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Gabe and Chris López

Posted on May 14, 2017 by kierandonaghy

This ELT lesson plan is designed around a short video by Story Corps in which a transgender child talks to his mother, and the theme of transgender children. Students practise vocabulary starting with the prefix “trans”, discuss questions related to transgender children, watch a short film and answer comprehension questions, and talk about how the video made them feel.

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

Learner type: Teens and adults

Time: 90 minutes

Activity: Writing, talking about transgender children, watching a short video, speaking about their reactions to the film

Topic: Transgender children

Language: Words beginning with prefix “trans”, vocabulary related to transgender children

Materials: Short video

Downloadable materials: gabe and chris lopez lesson instructions

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Step 1

Write “trans” on the board, and elicit or explain that it is a prefix with the meaning of “across”, “beyond”, “changing thoroughly” or “transverse.” Elicit a few examples of words with “trans” such as “translator”, “transport” and “transmit”

 

Step 2

Pair your students. Ask them to think of as many words as they can which begin with the prefix “trans”. If their mother tongue is Latin-based tell them that there are many cognates in English beginning with “trans”. Give them a time limit of 3 minutes.

 

Step 3

Elicit or explain the following words:

Transfer, transmission, transit, transition, transportation, translate, translation, transform, transformation, transfusion, transparent, transparency, transcription, transatlantic.

Step 4

Ask students to write 5 sentences using words beginning with “trans”. Give a few examples such as:

“The translator had to catch public transport to hand in her translation of a transcript on time.”

“I caught a transatlantic flight to go to a conference in New York.”

“My grandmother had a blood transfusion when she was in hospital.”

Set a time limit of 5 minutes.

 

Step 5

Go though the sentences and write up the most creative or unusual.

 

Step 6

Write “transgender” on the board. Elicit or explain that it is an adjective that relates to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex. That is to say that if a person is born as a boy but feels like and identifies as a girl, that person is transgender.

 

Step 7

Ask your students to discuss the following questions with their partner:

  • What do you know about transgender children?
  • What have you heard about transgender children in the news or on the Internet?
  • What problems do you think a transgender child might experience?
  • What problems do you think a parent of a transgender child might experience?

 

Step 8

Hold a whole class discussion based on the questions from the previous stage.

 

Step 9

Tell your students they are going to watch a short video in which Gabe, a transgender child, talks with his mother, Chris, about his experience of being a transgender child. Write up or dictate the following questions:

  • When did things change for Gabe?
  • What does Gabe worry will happen when he grows up?
  • Why was Gabe worried about telling his mother that he was transgender?
  • Why does his mother worry about him?

As they watch their task is to answer the questions.

Play the video twice.

Gabe and Chris López from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

 

Step 10

Get feedback from the whole class on their answers to the questions.

 

Step 11

Play the video again; this time pause at each caption and go through vocabulary and expressions such as:

  • “We’re bros” – a colloquial expression meaning to be good friends.
  • “I always got your back” – a colloquial expression meaning I will always support you.
  • “to pee” – to urinate
  • “gonna be” – the informal spelling and pronunciation of “going to be”.
  • “‘Cause” – the abbreviated form of because.
  • “to make me upset” – to make me sad.

 

Step 12

Ask your students to discuss the following questions in small groups:

  • How did the film make you feel?
  • What words would you use to describe Gabe?
  • What words would you use to describe Chris, his mother?
  • How would you describe their relationship?

 

Step 13

Hold a whole class discussion based on the questions from the previous stage.

I hope you enjoy this ESL 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

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6 thoughts on “Gabe and Chris López

  1. Excellent, thanks so much for sharing your work, this website is such a great resource

  2. Brilliant! We are currently working with sex education in my school and this lesson is perfect, since it is a part of the education that we mention but maybe do not talk so much about in the other subjects. I know what to do tomorrow in English class!