ESL etc.

Global Issues and Activism in English Language Teaching

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Buy, Use, Toss – Free 10 Lesson Unit from Facing the Future

September 2nd, 2010 by Dave · 1 Comment

Facing the Future is offering Buy, Use, Toss, a 10 lesson unit on consumption, for free download. It looks very good, and features some old favorites like The Story of Stuff and Chris Jordan. It’s aimed at grades 9-12, and seems like it would be perfect for adult ESL learners.

The lessons ask students to look at their own role in these issues, which I think is an important thing to do when addressing global issues. The readings are interesting, and not overly long or complicated. There is also a good variety of activities.

The only criticism I have is an apparent lack of awareness about issues relating to animals. For example, the handout “Hamburger, Fries and a Coke” in Unit 2 details the resources used in creating this stereotypically American meal. We are told about the fertilizer and water used for the grain to feed the cow, the gas used to ship the patties, and even about the poor working conditions at the slaughterhouse. At the same time, no mention is made of animal cruelty, the pollution runoff from factory farms, or the chemicals like hormones and antibiotics that the cows are pumped full of. To me, this is a strange omission.

Overall, though, I think this is a really useful set of lesson plans, and I’m not sure if the plan is to keep it free forever, so be sure to download it soon.

Tags: blog · consumerism · fair trade · global issues activities · k-12 · lesson plans · pictures · poverty & wealth · reading · statistics · the environment · video · visual prompts

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Evans Anita // Jul 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    I found this book very interesting and strongly suggest downloading it. I teach English ESL to university students specialized in computer sciences. I am planning to use the chapter about recycling computers, cellphones and all the appliances that we discart after using them for a short period of time thus generating environmental problems. I want to make my students aware of the problem. They have linked it with a video on China’s waste management of our appliances. Hope the students will gain critical thinking from this lessson. Congratulation for your very good blog with lots of info. Keep up the good work and visit us at
    Anita Evans

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