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Defining voice of the punk years

Lesson plan to accompany the January 2003 Newsletter

For a Word version of  both the plan & the texts

Joe Strummer

To see the materials used in the plan

Preliminary information

Time: 60-75 minutes??

Level: Upper Intermediate/Advanced

To give extensive & intensive reading & listening practice.
To give freer speaking practice
See each stage for possibilities of language practice aims.

That the stds will be interested in the theme of music - The Clash being part of the history of popular music.
That the stds will not find the different texts too difficult.

Anticipated Problems and Solutions:
Some of the vocabulary may be challenging >> pre-teach essential items when setting up the prediction task in stage 2.
Some of the 'inventions' may be unknown >> check them out & be prepared to give a very general explanation of them.

Colourful pictures of groups & musicians of different types - classical >> punk
Quotes from fans taken from 'From Here To Eternity' cover by The Clash
Obituary of Joe Strummer from the Financial Times, 24.12.02
Song lyrics - The Clash
To see the materials used in the plan


Stage 1 - Intro to theme of music & punk
10 mins tch<>stds, std<>std, tch<>stds

1. Put up the pictures on the board & stds write down all the diffent kinds of music that the pics represent.
2. Feedback - elicit the types & get a discussion going about their like/dislikes, why some musicians are popular etc...

Stage 2 - Intro to The Clash
10 mins tch<>stds, std<>std, tch<>stds

1. Elicit if anyone knows anything of The Clash - if someone does, then let them tell the others.
2. Tell the stds that The Clash were considered a punk band & elicit what they might have been like - family background, songs etc..
3. Give out the fans' quotes & elicit reactions - could get into a discussion on concerts & their best & why.

Stage 3 - Reading - Joe Strummer's obituary
10 mins tch<>stds, std<>std, tch<>stds

1. Handout obituary - give extensive task & time limit of 2 minutes - task: anything they find surprising about Joe Strummer or The Clash - stress the time limit.
2. Read.
3. Feedback.
4. Give out comprehension questions - stds answer.
5. Stds compare in pairs.
6.Feedback - could develop a response to the text here & begin a discussion about pints in the text.

A few comprehension questions

1. What knid of background did Joe Strummer come from?

2. What jobs had he done?

3. What inspired him to form The Clash?

4. What were some of the themes of The Clash's songs?

5. Why were they different form other punk bands?

6. Why were they criticised?

7. What did Joe Strummer do after The Clash?

Stage 4 - Language focus
??? mins

It is quite a lengthy text & there are lots of things you could pick upon:

• the lexical field of music, music & politics
• descriptive adjectives - Joe & the music
• an anlysis of the genre - obituaries - analyse how it begins with a summary of greatest achievements, on to growing up, then the history behind his fame, then the recent history & finishing with mention of his family. Could compare with how obituaries are written in stds' own countries.
• the language & devices used to contrast information - from the first paragraph where his privelidged family background is contrasted with his punk band, to the Sex Pistols contrast - 'But here was...', etc...The whole text is based on contrasts.

Stage 5 - Song - London Calling - listening for pleasure
10 mins tch<>stds, std<>std, tch<>stds

(It doesn't necessarily have to be London Calling)

1. Elicit again the type of music that The Clash played.
2. Play the song for pleasure - do they like it & what is it about?
3. Stds compare in pairs.
4. Feedback.
5. Handout the lyrics to read & listen at the same time. (Anything but a gap fill of the lyrics!!!!)
6. Could give some comprehension questions >> stds compare >> feedback.
7. Discussion of the lyrics >> poss. write another verse.

Stage 6 - Follow up activities
10 mins tch<>stds, std<>std, tch<>stds

• Interview with Joe Strummer - could also include Johnny Rotten, both vying for recognition as punk spokesperson(?).
Writing imaginary obituaries - using the analysis of the genre, stds think of a famous musician & from memory write an obituary. Clearly this will be limited but encourage them to make up parts of the person's life that they are unsure about.
• Discussion/debate about state of popular music & related points eg. popular music should be used for change, pop stars are paid too much etc.

London Calling cd cover

To see the materials used in the plan

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