1st activity: lexicon
- Tick the adjectives you
would choose to describe the girl who wrote this poem
2nd activity: visualization and creative writing
Students try to imagine the girl who wrote this poem.
The teacher helps them by asking questions and students write down
notes. At the end they make up a complete description of the poetress,
according to their own views. (Witchy's note: "If
you want to know what the girl is actually like, just send me an
her. You'll make her happy!")
- How old is she?
- Is she slim or fat or just average?
- Is she tall or short or average size?
- Has she got a lot of friends?
- What does she do in her free time?
- Does she look happy, sad, depressed or just thoughtful?
- Does she like playing football?
- Does she play a musical instrument? Which one?
- Does she get good marks at school?
- Are her parents sensitive to her problems or cold and careless?
- Does she have plans for the future?
- What does she want to become as an adult?
An engineer? A doctor? A teacher? An actress? Or a housewife?
3rd activity: read this paragraph about teenagers:
How do young people see themselves at puberty?
Most teenagers are unsatisfied with their bodies. At this age
it seldom happens that children like their physical aspect and
then, inevitably, they end by feeling unsure and shy.
Boys have a queer shrilly voice and girl often suffer from acne
and pimples and this obviously does not help. To make things worse
they generally do not trust doctors and every effort made by their
parents in this direction is ineffectual.
Puberty is a crucial age which marks the passage from childhood
into sexual maturity. The signs of changes are evident both in
boys and girls: girls develop breasts and boys grow hair on their
Teenagers’ strongest desire is to look
like their peers, so girls are unhappy if they have got their
periods before their
friends or if they have not had them yet. The same happens if they
are the first or the last ones to develop breasts.
Teenagers: children or adults?
Puberty is a critical difficult period for all kids: their feelings
continually shift between the wish to remain protected by their
parents and under their control, as it was a short time ago when
they still were children, and the aspiration of becoming autonomous
adults in the shortest possible time.
Self-confidence is at risk at any time during
puberty but it can be strengthened by closeness with friends.
It is not surprising
if they need to imitate their friends’ behaviour with the
purpose of being accepted by the group.
In this period of life the child begins to
appreciate freedom but this does not mean that parents’ support
is of no value. Parents are a sort of nest where children can
find safeness and
tranquility but also the self-assurance which will help them to
find the courage to fly out and eventually experience the whole
Written by nurse Hazel the
Witch on the basis of her experiences
as a mother of two sons, still in the teenage
age, and as a teacher of about 1 thousand five hundred high school
students, prevalently males.
(please, respect copyrights!) ;-))
activity: A public discussion:
Witchy says to students: "You don't have
to feel obliged to tell your problems to the class. You only have
to underline the problems regarding yourself. Talk of them to your
friends only if you feel like that".
Say to your deskmate first and, then, take turns
and say to the class, if you like, which of the problems highlighted
by the author
of the text truly regard teenagers; which ones are the most serious
and which ones can be easily coped with. Example: "The most serious
problem is having acne and pimples. I think developing breasts is
not really a problem".
5th activity: What can
we do about it?
Witchy says: "Certainly, there must be sensible ways to cope with
all the horrors and tragedies of teenage... why don't we start a
discussion about it? I propose a bit of brain storming, just for
In groups (from three to five) say whatever comes
into your mind which can be useful to get out of sh... shame, sorry
Discussions shouldn't be cahotic if you set rules before starting
to speak. Rules are:
- Everybody has a chance for speaking
- respect each other's speaking turns
- it's forbidden to laugh at any proposal, even the strangest one
- if you don't feel like speaking now you can speak later
- you can't speak for longer than... let's say... two minutes
- all things said must be written down by a secretary
- conversation must be held in ENGLISH!!!
Here are some useful suggestions:
- I can visit a doctor or a psychologist
- I can ask friends for help
- buy a new dress
- study harder
- go to the cinema
- be on a diet
- watch tv
- enjoy myself
- find a boyfriend (girlfriend)
- use drugs (Witchy's comment: "this
proposal will be the first one to be wiped out!)
- take medicines
- attend yoga classes
- robbing a bank
- winning the lottery
The secretary reads all the proposals and subdivides them into two
categories: long-term and short term strategies. The group discusses
(same rules as before...) whether it is better to maintain a short-term
strategy or a long-term one and, on this basis, the first unrealistic
proposals may be cancelled.
Useful suggestions for conversation:
- In my opinion it's better to...
- I'm really convinced that...
- No, I don't agree at all!
- I think it's better to...
- What you say it's absurd!
- Perhaps it would be more sensible to...
- If I can express my idea maybe the best thing to do do is to...
- I totally disagree with you
- You're out of your mind!
- You're talking bullshit!
Finally each group member writes a report
and the best one will be read aloud to the rest of the class. All
be written on a big poster which will be hung on the classroom
P.S. Hi kids! Don't complain too
much about your teenage problems: you don't
know what is going to happen afterwards...