Family snapshot

If you teach young learners who are all the same age and live in the same town, opportunities for sharing and comparing life experiences can feel more limited than they would be in a multi-national class of adult learners.

One nice idea with adults, for example, is to invite them to take a 'snapshot' of their lives 5, 10 or 20 years ago, depending on their age, which they can then compare with classmates.

But you can take the 'spiral' approach with young learners, and ask them to think about their own families.


  • Ask the learners to do a little research and find out what their parents or grandparents were doing on the same day (for fun – it doesn’t have to be exact) 10, 25 or 50 years ago.
  • Learners come to the next lesson with that information and exchange with each other. You can build the results into a shared 'snapshot'.
  • You can also ask the class to report on their shared snapshot. It might be possible to summarise the notes, perhaps in survey form, generating some basic statistics.


  • Another question which takes the same approach is to ask young learners to find out who the first person in their family was to settle in that town, and build a timeline. They can also ask where their ancestors came from and you can record this on a map.
  • If you are teaching a class of adult learners, you can of course ask the same question about their own lives.

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