The Bucket List of Junior High School Students

This time not about CLIL itself but another great example of students' creativity. When I told my colleagues that I planned to follow this lesson, they laughed. Well, some might say that 15-year-old students won't be able to talk about death or dreams. I was also a little bit afraid of the results, but they managed to fullfill all the tasks.
The lesson was based on the film "The Bucket List" (2007). This is a story of two elderly men who get to know they're terminally ill. After considering all possible solutions they decide to make a list of wishes and dreams and simply spend the rest of their time following it. It's called a bucket list (for there is a saying "to kick a bucket" that means "to die"). On their list there are: skydiving, climbing Mount Everest, speed driving, kissing the most beautiful woman in the world and many others.
I started the lesson with reminding the expressions:
to kick the bucket, a bucket list, things to do before you die etc.

I asked the students to elicit some possible things people may have on their lists. Then we made use of the task produced by Lessonstream.org (points 3-5).

The next step was to watch a piece of the film & familiarize them with the plot.

 Naturally, it was the moment for the students to start thinking about their personal lives and choices. I asked them to imagine that there were no parents above them (as in an adult life nobody is going to tell them what to do) and they had an unlimited access to money as it was shown in the film. I estimated that 10 minutes would be enough for them to write down the ideas. To my amazement they were simply unstoppable - their lists were full of ideas, long and interesting. Of course, many of the points were so funny I just couldn't stop laughing.
Below I placed some of the examples:
  • to do bungee-jumping
  • to become a Pope and say that God doesn't exist
  • to be completely prepared for an English test
  • to win a talent show (having no talents at all)
  • to go to Africa and participate in a safari
  • to make a tattoo
  • to have a bath in chocolate
  • to make a party for 10000 people
  • to overspeed on the highway
  • be famous all over the world
  • jump with parachute
  • to be licked by a llama
  • to have my own series of perfume
  • have a room where there will be wardrobes instead of walls and these wardrobes will be full of shoes!
  • go to the Arctic
  • go to the USA
  • run around the city in a chicken fancy dress
  • to go to the outer space
  • to have a son with a beautiful woman
  • to visit the most exclusive hotel in the world
  • to beat a world record and become the oldest person ever!
I have to say that the range of "dreams" was vast - from ridiculous and weird to really typical ones.

The last activity that I also found at lessonstream.org was The Lying Game.
We took some of the ideas that appeared during the lesson and started an interview that aimed at proving that the interviewee was lying. Well, I cannot say that the students were thrilled but they were very communicative and willing to participate. Thanks to this activity we practised "Have you ever..." structure as well as the pattern of asking further questions in Past Simple tense.

Total time: 45 minutes
 Level: B1/B2
No of students: 5-6
Age Group: Teenagers

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