Let’s get one thing clear right away, I’m not talking about blood dripping gore! That is out of the question as far as I’m concerned!
(Epstein Family Photos)
My first reaction to Sharon Hartle’s recommendation to the lesson and slideshow about 10 inventors killed by their own inventions on The Lecturer’s EFL Smart Blog was: Wow, I have some 17/18 year old boys who would be interested in this. I can make an activity out of this slideshow.
But then I started thinking about how I would scaffold this for different levels. And for different pupils. I started thinking about how I would deal with vocabulary items such as gangrene and strangled. Although the person who wrote the titles for this slideshow was really careful with the language and did not go into gory details, I can see possible mine fields having to explain what is meant by “had five pieces of his anatomy removed”.
Am I being stereotypic in thinking that many teenage boys are interested in this kind of information while many girls are not?
When I was a student teacher I had to design and teach a lesson using the Jigsaw method we had just learned. I used a story with a scary ending called The Yellow Ribbon . The version I had was in language even more simple than this, which suited my pupils. My thought that it would add some WOW factor to have a story with such an ending. The lesson took place in the mid 1980’s and I don’t remember any particular reaction of interest or revulsion from the pupils. However, I’ll never forget the horrified reaction of my teacher-trainer when I handed in the paper describing the lesson and the story itself!
How far would you go in bringing scary or gory stuff into a teenage classroom?