When I first came across Jessamyn’s story, I thought it was gutsy and moving. She is a yoga teacher who has become an Instagram star for her body-positive message and for showing the world that Yoga teachers can come in all shapes and sizes. I tend to plan my lessons around topics that interest me first, and I then reflect on whether my students might also connect and engage with these topics.
Most of my sources are authentic and this one is no exception. I essentially based all of the tasks on Jessamyn’s impressive Facebook profile; she posts interesting news articles, videos, photos and different sorts of media items.
This topic couldn’t be more relevant: self-love, self-acceptance, self-esteem, fat shame
are currently hot topics in the mainstream media. She talks about her body insecurities and I believe that 98% of all women can relate to this, in one way or another – and certainly some men too. Therefore, your adult learners might have dealt with these issues at one point or another during their lives – so why not bring the topic into the classroom?
Teachers need to be aware that some learners might have preconceived notions on these topics – even being judgemental. Learners who feel free to express themselves will often start a discussion on an apparently sensitive area if it is important to them.
Bear in mind that we must not judge their opinions (even if we completely disagree with them). The main objective of this lesson is to discuss different points of views, have them agree or disagree with what our character says, read what people have to say, and have them outline and explain their opinions.
I designed this lesson with adults and mature teenagers in mind as the ideal age group. Their level should be B1/ B2.
The slides are pretty self-explanatory and some extra notes are following:
Arouse students’ interests by asking what job Jessamyn might have. Write down some guesses on the board. Ask them : Could she be a doctor? A lawyer? A police officer?
Slides 2, 3, 4
As her story unfolds, pay attention to students’ reactions and comment on what they say. Ask them: Could she be a Yoga instructor? Why or why not?
Can you do a handstand like she does? Do you do Yoga? Does your Yoga instructor look like Jassemyn? What does she/ he look like?
Have students discuss the 7 questions with their partners and walk around the class. Tell them they should refer back to the text to answer the questions. Help them with new vocabulary. If it’s 1:1, take turns in asking and answering the questions with your student.
Pre-listening task – Ask those questions to arouse students’ curiosity and engagement.
Post-listening tasks – After watching the video, have students ask questions 1-5 to their partners. Share some answers with the whole class. Have students agree or disagree with the Facebook comments. Help them with the vocabulary by explaining and writing new words/ expressions on the board.
1) conflicted relationship
2) favourite – for so long
3) throw shade – I am
4) curvy people