It's twenty twelve (2012) and to those who follow these things it means that the world is about to change. Will it change for the better or worse? Will the world come to an end? Will a new age of peace break upon us? Will the global economic climate improve? Will technology continue its breakneck pace of innovation? All are lofty, deep and probably rather batty questions! Still, they make the fodder for a wonderful conversational lesson for our English classes! It's probably best to approach this hot topic through some humor. Some may believe in these things, possibly yourself, so making fun of 2012 and all of the end of the world prophecies and / or new age beginning hopes and dreams will not do. No, start off with some good entertainment. Perhaps a scene from Ronald Emmerich's epic adventure 2012 will do the trick. Students will have plenty of opinions about the topic, and you won't need to disclose your own position on the matter - unless, of course, you would like to do so. No matter how the conversation turns, one thing is certain: Your students will be putting English to good use exploring the wide variety of opinions and scenarios surrounding 2012.
Aim: Building conversational skills by using the topic of the various prophecies surrounding 2012
Activity: Class discussion, review of future forms, followed by small group activity
Level: Intermediate to advanced
- Introduce the topic of prophecies related to the year 2012. For example, watch a clip or two from the film 2012. Alternately, you may want to read an article online giving an overview of various prophecies. Another route is to focus on one particular prophecy such as the Mayan calendar, or the Hopi predictions as a jumping off point.
- To prepare students for the lesson, use the content to review / expand vocabulary related to making predictions, forecasting events, etc.
- Review future forms, especially the use of 'going to' to express future intentions vs. 'will' to make predictions.
- Ask students to complete the future tense worksheet relating to 2012. Ask students to correct each other's work, and then double-check these corrections as a class.
- Have students get into small groups of no more than four student to a group. Ask each group to make predictions for 2012. Encourage them to make predictions based on some of the more esoteric predictions that came up during discussion as it will stretch their vocabulary! Each group is responsible for three predictions.
- Circulate about the room helping students with vocabulary and expressions as needed.
- Once students have completed their predictions for 2012, gather as a class. One learner from each group is responsible for presenting the predictions.
- Ask other members of the class which do not belong to the group to choose the one prediction they think is most likely to occur. Once again, this activity will be more fun if students are outlandish with their predictions. Encourage students to discuss and debate the relative merits of each prediction.
- Write the chosen prediction from each group on the board.
- As homework, ask students to write a short essay entitled 2012 - What Our Future Holds. Learners can use the predictions chosen as a class, or choose their own to elaborate.
2012 - What the Future Holds - Worksheet I
Put the verb in brackets into the correct future form using either the future with 'will' or the future with 'going to'. In a few cases, clues are provided at the end of the sentence.
- No matter what happens in 2012, I _____ (improve) my grades at school. - intent
- Many believe that the Maya Calendar predicts that the world _____ (end) in 2012.
- Others believe that the Maya Calendar shows that the world _____ (enter) a new age in 2012. - prediction
- Regardless of what happens, the governments of the world ______ (continue) to work on resolving the issues facing the global economy. - future plan
- My company ______ (develop) new apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android platforms during the first two quarters of 2012.
- Andrea has so many classes scheduled in the first semester of 2012 that I'm sure she ______ (need) a long vacation to recover from so many tests! - my prediction for my friend
- More than 200,000 have registered to take the TOEFL exam. They ______ (take) the exam in more than 40 countries.
- Teacher to class: You might think the world is going to end on December 21st 2012. Whatever happens, you ______ (take) the final examination on that day, or you will not pass this course!
- I hope the world ______ a more peaceful place in 2012.
- Many predictions _____ (make) over the next few months. - Careful! Passive Voice
2012 - What the Future Holds - Worksheet II
As a group, write down four predictions for 2012. Feel free to include any predictions, no matter how crazy they might seem!