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Saving Grace

Posted on March 3, 2014 by kierandonaghy

Mary's_Meals_screenshot

This EFL lesson is designed around a short film called Saving Grace by Toad’s Caravan commissioned by the charity Mary’s Meals which provides 860,000 free meals every school day to hungry children. Saving Grace tells the story of 10-year old orphan Grace, who lives in poverty in Malawi. Grace has to forage and beg for food for her and her siblings, and as a result, can’t go to school.

The animated film explains how by providing a free meal at school, Mary’s Meals can enable more children to go to school, eat, learn, and break the poverty cycle for future generations.

Language level: Intermediate (B1) – Upper Intermediate (B2)

Learner type: Teens and adults

Time: 90 minutes

Activity: Watching two short films, speaking, dictation and critical thinking

Topic: Hunger

Language: Language related to hunger, education and non-governmental associations

Materials: Two short films and discussion questions

Downloadable materials: saving grace lesson instructions     mary’s meals questions

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Step 1

Write poverty on the board. Elicit or explain that it is the abstract noun of poor. Pair the learners and ask them to discuss the following questions:

1. What are the causes of poverty?

2. What are the consequences of poverty?

3. How can poverty be solved?

4. Is there poverty in your country? If so, how can it be solved?

 

Step 2

Hold a plenary discussion based on the questions in the previous step.

 

Step 3

Dictate the following numbers to the learners:

300 million

10

57 million

18,000

1

12

12.20

93

 

Step 4

Tell the learners they are going to watch a short animated film called Saving Grace about an orphan Grace, who lives in poverty in Malawi.  Explain that saving grace is an expression to describe a good quality or feature in a person or thing that prevents them from being completely bad or worthless. Give an example such as: John’s generosity is his saving grace.

Tell them that all the numbers are mentioned in the film; as they watch they have to look out for what each number refers to. Play the film.

 

Step 5

Ask the learners to compare their answers. Tell the learners you’re going to play the film again and that they should tell you to stop the film every time one of the numbers appears. Play the film again.

300 million – chronically hungry children in the world

10 – Grace’s age

57 million – children out of school in the world

18,000 – children who die every day from hunger-related causes

1 – Mary’s Meals provides one meal every school day

12 – the total of Grace’s sum on the blackboard

12.20 – the cost of feeding a child for a year

93 – 93 pence in every pound goes directly to Mary’s Meals activities

 

Step 6

Dictate or write on the board the following questions:

1. What will happen to Grace if she can’t go to school? (Answer: she will never learn to read or write.)

2. What will happen to Grace if she grows up and has children? (Answer: They will be born into the same poverty.)

3. What will happen to Grace’s children if she receives food and an education? (Answer: They will have a better start in life.)

 

Tell the learners they are going to watch the film again and they should try to answer the questions.

 

Step 7

Go through the questions and check the learners’ answers.

 

Step 8

Ask the learners what they think of Mary’s Meals. Divide the class into groups of three and four and ask them to come up with five questions they would like to ask about Mary’s Meals.

 

Step 9

Tell the learners they are going to watch a short film about Mary’s Meals, as they watch they should see if any of their questions are answered.

Show the film.

 

Step 10

Get feedback from the learners about answers to their questions.

 

Step 11

Give the learners the questions worksheet. Tell them they are going to watch the film again, this time they should answer the questions. Show the film again.

 

Step 12

Go through the learners’ answers to the question.

 

Step 13

Pair the learners and ask them to discuss the following questions:

Do you think projects like Mary’s Meals are the solution to hunger in the world?

 

I hope you enjoy the lesson.

 

Support Film English

Film English remains ad-free and takes many hours a month to research and write, and hundreds of dollars to sustain. If you find any joy or value in it, please consider supporting Film English with a monthly subscription, or by contributing a one-off payment.

Monthly subscription

One-off payment

20 thoughts on “Saving Grace

  1. Hi,
    Thank you. I am going to use the video and activities as a warm up for writing to persuade.
    Regards,
    Agnieszka

  2. Thank You Very Much for Your cosiderable contribution in order to sustain and provide free English language lesson plans.It is definitely an interesting approach to develop some beautiful qualities.I will use this plan for sure.Best Regards:)

  3. Thanks for this wonderful lesson!

    I´ll surely use it in class, great to create critical thinking and bringing English language to life for my Spanish students.

    Looking forward to meeting you at TESOL Spain 2014 in Madrid this weekend!

    John.

  4. In previewing this lesson for use in class, I was deeply moved. I would like you to know that you have already been a catalyst in growing the project ‘Mary’s Meals’ and I intend to encourage my students, after all the language work, to contribute also. Many thanks for a truly inspiring lesson!

  5. I AM AN EFL/ESL INSTRUCTOR AND HAVE BEEN TEACHING IN ITALY FOR THE LAST 12 YEARS. HAVING DISCOVERED YOUR WEBSITE, MY WORK HAS BECOME EASIER AND INTERESTING TOWARDS THE STUDENTS. THANK YOU!!!

  6. Hi Kieran…I’m taking a short cut here. Have you prepared any film lessons on fashion/clothes/models etc,pl?

  7. Pingback: Visualising Ideas - Film English’s “Saving Grace” is a HIT!

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