Sunday, 7 August 2016

Good fences...

Mending Wall by Ken Fiery
This lesson plan was designed long ago as part of a course about materials development for language teaching. It was the first based on one of my favourite poems with the aim of introducing literature into the classroom. Addressed at adults at upper-intermediate/ advanced levels, it promotes the practice of all five skills and language awareness by focusing on direct and reported speech. Although originally split into two sessions, its duration will depend on the group dynamics and your own pace. (Please, note this time instructions are given directly to the students and that you can find the full handout here.)


         I.- WARM-UP

A man was trying to sleep but he couldn’t
He got up and made a phone call
The person he called was very angry
The caller felt better and fell asleep
_ Read the story and ask your teacher yes-no questions to solve the puzzle:
´Why do you think he called?´ ‘What was the problem?’


_ In pairs, comment on the following questions:
·         What kind of relationship do you have with your neighbours?
·         What makes for a good neighbourhood?
Take upon consideration the following aspects:
  •       Location
  •       Nearby facilities
  •       Price and characteristics of the houses
  •      Compare it with your present neighbourhood and explain why you would or wouldn’t move there

Listen to the poem being read. Try to see in your mind what is happening.
Robert Frost

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it, 
And spills the upper boulders in the sun, 
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast. 
The work of hunters is another thing: 
I have come after them and made repair 
Where they have left not one stone on a stone, 
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding, 
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean, 
No one has seen them made or heard them made, 
But at spring mending-time we find them there. 
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill; 
And on a day we meet to walk the line 
And set the wall between us once again. 
We keep the wall between us as we go. 
To each the boulders that have fallen to each. 
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls 
We have to use a spell to make them balance: 
’Stay where you are until our backs are turned!’ 
We wear our fingers rough with handling them. 
Oh, just another kind of out-door game, 
One on a side. It comes to little more: 
There where it is we do not need the wall: 
He is all pine and I am apple orchard. 
My apple trees will never get across 
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him. 
He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors’.
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder 
If I could put a notion in his head: 
’Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it 
Where there are cows? 
But here there are no cows. 
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know 
What I was walling in or walling out, 
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, 
That wants it down.’ I could say ‘Elves’ to him, 
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather 
He said it for himself. I see him there 
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top 
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed. 
He moves in darkness as it seems to me 
Not of woods only and the shade of trees. 
He will not go behind his father’s saying, 
And he likes having thought of it so well 
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbors.”



IV.A.- DRAWING [U Listening ^ Talking ¥Drawing]

Individually, draw the scene this poem conjures up in your mind. Add commentary text to the picture if necessary and then, compare your drawing with a classmate. Explain any differences and discuss what you think the poem is about.

What do you think is the writer’s opinion about the wall? And his neighbour’s? Why does his neighbor think that ‘good fences make good neighbours’?

IV. B.- VIDEO-POEM DISCUSSION  [N Watching ^ Talking/ Language Awareness]

1. - Watch the video from minute 5:55 and compare the images shown in it with your own drawings. How different are they?

2. - After watching the video, has your interpretation of the poem changed in any way? In what ways do walls become metaphorical or symbolic in the poem? (Some say it's actually about tearing down religious and social boundaries)

3. - Go back to the text and try to differentiate thoughts from actual speech. How is speech conveyed?



4. - Try to imagine the real conversation between these two neighbours and write the dialogue down   

5. - Report the conversation to your classmate.



V. A.- ROLEPLAY [_ Conversation]

_NEIGHBOURS: Try and solve this neighbourhood problem.


Resident of APT 202, 2nd floor:

It’s 7:00 AM. You were up until 4:00 AM preparing for an important business meeting. You have to give your presentation at 10:30, and you really need another hour to sleep. You can’t sleep because the person who lives downstairs is playing the drums. Persuade your neighbour to stop playing. Be as convincing as possible


Resident of APT 102, 1st floor:

(by jblaha on flickr)

It’s 7:00 AM. You are a drummer, and a music student. Today is your final exam. If you don’t play well you can’t graduate so you have to practice as much as possible. Explain this to your neighbour to persuade him. Be as convincing as possible


Read what someone wrote about his complaining neighbours and post a reply giving him advice on what to do.

What do you notice about the language used? Edit the text to correct spelling and punctuation mistakes.

Dogs And Complaining Neighbours !!!! Help

We have had a complaint from our neighbours that our dogs are barking in the garden, the neighbours have a small dog and we have 2 dogs, we have put up a 1.5 mtr reed fencing which is fixed to a wire lower fence so the dogs would stop jumping up at the fence( they have never jumped over the fence into the neighbours garden) the only time the dogs bark in the garden is when someone is about( like dogs do) when we come home from work friday they have told our 11 year old son that the dogs bark all day and they never shut up in the garden which is not true our other neighbour whose house adjoins ours has not complained?? but this neighbour whose house is about 40 feet away has, (we are end terrace facing south there house is facing east big garden between us)

today sunday my wife and a few friends were sitting in the garden and said neighbour returns with his dog, my dogs obviously run over to the fence when i call them back so they come, so the neighbour then decides to pick his dog up above the fence so my dogs can see it and obviously my dogs now try and jump up at the fence, now he reckons I should put a proper fence up to stop them but my wife has said no way if they want a fence they can put it up as he has antagonised our dogs and is proberbly doing it when we aint looking or around ( by the way dogs are never outside when we are not home)

does anyone know where we stand on this situation please help 

( i think they have had it in for us since we moved in 6 months ago and thats prob why last peeps moved so quick)

 [¥ Writing]

¥ Now imagine you are this man’s neighbour, you have talked to the owners of the dogs many times before but they simply won’t do anything about their barking and jumping over the fence. 

Write a note of complaint and threaten them with taking the matter further if they don’t solve the problem.

Finally, go back to your writing and try to improve it by revising punctuation and spelling.

Hope you liked it!