoner, a police officer, a professional sports person?
Eight pages, eleven ideas. The chances are you wouldn't use quite a few of them in your lessons. To be honest, for various reasons there are a few I wouldn't use either. But that's not really the point. There are many opportunities to find interesting and stimulating classroom materials all around us, it's just a case of opening our eyes, being receptive and not underestimating our students capabilities.