Sixteen-year old Jade Hameister from Melbourne, Australia, has undertaken a series of physical challenges from climbing to the base camp on Mount Everest to skiing to the North and South Poles. She is also an inspiring speaker and wants to encourage other young people, and particularly girls, to have the courage to test themselves, even if they risk failing. These two videos can be used with our A1+ ready-to-Resource, or to introduce Jade's story to higher-level classes.
Jade's Polar Quest was partly funded by National Geographic Australia. This short video posted when she completed her challenge is easy to follow and could be used to reinforce what pupils have learned in our A1+ resource, or to introduce the topic to higher-level pupils before using the TEDX talk video.
Jade's TEDX talk is beautifully clear and pupils from A2 can understand parts of it. It's over ten minutes, so we've picked out the parts that can be most easily used with different levels of classes.
The first two minutes address the issues of girls receiving the message that they are "less": "As a young woman I live in a world where I'm constantly bombarded with messages to be less. To eat less, to wear less, to shrink my ambitions to fit in..." And Jade's rallying call, "But imagine if all the young women in a particular country took one step forward in terms of levels of belief in their own abilities?" With help, pupils from A2 can understand this section, although it will be easier to have more in depth discussions with pupils from B1.
Linguistically, it's great for working on "if" expressions and the conditional, right from the first sentence, "But imagine if all the young women in a particular country took one step forward in terms of levels of belief in their own abilities?"
Encourage pupils to find examples of the the type of discouragement Jade refers too. And encourage them to think about whether it only concerns girls. (Boys often feel similar, if subtly different, social pressures.)
The section from 1:55 is about her trip to the North Pole. The part from 1:55 to 2:33 is easiest, and great for superlatives and comparisons: "In April this year, at the age of 14, I became the youngest person, male or female, in history to have skied to the North Pole from outside the last degree. It was also the longest journey to the pole by any woman in the last two years. I dragged a sled that was as heavy as me over a distance of 150 km, as measured in a straight line from the Pole, on skis in -30 temperatures."
The next part has a technical, geographic terms, and you may prefer not to get into the section where she describes the problems of going to the toilet at -30!
The section from 5:38 to 6:20 is great for working on the effects of social media: "There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve your physique. But the problem is when people sacrifice their capability or their health for the sake of fitting into some visual standard shaped by other people.
"Let’s make it about what you do, not how you look.
"If you think about it, the funny thing about many popular fitness social media accounts is that they post pictures of themselves standing in front of a mirror doing nothing. That’s not inspiring. That’s just trying to make all the rest of us feel bad. I think it’s much more inspiring to see photos and videos of people actually doing something."
In the final section from 7:38, Jade expands her ideas about having the courage to try, even if you may fail, which fits well in to Civics themes. Again, although her focus is on girls, the message is just as valid for boys:
7:38 But most important of all, we must start with ourselves. We are our own worst enemies. We need to get out of our own way and stop caring so much about what other people think. The truth is everybody else is worried about what everybody else thinks about them. We need to focus on what we want for ourselves in line with our own personal values. Not those of our parents, or our friends or the school we attend. Don’t do it for others, do it for you!
"To expand what we believe is possible we must have courage. We must be prepared and willing to fail. Don’t wait until you think you can do something perfectly, just get started" We suggest stopping here at 8:27 before the peeing example!