Young roots


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 heritage.
Lexical areas:
adjectives to describe geographical areas, talking about family
Cross curricular links:
History, Citizenship, Personal and Social Education

Instructions for assistants in italics

Classroom materials

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, family history)
  • 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.


Task 1

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.


Task 2

Which of these adjectives best describes the area you live in?

urban rural inner city agricultural suburban
multicultural crowded isolated historic modern
picturesque ugly pleasant hospitable unfriendly
polluted clean rich poor posh

Can you think of any other words to describe the area you live in?

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? Which ones?

  • a religious group
  • an ethnic group
  • people living in the same place
  • students studying in the same school

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3.Your community

This can be done in pairs or small groups. Hold a feedback session at the end.


Task 3

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.


Task 4

Read and answer these three questions.

  1. When is Youth Work Week?( At the beginning of November)
  2. Who is involved in the Young Roots programme? (Young people and youth organisations in the UK)
  3. 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
1-9 November

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? Why? How?

 

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.


Task 5

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 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? Why? How?

 

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Internet links:

www.youth.org.uk The UK’s leading Youth work community.
www.youthinformation.com 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.
www.childrens-express.org/journalists/heritage.htm An example of how one organisation is using the lottery funding to explore young people’s idea of cultural heritage.

Archive links:

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.

 
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