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ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on National Anthem

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Japanese Emperor and anthem


Date: April 26, 2005
Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)
Downloads: This Lesson (Word Doc) | Class Handout (Word Doc) | Class Handout (PDF)

Listening (1:21 - 159.7 KB - 16kbps)

THE ARTICLE

Japan’s national anthem and flag have been in the news a lot in the past year. Many schools say their students and teachers must face the “Hinomaru” flag and sing the “Kimigayo” anthem. Almost 300 teachers were punished last year for refusing to stand and sing the anthem in their schools. Japan’s Emperor Akihito has previously stated that students and teachers should not be forced to face the flag and sing. He recently expressed his feelings about his citizens singing the Japanese national anthem: “All nations of the world have national flags and anthems and I believe that it is important for schools to teach students to respect them”. He said that any acts of loyalty to the flag and anthem should be voluntary. He used the Olympic Games as an example: competitors sing their anthem or hold their flags because they want to, not because they are forced to.

WARM UPS

1. CHAT: Talk in pairs or groups about: Japan’s Emperor Akihito / national anthem / flags / national symbols / Olympic Games… For more conversation, change topics and partners frequently.

2. NATIONAL ANTHEM: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with national anthems. Share your words with your partner / group and talk about them.

3. FLAG QUIZ: Match the (nick)names of these flags to their countries:

The Cedar Tree
Five Stars Red Flag
Tricolore
Hinomaru
Union Jack
Maple Leaf
Stars and Stripes
The Hammer and Sickle
The Southern Cross
Star of David

Ex-Soviet Union
Australia / New Zealand
United Kingdom
China
France
United States of America
Israel
Lebanon
Japan
Canada

How does each of these flags make you feel?

How does your own flag make you feel?

4. NATIONAL ANTHEM QUIZ: Match these national anthems (some translated into English) to their countries:

La Marseillaise
The Star-Spangled Banner
My Golden Bengal
Land of Mountains, Land on the River
Kimigayo
The Hope
The Thunder Dragon Kingdom
God Save the Queen
Ode "to Joy"
God Bless the Sultan
Thou Art the Ruler of the Minds of All People

Europe
UK and the Commonwealth
Bhutan
Israel
France
Austria
Japan
India
Brunei
Bangladesh
USA

Can you sing or hum any of these anthems? How do they, or other national anthems, make you feel?

How does your own national anthem make you feel?


 
 

PRE-READING IDEAS

1. WORD SEARCH: Use your dictionary / computer to find word partners (collocates), other meanings, synonyms or more information on the words ‘national’ and ‘anthem’.

2. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true or false:

  1. Japan’s national anthem and flag have been in the news a lot.  T / F
  2. Japanese schoolchildren never sing their national anthem.  T / F
  3. Hundreds of teachers were punished for not singing the anthem.  T / F
  4. The Emperor has said students and teachers should face the flag and sing.  T / F
  5. He said singing the anthem should be voluntary.  T / F
  6. Japanese Olympics Games competitors have to sing their national anthem.  T / F

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

a. national as an example
b. in the news his feelings
c. teachers were punished last year the flag
d. face for refusing to stand and sing
e. He recently expressed anthem
f. acts their anthem
g. He used the Olympic Games a lot
h. competitors sing of loyalty

 

WHILE READING ACTIVITIES

1. GAP-FILL: Put the words on the right into the correct gaps.

Japanese Emperor and anthem

Japan’s national anthem and flag have been in the __________ a lot in the past year. Many schools say their students and teachers must __________ the “Hinomaru” flag and sing the “Kimigayo” anthem. Almost 300 teachers were __________ last year for refusing to stand and sing the anthem in their schools. Japan’s Emperor Akihito has __________ stated that students and teachers should not be __________ to face the flag and sing. He recently expressed his feelings about his citizens singing the Japanese national anthem: “All __________ of the world have national flags and anthems and I believe that it is important for schools to teach students to respect them”. He said that any acts of __________ to the flag and anthem should be __________. He used the Olympic Games as an example: competitors sing their anthem or hold their flags because they want to, not because they are forced to.

 

forced
news
punished
voluntary
previously
loyalty
face
nations

 

2. TRUE/FALSE: Check your answers to the T/F exercise.

3. PHRASE MATCH: Check your answers to this exercise.

4. QUESTIONS: Make notes for questions you would like to ask the class about the article.

5. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.


 
 

POST READING IDEAS

1. GAP FILL: Check your answers to this exercise.

2. QUESTIONS: Ask the discussion questions you thought of above to your partner / group / class. Pool the questions for everyone to share.

3. VOCABULARY: As a class, go over the vocabulary students circled above.

4. STUDENT FLAG SURVEY: In pairs/groups write down questions about flags, or on the article. Ask other classmates your questions and report back to your original partner/ group to compare your findings.

5. ‘NATIONAL’ / ‘ANTHEM’: Make questions based on your findings from pre-reading activity #1. Ask your partner / group your questions.

6. DISCUSSION:

  1. What did you think of this article?
  2. Do you agree with what the Japanese Emperor said?
  3. Should the national anthem be sung in schools?
  4. Should the national anthem be sung in other public places, like cinemas?
  5. Is having a national anthem important?
  6. Do you know the words or meaning to your national anthem?
  7. Do you feel patriotic when you hear your national anthem?
  8. Are there other national anthems you like or hate?
  9. How do you feel when you hear your national anthem at the Olympics?
  10. What do you think of your national flag?
  11. Do you know the history of your flag and its design?
  12. Are you proud of your flag?
  13. Do you have your flag on any of your possessions?
  14. How would you feel if you saw foreigners burning your flag?
  15. Are there other national flags you like or hate?
  16. Did you like this discussion?
  17. Teacher / Student additional questions.

7. NATIONAL THINGS: Complete the following table for your country and talk about what you wrote with your partner. Are the things you wrote down good examples or symbols of your country?

NATIONAL…

Thing or comment

anthem

 

flag

 

flower

 

dish / food

 

dress

 

hero

 

gallery

 

university

 

health system

 

security

 

8. WORLD FLAG COMMITTEE: Pairs / Groups – You are responsible for designing the new flag for the world, just in case we are visited by aliens. Decide together on the shape, colours, symbols etc. Present your flags to the rest of the class explaining the different choices behind the design. Vote on the best flag.

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find information on your national anthem. Share your findings with your class next lesson.

3. WORLD ANTHEM: Write the words to a world anthem (just in case aliens come to visit). Show your world anthem to your classmates in your next lesson.

4. MY FLAG: Write a story about a time you felt particularly proud of your flag. Read your story to your classmates in your next lesson.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

  1. Japan’s national anthem and flag have been in the news a lot.  T
  2. Japanese schoolchildren never sing their national anthem.  F
  3. Hundreds of teachers were punished for not singing the anthem.  T
  4. The Emperor has said students and teachers should face the flag and sing.  F
  5. He said singing the anthem should be voluntary.  T
  6. Japanese Olympics Games competitors have to sing their national anthem.  F

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

national

anthem

b.

in the news

a lot

c.

teachers were punished last year

for refusing to stand and sing

d.

face

the flag

e.

He recently expressed

his feelings

f.

acts

of loyalty

g.

He used the Olympic Games

as an example

h.

competitors sing

their anthem

FLAG QUIZ:

The Cedar Tree

Five Stars Red Flag

Tricolore

Hinomaru

Union Jack

Maple Leaf

Stars and Stripes

The Hammer and Sickle

The Southern Cross

Star of David

Lebanon

China

France

Japan

United Kingdom

Canada

United States of America

Ex-Soviet Union

Australia / New Zealand

Israel

NATIONAL ANTHEM QUIZ:

La Marseillaise

The Star-Spangled Banner

My Golden Bengal

Land of Mountains, Land on the River

Kimigayo

The Hope

The Thunder Dragon Kingdom

God Save the Queen

Ode "to Joy"

God Bless the Sultan

Thou Art the Ruler of the Minds of All People

France

USA

Bangladesh

Austria

Japan

Israel

Bhutan

UK and the Commonwealth

Europe

Brunei

India

 

GAP FILL:

Japanese Emperor and anthem

Japan’s national anthem and flag have been in the news a lot in the past year. Many schools say their students and teachers must face the “Hinomaru” flag and sing the “Kimigayo” anthem. Almost 300 teachers were punished last year for refusing to stand and sing the anthem in their schools. Japan’s Emperor Akihito has previously stated that students and teachers should not be forced to face the flag and sing. He recently expressed his feelings about his citizens singing the Japanese national anthem: “All nations of the world have national flags and anthems and I believe that it is important for schools to teach students to respect them”. He said that any acts of loyalty to the flag and anthem should be voluntary. He used the Olympic Games as an example: competitors sing their anthem or hold their flags because they want to, not because they are forced to.



Copyright © 2005 by Sean Banville