Six original topical teaching ideas for March


Beware the Ides of March!


1. Overdose on grammar! March 4 is National Grammar Day in the United States. Mark this day with a wholehearted, unashamed, in your face grammar class.  You could also use some of the stuff from the Society of Good Grammar website (they sponsor this day) to promote discussion of language standards and “good grammar” even in the students’ own language. There is a Bad Grammar Hall of fame at the above website, with songs they say “we love despite their bad grammar”. Perhaps worth checking out?

2. Talk gender! March 8th is International Women’s Day. Bring out discussion questions on gender (men’s work, women’s work, role of women in the society, work and the home). Do a critical analysis with your students of a local glossy magazine or even (gulp) your coursebook. Ask them to speculate what the images say about women and men. March 9th is the 50th anniversary of the Mattel doll Barbie, which makes it a good opportunity to teach the meaning of the word “irony”. (there is, in fact, a whole teaching activity about this at It’s magazines, you can see it here)

3. Beware the Ides of March! The Ides of March are on the 15, and are best known today as the day that Julius Caesar was assassinated. Use this day to stage a bit of Shakespeare. Students could read the famous bit from Act 1 Scene 2 where the soothsayer meets Caesar and utters the warning. Or the “Friends, Romans, countrymen lend me your ears” speech.

4. Welcome Spring! March 20. If it’s warm, see if you can take your class outside for a walk. I’ve published ideas on outdoors classes here. Or create a wordsearch or crossword puzzle here. Use Spring words, and give the class a bit of a break.

5. Be thankful. Asl the class to make a list of things they are thankful for in English. Help with vocabulary and put the list on the board. When someone asks why the hell are we doing this, tell them about the following. March 23 is the 20th anniversary of Near Miss Day. On this day in 1989 a huge asteroid nearly hit the planet. It was the size of a mountain and came within 500,000 miles of a collision with Earth. In interstellar terms, this is considered a near miss. Had it collided with us, it would have left a crater the size of  several cities and generally wreaked total havoc. 

6. Do a U2 song. This month the world famous band from Ireland releases another album. I’ve grown a bit tired of U2, but it’s sure to be played around the world and will therefore perhaps ring bells with your students. You could do a song class with one of the new tunes or crack out your favourite one from the vault. You could do this to coincide with Saint Patrick’s Day if you  like.

Published in: on March 1, 2009 at 8:25 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Look, I’m no prude at all, but I refuse to subject my students to U2 – or Phil Collins, for that!

    What about playing some Motorhead and getting the students to do a gap-fill exercise?

    Ace of Spades, Ace of Spades!!

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