Collaborative idea generation for ELT

Alice’s Bucket List

Screenshot from Alice's bucket list blog (click on the picture to go to the blog)

I just came across this blog today via my flatmate and @neilhimself (Neil Gaiman) on Twitter. Click on the picture to access the blog (I can’t embed it here due to WordPress restrictions). It’s very emotional and I think it could create a lot of discussion and ideas in class. If you have any ideas how to help Alice achieve any of the things on her bucket list, you could contact her and let her know.

What would you do with this blog in your classroom? You can make any assumptions you like about the context it is used in. Post your ideas in the comments below.

Click here to find out the idea behind this blog.

Comments on: "Alice’s Bucket List" (3)

  1. Wow.

    and a second WOW.

    Death is tough. It is something we all fear so much— dying ourselves, losing others. Pain.

    Because of this it’s a rather tough topic, and could ‘freeze’ some students and make others emotional. I know when I lost my dad at 20, I wouldn’t have liked to talk about ‘death’ with others in class. SO, I think whatever direction we take involving death/illness in class, we need to be sensitive to the students and environment… AND of course, I know you respect this Sandy, so it almost goes without saying, but it’s the first thing that came to my mind.

    From there, I love asking students to “step oustide” of their perspective. It could be interesting to discuss how different cultures view death, and how even “ceremonial burial” is regarded as one of the beginnings of human “culture”.

    I think I would try to stay global and “wide” and not personal, and see then if students were drawn to go personal. LASTLY, Sandy, thanks for being so open and honest with a tough topic. I always prefer to be “real” in class, and I respect your “real” direction here. Cheers, Brad

  2. Hi Sandy,

    For pretty much the same reasons as Brad, I don’t think I’d use this with teens, for example. It would encroach on their (what I call) ‘twilight zone’, the area they may not be happy talking about, some may feel uncomfortable, some may be flippant, so indifferent….
    But I think if you used it with adults – older adults, say over 28 or so, sufficiently far from 15 years old, you might just put the header (the whole blue bit, not just the title) up and see what comes out of the discussion, then allow them to read as much or as little as they want, in class or at home depending how the first bit went, as it could feasibly take an hour with discussion and ’emergent’ conditionals or present perfects or whatever (those would be things I’d anticipate here), emergent vocab… Anyway, I’d ask them to read but with a notebook by their side, a reading ‘journal’, and note down any reactions/internal dialogue, comments as they go, as if they were going to write a comment to the blog. Then we’d talk about it – I suspect an older group MIGHT end up talking about how much or how little they’ve actually done since they were her age, what they would have missed if ….. That’s what went through my mind as I read. Again, I’d note areas of language for further exploration, probably in a different class. In a smaller group (up to 10) I wouldn’t use the board at all, but take notes on A3 so students can look, and I can keep – this is because the topic is pretty intimate, and toing and froing from the board – if YOU participate in the discussion – breaks the flow. At the end, I’d ask students to write a summary of what we’d discussed, write about a classmate’s life experiences or whatever, something to summarise the discussion, recycle the vocab, allow the listeners to participate and encourage a culture of LISTENING to each other in class (I always do this anyway). At home or after class, I’d suggest they write a comment to Alice using the notes they made as they read, and some of the language that had cropped up in class.

    There you go….
    Fiona (fionamau)

  3. I’ve just been back to Alice’s site, and through it she’s managing to do amazing things. Her sister is running in the Race for Life this weekend, and they’ve managed to get £10,000 pledged to Cancer Research so far. They’ve also managed to get a lot of people to add themselves to the bone marrow donor list.
    The blog was only released six days ago.

    For me, this is a true example of the power of the internet, and how it can be used to help you deal with anything. I think this is an important topic to discuss, although I agree with Fiona and Brad that I wouldn’t use it with teens. I would probably introduce students to the concept of a bucket list first, perhaps asking them if anybody has seen the film with Morgan Freeman and Jack NIcholson – in the film they also suffer from cancer. I might also discuss with the students what happens in their countries to raise money for research, and whether similar organisations exist to help children who are ill / to donate bone marrow. Have they ever considered volunteering or adding their names to one of these lists?

    It is a topic where you would really have to know your students, but I think they would appreciate it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: