Dear fellow ESL teachers,
I’d like to share a nice lesson with you. In class, watch my (hopefully) entertaining animation video titled “Always listen to your parents”.
Here are the questions and tasks for your students:
1. Discuss in class:
- Who’s to blame and why?
- (If not already answered): What might dad have done differently in order to prevent the outcome?
- What does the flower stand for?
2. Creative writing
- Write out the dialogue between the two little “YOLOs” on their way to the flower.
- Make up a dialogue between the surviving YOLO (Emily) and her dad as she reports what has happened.
3. A lot of people associate the popular motto “You only live once” (YOLO) with reckless behaviour like binge drinking or doing forbidden or dangerous things.
- Collect things that make your life worth living.
- What are the things you hope you will have done or achieved by the end of your life?
- Pick one or two items from 3.2 and explain what you can do now to make them happen in the future.
1a) Some people might argue that it’s nobody’s fault because you can’t predict and prevent every possible accident. Sometimes parents just have to trust their children and children have to make their own experiences. On the other hand it is quite clear that dad neglects his parental responsibility in this film. Although he is aware of the danger and his children seem to be quite young, he chooses to leave them for a while, not having explained why it is so important not to touch the flower. If parents prohibit their children from doing something, they have to explain the dangers. Otherwise children can’t understand the restraint nor judge how serious the effects might be if they disobey. And as we all know, children sometimes just won’t listen to their parents. Moreover, if the prohibition doesn’t seem to make sense, it becomes even more attractive to disobey. Hence, we might say that it would have been OK for dad to leave his children for a while if he had explained the danger to them and made sure they have really understood.
Of course Emily and Thomas should have listened to their father. They even promise him not to touch the flower. Instead of just giving in to curiosity they should have asked their father why they aren’t allowed to touch it. Moreover, Emily even seems to encourage her brother to touch it rather than stop him from doing it.
1c) Children are curious by nature. They want to try and test almost anything. Unfortunately, they often don’t see the danger involved. Hence, the flower represents all the fascinating things in our world that are potentially dangerous for children, like e.g. poisonous mushrooms, moving cars or a socket.
Emily: Shall we take a look at the flower?
Thomas, Sure, we’re on our way!
Emily: Dad’s always so overcautious.
Thomas: Terrible, isn’t it?
Emily: So are you going to touch it?
Thomas: Of course I am. What’s the worst that could happen? Watch out…
I hope I will have…
- planted a tree
- had my own house
- had a good job
- travelled a lot
- made other people happy
- made this world a better place
- helped other people instead of only thinking about myself, e.g. people hit by natural disasters or just my neighbour
- I can work hard and make sure to get a good education, so I’ll be able to find a good job, travel a lot, buy a house and support charity projects financially.
- I can try to be tolerant, friendly, open, interested, empathetic and helpful, so I’ll find a lot of friends and a wonderful partner I can have children with.
Coming soon: My new YouTube channel containing free entertaining grammar videos:
Holger Bauer from Germany