This post is a further exploration on my post about teaching English through controversial topics.

This post is a further exploration on my post about teaching English through controversial topics. This time, I’ve decided to share with you a lesson I developed on the issue of Child Abuse. I’d love to share here the material I developed but I don’t think I’ll manage to do that.





After showing my students pictures of children and asking them to predict (brainstorming session) what the lesson will be about, we start with a listening section which goes more or less like this:


1.       You are going to listen to a song ( which is part of a video spot. Listen and underline one option in each sentence:


a-      I think this song is part of a shampoo ad/a TV show/ a campaign/ a concert.

It probably shows children/children and parents/teenagers/children with their grandparents


2. Now, you are going to watch the spot (same source as above). Complete these sentences:


a-     The song is part of a(n) ______________________________.

b-     It shows __________________________________________.





After discussing both activities, we move on to watch another set of videos.


3. You are going to watch a series of small spots produced by Australian organisation NAPCAN. As you watch them, match the title of the spot with statements in the box.

-         is addressed to parents.

-         is addressed to adults.

-         has spoken English.

-         has a written component.

-         is in black and white.

-         is in colours.

  1. Children See. Children Do
  2. Talk Baby
  3. Writing Baby
  4. Don’t stand






The videos are shocking. We don’t discuss much at this stage as I let them think about it silently. Then, we carry on with the speaking and writing section of the lesson:





4. Watch the spots again and in groups, choose ONE to discuss and complete the table below. Who will be the “writing secretary”?



It’s about…

What’s the purpose?

What can we do?

Children See. Children Do.








Talk Baby.








Writing Baby.








Don’t stand.










5. Listen to other groups and complete your table with their contributions.





After discussing some of the hot aspects of the issue at stake, we focus on some reading input available at  Basically, what I did was print the first part of the document, delete the headings and give them the following activity:



6. Read the following text quickly. Complete each gap with a heading from the box. There are two extra headings.

a-The costs of child maltreatment             b- How prevalent is child abuse and neglect?

c- What is abuse and neglect?           d- Preventing child abuse            e- Some facts

f- Individual responsibility in Australia    g- Australian child protection system.




7. How is this text connected to the spots we watched? Discuss with your partner. What can WE do?




For homework, I ask them to go to the site I got the reading passage from and read the complete article since the second part deals with preventing child abuse. Their task, then, is to produce in groups a poster about this provocative topic which they will present orally to the rest of the class.


That’s all folks.




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