Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tea party - the UK - year 7

Wow! During this week my students in year 7 have been treated to a British tea party - or at least my version of it... It has been a lot of fun and when the students got to summarize the happening with one word each, words like "awesome", "good", "fun" and "nice" came up. Well, I guess no one says no to a brew and a cucumber sandwich!!! We have learned about the UK for a few weeks now in year 7 and it was time to show the students what a casual British afternoon could be like, meeting up for tea. 

From the beginning the students were given the instructions: "we speak English, and nothing but English for the coming hour", "take a note with a task description", "cooperate with each other", and just "have a jolly good time"! So, the students were given a task each, e.g:

* butter the sandwiches
* set the table with cups, spoons, napkins
* slice the cucumber with a cheese slicer 
* cut the sandwiches into triangles
* find "Rule Britannia" on YouTube and set up the computer with the projector
* boil water

Everyone spoke English, everyone cooperated, everyone was in a good mood and we were all in festive spirits. Sitting down we talked about the weather (soooo British, right?? ;), everyone told what they usually had for breakfast, we discussed what kind of phrases you can use when eating together with other people (e.g. "can I have some more tea, please?", "could you pass me the milk, please"?) and listened to "Rule Britannia". Finally, each student had worked on something special in class, with connections to the UK, and they got about 1 minute each to tell the others what they had researched about. We learned about haggis, kilts, Liverpool FC, English food, famous cities, universities, sights in London, Wales, Liverpool, Tower Bridge, among other things. 

Here are some wonderful pictures of the students and the tea party: 

Paolo wearing my British fun hat! This hat has seen many heads!

PG tips, pyramid teabags, a must!

Liam is a happy guy eating a cucumber sandwich and also testing the British fun hat!

Milk, sugars, napkins, cups, spoons, tea, cucumber sandwiches and some Union Jack decorations on the table. English flag in the background, on the screen. 

From left: Daniel, Dejan, Wiktor, Filippa, Maya, Isabella (with the hat!), Afnan and Limar. 

Isabella and Filippa fixing the sandwiches

Yum...tea with milk...

 Isabella, Filippa, Maya and Emil are preparing their speeches..

Triangular cucumber sandwiches

Why do this you might ask? Why go to all this effort (because there is a lot of planning, purchasing and patience involved)? Well, the truth is, I see such new positive sides of my students, they speak English ALL THE TIME (and not everyone does that in the classroom), they think it is a lot of fun, they understand that I care about them, they learn a whole lot by listening and taking part in the tea party, they get a taste of what it would be like to be British and can compare the custom of a tea party with that of the Swedish "fika". I could go on for quite a while, but the truth is that the positive effects of doing this are tenfold. Rule Britannia!

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