Six ways to exploit the “Bush shoe-attack” in class


For the last days of class in 2008, or the first in 2009, bringing in a current news buzz is an attractive option. The latest one would have to be the story of the Iraqi journalist who threw a shoe at George W Bush during a press conference. Here are six ways you could use this story in an English class.

1.  Use it to teach shoe vocabulary (heel, laces, shoe, trainer/sneaker, boot, leather, rubber, sole etc). Design a questionnaire about shoes for students to ask and answer. Relatively uncontroversial.

2. Use it as part of a Bush Legacy Quiz and do this nearer his last day in office (January 20). Include questions about world events of the past eight years connected to Bush, the people near him etc. Start with the Wikipedia entry on Bush, but I also like this article. For practical tips on exactly how to make the questions for this quiz, I’ve written about this here. Could get controversial.

 3. A video class. Show one of the many videos or joke videos or websites about this news item. A bit controversial.

4. Do it as a reading class. Take the text of the story from any of the major news sites (here’s the one from Reuters) and make some exercises to go with it. Relatively uncontroversial.

5. Include it in a discussion class on crimes and suitable punishments. Prepare a list of crimes and ask students to suggest punishments for them. Include “throwing a shoe at a head of state” in your “crimes”. Controversial, depending on what other crimes you choose.

6. Make it into a writing class. Divide the class into three groups. Group A writes a diary entry for that day from the point of view of the Iraqi journalist. Group B writes a diary entry from the point of view of George W Bush. And Group C writes a diary entry from the point of view of the shoe. Uncontroversial, but could get ridiculously funny.

note: the photo for the shoe, and all the stock photos on this site, come from a free photo sharing service

Published in: on December 18, 2008 at 11:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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