Age range: 13-18 (and older)
Suitable after 2-3 years of English
Theme: Talking about cultural heritage and community. Youth work in
the UK. The Young Roots
Funding from the National Lottery to help young people study their cultural
Lexical areas: adjectives to describe geographical areas, talking
Cross curricular links: History, Citizenship, Personal and Social
Instructions for assistants in italics
1. Your roots
For lower levels take pictures of your family to
introduce this lesson and to refer to. This will help you explain the
word roots to lower groups (also draw a flower with the roots under the
soil and contrast to your family tree).
For higher levels take key words from the lesson (community,
heritage, roots) and brainstorm before you look at the material:
- What is this lesson going to be about?
- What is heritage?
- What things make up a person’s heritage? (people ,language,
- What sorts of things can you inherit? ( physical characteristics,
personality traits, family attitudes, tastes, interests)
Give your own examples and ask a couple of people around the class
to give students an idea. Then put them in pairs. Ask for a couple of
examples for feedback.
Ask you partner these questions
- Where do you live? How long have you lived there?
- Where do your family originally come from?
- Why did you come to live in your area?
- What do you know about your grandparents or great grandparents?
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2. Your community
Before doing this exercise mix up the adjectives on the board and
ask pairs to match the opposites (urban/rural) or give them an adjective
and ask for one which means the opposite (ugly…beautiful).
Students can check adjectives they don’t know in a dictionary
or with you. Good groups should be able to expand the list or at least
try to find new ones in a dictionary.
With lower groups concentrate on these adjectives and support
understanding with pictures from magazines which they describe using
a word from the list. Check with names of towns and places in your host
country: 'Is the Loire Valley industrial?' 'Is Bordeaux a polluted city?'
Describe the place you come from in the UK. Give examples of why
you are proud of it and encourage higher level students to say why they
or their parents are proud of their area/region.
Which of these adjectives best describes the area you live in?
Can you think of any other words to describe the area you live
Are you proud to live there?
Give examples for yourself to illustrate the different types of
community, if appropriate. Get examples around the class. Explain that
in the UK there are many different types of communities, religious and
ethnic groups, rural and urban communities and linguistic communities
(Welsh speakers, Gujarati speakers etc.)
Community can mean many things. Are you a member of a community?
- a religious group
- an ethnic group
- people living in the same place
- students studying in the same school
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This can be done in pairs or small groups. Hold a feedback session
at the end.
List the positive features of your community and then think of
some negative features.
- Is there anything you would like to change? Improve?
- How do young people feel? Are they part of the community?
- What does the community do to help young people?
- What does it do to help old people?
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4. Read and find out
Give out the text and get the students to read and answer the questions.
Let them read and discuss the post reading question in pairs.
Read and answer these three questions.
- When is Youth Work Week?( At the beginning of November)
- Who is involved in the Young Roots programme? (Young
people and youth organisations in the UK)
- What will people learn from the Young Roots programme? (They
will learn about their community’s heritage and how to build communities.)
Dear Youth worker,
Youth Work Week
Information for all workers working with youth groups.
Your Roots, Your Community
This is the theme for this year’s week. Help young people
understand and explore their family roots and their local community.
This week is part of the Young Roots five year programme. The
programme starts in 2003 and offers money to youth groups around
the UK who want to study their community. We want to get young
people to build bridges across generations and to understand how
to build communities. It is important to help young people develop
a sense of being a part of their community. Young Roots is an
exciting programme which offers lots of interesting activities.
Try some of the activities below with your group.
Mini projects – Young Roots programme
Pick one of these and try it.
- Pick a building: Describe a building that you like in your area.
How much do you know about its history? Who built it? What is
it used for? Was it used for something else in the past? Why do
you like it?
- Research a food: describe a meal or a recipe associated with
your area. How long have people eaten this food? Do young people
like it? Are eating habits changing?
- Research a name: What is the origin of your surname or first
name? Does it mean something? Is it a local name? Is it a typical
name for your family?
- Leisure and sporting activities: What are the most popular
activities in your area? Who does them? Did your grandparents
have the same activities? What would you like to improve for leisure
and sport in your area?
- Jobs and industry: What are the main types of work in your
area? How does this compare to 100 years ago? Have jobs changed?
Now read the text again and try to decide which
of the projects you would most like to do.
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5. Mini projects
Get the students to try one of the project for homework and write
a report on it in English or come to class and do a short presentation.
Try one of the projects described in the letter for homework.
Present your findings to the class.
- Pick a building: Describe a building that you like in your area. How
much do you know about its history? Who built it? What is it used for?
Was it used for something else in the past? Why do you like it?
- Research a food: describe a meal or a recipe associated with your
area. How long have people eaten this food? Do young people like it?
Are eating habits changing?
- Research a name: What is the origin of your surname or first name?
Does it mean something? Is it a local name? Is it a typical name for
- Leisure and sporting activities: What are the most popular activities
in your area? Who does them? Did your grandparents have the same activities?
What would you like to improve for leisure and sport in your area?
- Jobs and industry: What are the main types of work in your area?
How does this compare to 100 years ago? Have jobs changed? Why? How?
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www.youth.org.uk The UK’s
leading Youth work community.
Useful insight into life for young people in the UK.
www.byc.org.uk The British
Youth Council campaigns for issues that concern British youth –
find out about the latest campaigns.
An example of how one organisation is using the lottery funding to explore
young people’s idea of cultural heritage.
A Multicultural society
in Essential UK looks at the UK’s racial heritage and asks students
to talk about their own. You can develop the theme of describing your
community with the lesson on buildings and lifestyles in Reading
Houses. Follow up the family heritage theme with a look at how British
holiday habits evolved.