an archive of lesson plans

Category: Personalities

ES S24 Adv Autobiography through photos

Class theme/topics discussed: Biography of my life through photos.

Goals of the class: Identify the things that define people and brainstorm about photos that they would like to see from their classmates. 

How did you structure the class? 

  • 10 min: Warm up exercise where they did Wordle and we talked a bit about our weekend.
  • 15 min: I showed my Spring Break presentation because I didn’t have time to show it in the previous class and they were interested on seeing it.
  • 25 min: I introduced the new topic of the class. I want them to do a presentation in front of the class about themselves using pictures. First of all, I brought a list of things that, in my opinion, define a person. I asked them to talk among each other to see if they agreed with me or not and to add or take out things.
  • 10 min: After the debate, I asked them to brainstorm about photos that they would like to see from their classmates. We made a list of things.

What technology, media or props did you use? (Internet resources, handouts, etc.)

PowerPoint presentation.

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

The class worked really well. They loved my idea of doing a personal biography through photos and they were excited to do the brainstorm. I don’t think that there’s anything that didn’t work.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

Maybe, I could have directly asked them to make a list of things that, in their opinion, define a person. I decided to make it myself because I wanted them to know my point of view, but I also think that the other way is possible.

 If you have a more detailed lesson plan, please attach it below (OK to use target language for that).  Please attach any handouts as well.

FR F22 ADV l’Histoire de France (French History)

Goal of the class: learning about important figures and periods of French history

Warm-up: in pairs or groups of 3 they start discussing the following questions related to French history and historical figures

  • Est-ce que vous aimez l’histoire?
  • Quelle est la période de l’histoire de votre pays, et/ou d’un autre pays, que vous préférez?
  • Si vous pouviez remonter le temps, dans quelle période de l’histoire iriez-vous et pourquoi?
  • Y a-t-il un/des personnage-s historique-s que vous admirez?
  • Connaissez-vous les noms de personnages historiques connus dans l’histoire de France?
  • Y a-t-il une période de l’histoire de France que vous connaissez mieux que d’autres?

Activity 1: Les personnages clés de l’histoire de France

The main activity was a game I created for the students to learn about important figures of French history. I created 4 groups of students who had to work together and match different pictures/paintings of popular French historical figures with their main role in French history, their profession/main activity (what they are basically well-known for) and the century they lived in. (Associez les images des figures historiques françaises à leur nom, le siècle dans lequel ils ont existé et leur rôle/activité principale pour laquelle ils sont célèbres)

Activity 2: l’histoire coloniale de la France

This second activity was designed to conclude the class talking about a significant aspect/part of French history that is colonialism. I started by giving the students information and dates related to French colonies, etc. Then students watched the first 10 minutes of a documentary in French showing archive videos and images on this period of French history.

  • les Colonies Françaises:
  • La France des colonies (1830-1939): « À partir de 1830, la France se lance à la conquête du monde et au début du siècle suivant (20eme siècle) elle contrôle 1/10ème de la surface de la terre. Son empire, le deuxième après celui de la Grande-Bretagne, comprend le Moyen-Congo, la Côte d’Ivoire, le Dahomey, la Haute-Volta, le Soudan français, la Centrafrique, la Guinée, le Niger, le Tchad, la Mauritanie, Madagascar, l’Indochine, le Maghreb et des terres en Océanie” – (Source:

Ressources : Powerpoint, Youtube, a game that I created (matching photos of great figures from French history with their role in history/profession/main activity, and the century they lived in)

Reflection: This class was extremely interesting both for me and the students. It was challenging to match all the pictures/figures with who they were and when they existed, but it was fun, interactive, and instructive. This class opened further discussion on French history, history in general, and colonialism

DE F22 INT Stereotypes

Goals of the ClassKnow stereotypes and describe them with adjectives. Form opinions about them and be able to explain them
Warm UpCity land river game
Activity 1Video about German stereotypes with subtitles. The text of the video was printed, and the most important adjectives underlined. Input on the descriptive features – adjectives of the video. I – You – We (Think – Pair – Share) What can you see on the picture? Describe what the picture has to do with Germany?
Activity 2What is your experience with stereotypes? What do you think about them? True often/ True sometimes/ Not true at all?
Activity 3What stereotypes are there about the 5Cs 😀 Which ones about other countries?Do you know any stereotypes from TV? NerdsCheerleaders egos?Athletes? What are these stereotypes like? Find adjectives to describe these stereotypes Think of a stereotype Act out the stereotype
What worked well in this class? What did not work (and how could it be improved)?  The topic of stereotypes was very well received by the class. Since many students in this class come from different countries, it was very interesting conversations about possible stereotypes. The warmup game also went very well, in which the students had to find a city, a land, a river, a food and a brand for a certain letter. Stereotypes is an interesting topic for multicultural classes.

RU S22 INT: Celebrities

Language Resident Name: Aleksandra Bystrova

Date: 03/28/2022

Class theme/topics discussed: Celebrities and Famous People

Goal of the class:

  • Discuss vocabulary used to talk about fame
  • Learn about Russian celebrities
  • Create narration about someone else’s actions in Present tense

How did you structure the class?

  1. Warm up (10 mins): Discussion
    I ask my students to discuss the following questions in pairs:
    1) Would you like to be famous?
    Вы бы хотели быть знаменитым?  
    2) If you were a celebrity, how would you become famous?
    Если бы вы были знаменитым, в какой сфере? Как бы вы прославились?
    3) Do you know any Russian famous people? Do you like anyone and why?
    Каких русских знаменитостей вы знаете / кто и почему вам нравится?

2. Activity 1. Qualities that people admire (10 minutes)
I draw a person on the board and ask students for some help to give him a stage name. This person is very famous in Russia. Students should come to the board and write qualities that can be admired in a celebrity.

3. Activity 2. What are they doing right now? (15 minutes)
Each small group writes the name of a famous living person on a slip of paper. The teacher will collect and redistribute the pieces of paper, one per group. The group must then write four sentences telling what the person is doing right now. The teacher will encourage imagination and creativity.

4. Activity 3. Game: Pairs of Famous characters (15 mins).
In advance, the teacher will write names of famous people on pieces of paper. The names should each have a “match.” Here are some examples:

  • Матроскин и Шарик
  • Волк и заяц
  • Пятачок и Сова

The teacher will distribute the papers and instruct the students not to show the paper to anyone. Then, instruct the students to walk around the room trying to find their “matches” without saying the name of the person.

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

Students loved the class. My intermediate group knows many Russian celebrities from their classes at Pomona, so it was easy to spend time naming and discussing them. The activity with writing sentences if very helpful for the Intermediate group. They seemed comfortable taking their time and writing down the sentences in Russian.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

If the group works very fast, at the end of the lesson you can play a game, where students write a famous name on a piece of paper and pin it on someone else’s forehead. Person tries to guess what name is pinned on his/her by asking others around the room yes or no questions.

RU F21 ADV: Russian Folktales

Language Resident: Aleksandra Bystrova

Date: 09/16/2021

Class theme/topic discussed: Russian Folktales

Goals of the class :

  • Learn about Russian folklore and rules of creating a traditional fairytale
  • Practice storytelling

Class structure:

  1. Warm-up.
    I ask my students to discuss the following questions:
    1) What is “сказка” (traditional Russian verbal fairy tale)?
    2) Did you like reading fairy tales or listening to them when you were a kid?
    3) Do you know any Russian fairytales?
  2. Activity 1. Reading a fairytale “Сказка об Иване-царевиче, жар-птице и о сером волке” (The fairytale of Ivan-tsarevitch, a firebird and a grey wolf) (one and a half page, adapted, with vocabulary).
    Students seat in a semi-circle. We read the text aloud making stops at the end of each paragraph. I make sure they understand everything by asking them questions. I draw a plan of a fairytale on a board while they are reading. At the same time, I have a powerpoint presentation opened with drawings of this fairytale, so students have a visual image of what is going on.
  3. Activity 2. Analysis of a fairytale 
    I ask students to name all characters from the fairytale (7). Then, I ask them about the role of those characters. What do they do? We do it on purpose, so later we could discuss the thesis from the book “Morphology of the Folktale” by a Soviet folklorist and scholar Vladimir Propp. After we wrote all characters and their role (functions) on the board, I present my students Propp’s concept and give them a handout with a plan of creating a folktale.
  4. Activity 3. Create your own fairytale!
    I ask students to use the Propp’s concept of creating a folktale (7 main characters and 31 functions, which constitute the plot). They can choose any quantity of characters and functions to create a folktale.

What worked well in this class? What did not work?
While reading the folktale in the class, I tried to use visual materials, gestures and paraphrasing as much as possible. Students seemed interested in the plot, because they laughed when something funny happened and answered context questions. The fairy tale was not long (adapted 1.5 pages), but it took almost 30 mins to fully analyze it (which was more, than I expected). Students seemed overwhelmed with Propp’s concept, but I was ready for it — I simplified the functions, put pictures to them and printed it out in a handout. We did not have time to complete the last activity (composing a folktale), but when students discussed their plots, they were very engaged and came up with really funny ideas. We will continue talking about it next class.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

I would devote two classes to this topic. I would spend more time reading and analyzing a folktale and explaining to students the Propp’s concept, and during the next class I would ask students to create a folktale and present it (in a form of a performance).

PowerPoint Presentation:

RU F21 ADV Intro to the Soviet Poetry: Gennady Shpalikov

Language Resident: Aleksandra Bystrova

Date: 10/05/2021

Class theme/topic discussed: Soviet Poetry of the Khrushchev Thaw (1960s)

Goal of the class: 

  • Learn about the poetry during the Khrushchev Thaw
  • Practice translating and listening skills
  • Get to know the Soviet director, screenplay writer and poet Gennadiy Shpalikov

Class structure:

  1. Greetings and warm-ups.
    Discussion in pairs: Do you like poetry? Who is your favorite poet if you have one? Do you know any Soviet or Russian poets?
  2. Introduction. Gennadiy Shpalikov
    I briefly introduce the biography of Gennady Shpalikov to the class. Why he was important for the “Ottepel” (the Khrushchev Thaw) and what the general atmosphere in the culture at that time was. I ask students if they know something about 1960s culture in the Soviet Union.
    “В воздухе была надежда на свободу, и мы дышали этим воздухом, а как точно заметил Сергей Соловьев, Шпаликов этот воздух создавал” (Юлий Файт)
  3.  Activity 1. Translate a poem.
    I give students a handout with the Shpalikov’s poem “Людей теряют только раз” (“You lose people only once…”) translated in English and ask them to come up with a Russian translation for this poem. I put students into two groups, so every group come up with their own translation. Then, I ask them to present their poems to the rest of the class.
  4. Activity 2. Comparison with an original.
    Александр Яценко – “Людей теряют только раз”
    I show students a video of a Russian actor Alexander Yazenko reading this poem in a studio. Before that, I give them a handout with an original text, so students can compare their poems with the original.
Геннадий Шпаликов
Людей теряют только раз,
И след, теряя, не находят,
А человек гостит у вас,
Прощается и в ночь уходит.
А если он уходит днем,
Он все равно от вас уходит.
Давай сейчас его вернем,
Пока он площадь переходит.
Немедленно его вернем,
Поговорим и стол накроем,
Весь дом вверх дном перевернём
И праздник для него устроим.    
Gennady Shpalikov
Translated by Igor Skryagin and Aleksandra Bystrova  
All people may be lost just once,
And a lost trace may not be found,
When a person, who is staying with you,
Leaves into the night, saying «goodbye».
And if they leave in the afternoon,
They leave you anyway.
Let’s return them right now,
While they are crossing the square.
Let’s return them immediately,
And talk to them, and set the table,
Turn the whole house upside down
And arrange a feast for them.  
Activity 1. Translate the poem.
Activity 2. Comparison with the original

What worked well in this class? What did not work?
Students came up with beautiful translations of the poem. They were very engaged into translating it. If students are interested in the Soviet culture and poetry, it can be a very enjoyable class. However, if students don’t like poetry it might be challenging. The level of the poem is appropriate for advanced learners. The groups of two students in each group worked well.

How could this class be improved/ modified? 
I would leave it as it is. If you have more time left, you can do the same with another poem from the Thaw’s poet Bella Ahmadulina “В тот месяц май, в тот месяц мой…” (

JP SP21 INT/ADV: Hyakunin Isshu, Waka, Renga

This topic can be done in a class or two classes.

anguage Resident/Assistant Name:  

Kozue Matsumoto  

Day and Date:  

Wednesday April 14, 2021   

Language and Level (intermediate or advanced class):  


Class theme/topics discussed:  

  • Movie trailer 
  • Make Renga 

Goal of the class:  

  • Understand a movie trailer  

anguage Resident/Assistant Name:  

Kozue Matsumoto  

Day and Date:  

Wednesday April 12 – 15, 2021   

Language and Level (intermediate or advanced class):  


Class theme/topics discussed:  

  • Movie trailer 
  • Hyakunin isshu 
  • Renga 

Goal of the class:  

  • Understand a movie trailer  
  • Understand hyakunin-isshu, waka poetry, and other ideas around waka
  • Make some renga 

How did you structure the class?  

  1. Trailer #1 (20 min) 
    2. What kind of characters? 
  2. Karuta or Hyakunin isshu (15 min) 
    1. What is this? 
    2. A collection of Waka poems 
      1. 100 poems from 100 poets throughout the history  
      2. Created in the early 13th century 
      3. Who are poets? 
        1. Emperors, aristocrats, monks 
    3. There are lots of other waka collections 
      1. Some of them include regular people’s poems and poems with writers unknown from ancient times  
    4. What Is waka? 
      1. Haiku (5.7.5) vs. Waka ( 
      2. 柿くへば鐘が鳴るなり法隆寺 by 正岡子規 
      3. ちはやふる 神代もきかず 竜田川 からくれなゐに 水くくるとは by 在原 業平 (9th century) 
    5. As a game 
      1. How the game works 
    6. Renga 
      1. Difference between waka 
  3. Trailer #2 (15 min) 
    2. What’s new here 
    3. New Character? What’s she like?  
    4. What’s a message shown throughout the trailer? 
    5. The effect of adopting story that was originally written in a manga format. 
  4. Let’s make renga (30 min) 

What technology, media or props did you use? (internet resources, playmobiles, handouts, etc.)  Class agreement, breakout rooms 

Zoom, Sharescreen, Youtube, Whiteboard 

What worked well in this class? What did not work?   


  • Today’s trailer was a lot easier to understand for them. They were able to guess the relationship of 3 main characters. 
  • They know some sort of card game is related, but they had little idea. One student was able to guess that it would be something with poems. That was great. 
  • Introduced this game, Hyakunin Isshu, Waka, and Renga. I talked a lot for this to explain what they are. It was like I’m doing a Japanese class in a junior high school in Japan. At least they got the new ideas and cultures around Hyakunin Isshu and Waka poems. 
  • The trailer #2 was fun. This time we guessed what’s going on and also tried to listen carefully each phrase in the trailer. From these phrases, we thought about shared value that these characters are having (team work) in contrast to the best player (individualistic). 
  • Renga was a fun activity. This is a collaborative poetry, so you have to follow 5-7-5 and 7-7 format and also develop the idea and theme that previous people present. They created funny poems collaboratively. 
  • I used whiteboard for this collaborative activity. They just type their work on to whiteboard by themselves. This worked out very well. 
  • I shared music when they were working on poems. It was a good and fun addition to the class. 


  • Today’s trailer was a lot easier for them to grasp the story. They were able to find more details than 11.1 students 
  • We talked a lot about Hyakunin Isshu, Waka, Haiku, and Renga. They knew Haiku but they didn’t know Waka. 
  • We discussed the difference between Karuta and Hyakunin Isshu, which also called karuta occasionally  
  • With trailer #2 we talked about certain values that Japanese society likes to hear and see in pop cultures and entertainment. Some elements, friendship, collaborative work, hard work, are so popular and they are seen a lot of pop cultures 
  • We also talked about a little strange cinematography. This might be because the film tries to adopt the styles of comic. 
  • Renga making was so fun. I used background music to play while they are thinking so there is no awkward silence. Their works are so funny. 
  • I used white board for the renga making activity, and it worked well 

How could this class be improved/ modified? 

  • Renga making was so fun. I used background music to play while they are thinking so there is no awkward silence. Their works are so funny. 
  • Renga activity can be done in breakout room instead of whiteboard. I was thinking which way to do. This time I used whiteboard. But I think breakout room works as well 


Haiku, Waka, and Renga Whiteboard

Students’ Renga Works

DE SP21 ADV – German politicians & Social Media

Day and Date: 3/23/2021

Language and Level (intermediate or advanced class): Advanced

Class theme/topics discussed: Current German politics, Social Media

Goal of the class: Get to know party leaders (= candidates for chancellor)

How did you structure the class?

A) “Word of The Day” Game: Students are given a very specific and not well known word that fits the topic of the day (For example a slang word: “lindnern” or “verschlimmbessern”). They write a quick description of what they think the word could be (on a card, piece of paper, or in Zoom they would privately message you). When all have submitted their description, you read all of them, including the correct one and let the students guess which one is right. I do this at the beginning of every class as an ice breaker, but it can also be done as a quick random activity.

B) Instagram Profile Revamp: Each student is assigned an important politician (leader of a party or chancellor candidate). They look up one of their Social Media profiles (for example, Instagram or Facebook) and think about how their page could be re-done in order to speak to them as an audience. Alone or in groups, they work on a new Profile Image, Instagram handle (Name), a concise logline, three lines of bio description and three posts consisting of a picture of the politician with a post text. Use of emojis is strongly welcomed. This activity can take about 25 minutes. (Note: they do not create an actual Instagram account, that should be made clear. They can do the task in a Word or Google Doc.)

C) Presenting their work/politician: Students present their revamped Instagram pages to each other, so that the students get to know each politician in a fun and engaging way.

D) Discussion: Compare to existing social media accounts and talk about the differences.

E) Optional extra activity: The students record a selfie video telling their friends why they should vote for this politician’s party.

Example: One student went above and beyond (which was not expected) and photoshopped his answers so it looks real. Can be part of the exercise as well.

What technology, media or props did you use? (internet resources, playmobiles, handouts, etc.), Props: Share Screen function in Zoom, Google Docs or Word Doc for students to write down their Instagram material

What worked well in this class? What did not work?
The class worked well. The students seem to enjoy the creative exercises.

How could this class be improved/ modified?
The Instagram task could also be done as homework, if applicable, and the class can be used to talk more in-depth about the parties. If the Instagram task is done in class, the selfie-video exercise can also be done as homework or done in a previous class about politics and watched before the exercise.

FR SP21 INT/ADV Tinder

Language Resident: Marie Segura

Class theme/topic discussed : Personality & speed Dating

Class structure:


Create a word cloud and ask students to enter as many adjectives as possible


  • Give students 10mn to fill in a Tinder profile: they have to imagine a character, to choose their name, where they live, what they like doing etc, using adjectives seen before.
  • Organize a speed-dating: each student will be given 5mn in a breakout room to get to know each of the other students’ fictive character to find their perfect match.


  • Ask students if they found their perfect match and to explain what they have in common.
  • What would their first date be? Where would they go? If there’s still time, students can look for a restaurant online.

> If there is an odd number of students, one stays in the main room with you and you can ask them to introduce their character, and if they invented them, or were inspired by someone etc.

Resources used:

Google doc:

Wordcloud on Menti


Sending students into breakout rooms takes time, make sure to start early enough so that you can give them at least (!) 5mn to talk with the other person in the breakout room (especially for intermediate students, they probably need more).

ES F20 ADV Personality Types

Conversation Class Lesson Summary

Language Resident/Assistant Name: Tamara Olivos

Day and Date: September 17, 2020

Language and Level (intermediate or advanced class): Spanish Advanced

Class theme/topics discussed: Types of personality

Goal of the class: To identify personality types, to describe their own personality

How did you structure the class?

Activity 1 (5min): Warm-up. Beginning of sentences: Students receive a list of beginning of sentences. They must complete the sentence loudly. Examples:

Ser joven es…

El aburrimiento es…

El amor es…

Un amigo es…

Sin ti…


He olvidado…


Si pudiera… (haría…)

Cuando tenga 64 años…

Activity 2: I give students a list with the description of 4 different personality types (see below). We discuss the vocabulary and whether or not they identify with them. Why or why not? Why is it important to know your personality? When can this be useful? What other adjectives do they know to describe personalities?

Activity 3: Student describes themselves using adjectives that start by the letters of their names.

Activity 4: Multiple personality disorder. Students answer the same questions as in activity 1 but each one picking a different personality. After answering the questions, they have to guess which kind of personality each student chose.

What technology, media or props did you use? (internet resources, playmobiles, handouts, etc.)

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

This topic worked really well. I would do it again.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

You could add a personality questionnaire, like Myer Briggs

 If you have a more detailed lesson plan, please attach it below (OK to use target language for that).  Please attach any handouts as well.

En la media

Este tipo era el más repetido en los cuestionarios y podríamos denominarlos como “normales”. Muestran rasgos de responsabilidad (conciencia y consideración de una persona) y amabilidad (comprensión, escasa hostilidad) moderados, extroversión e inestabilidad emocional (o neuroticismo: cambios de humor, tendencia a sentirse enfadados o tristes) un poco más marcados, y con pocas expectativas (curiosidad y búsqueda nuevas experiencias y aprendizajes bajas).


Son personas con altos niveles de estabilidad emocional unida a un carácter normal, ni abiertos ni neuróticos. No destacan por ser extravertidos, pero son amables y responsables. Son más bien tímidos, no suelen mirar a los ojos y ponen grandes distancias con los demás. Además, suelen ser bastante inseguros y guardan información acerca de sus emociones (tanto positivas como negativas). Su disposición suele ser empática y correcta y normalmente se molestan si alguien les levanta la voz sin motivo alguno.


Según los científicos, estas personas son poco agradables de cara al resto. Combinan una puntuación menor en amabilidad, apertura hacia los demás y responsabilidad. Tienen un alto grado en extraversión, pero poca franqueza y escrupulosidad. Además, se centran solo en sí mismos y prefieren no vivir nuevas experiencias. Creen que lo saben todo e imponen su opinión sobre cualquier tema. Se muestran superiores, no aceptan consejos e intentan controlar siempre la situación. Según el estudio, es un tipo de personalidad tóxica, no solo para los demás sino para sí mismos también. Solo les agradan los elogios y hacen alusión a la gran fuente de sabiduría que son en todo momento.

Modelos a seguir

Tienen altos niveles de extraversión, amabilidad y responsabilidad con bajo grado de neuroticismo. Son muy abiertos en todos los sentidos, escrupulosos. Rasgos que predominan en las mujeres y que se cultivarían con la edad. Además, siempre se interesan y tienen en cuenta lo que los demás tienen que decir. Son líderes y emocionalmente estables y trabajadores.

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