Red Nose Day Webpicks

Posted by Speakeasy News > Friday 17 March 2017 > Webpicks

Red Nose Day (24 March this year) encourages people to raise money for projects in Africa and the UK by "doing something funny for money." But it also aims to raise awareness of poverty, particularly among schoolchildren, who are massive supporters, along with school staff, of Red Nose Day. Here are a selection of teaching resources provided by Comic Relief for Red Nose Day, and by the Banque de ressources anglais cycle 4.

This 1’30 video is one of the many that Comic Relief provides about the work they do. It was part of the 2017 Red Nose Convoy, in which six comedians travelled from Kenya to Nigeria with a convoy of vital supplies such as mosquito nets, and visited and filmed the projects Comic Relief is funding. In this episode, Hugh Dennis meets Patrick, a volunteer healthworker in Kibera, a Kenyan township. The film mentions the ultrasound machine Comic Relief has donated, but most of it is about Patrick’s generous work, and the powerful effect a volunteer can have, in reducing health risks in his area. Great for inclusion on work on charities or parcours du citoyen.

Meet 12-year-old Hassan
The story proposed for primary school can work from A2. The film below is also available to download and used offline. It tells the story of  12-year-old Hassan, who lost his mother to the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone. The film is clear – both the presenter and then Hassan, who starts by simply saying, “My name is Hassan. I am 12 years old. These are my friends.” The rest of his speech is in translated voiceover, and the images are well chosen to help comprehension. However, the topic is emotive. The ending is relatively happy, showing how Hassan has been helped, but the middle section talks about his mother’s death.

The interactive story version of Hassan’s experience is cut into chapters. The first two are perfect from A1+, very simple, encouraging readers to get to know a real person, not a an ebola victim. It describes Hassan’s family and his favourite things. The third chapter is the story of the epidemic and his mother’s death. It is both more difficult linguistically and thematically. (It includes the animated sequence from the video.) The last short chapter is more optimistic, about Hassan’s future.
There is also a powerpoint assembly presentation and worksheets.

Meet 16-year-old Ikmatu
The secondary resource story is about Ikmatu, 16, also from Sierra Leone. Again the video is downloadable to use offline. Ikmatu speaks accented English and is subtitled throughout, so this resource isn’t pure listening comprehension. This inspiring young woman tells her story in “selfie-video” style familiar to pupils and explains her volunteer work to keep her community healthy. It is understandable from A2+.

There is also a video of a skype chat between Ikmatu and an English schoolgirl, Farrell. It starts out as a regular “pan pal” chat with the girls showing their surroundings, families etc. It’s usable from A2. The latter part about Ebola is more difficult and can be used from B1. Again the film is downloadable.
There is also a powerpoint assembly presentation and worksheets.

Time to Play
And to really get into the spirit of Red Nose Day fun, let pupils loose on the Red Nose Day Comic Adventure game, featuring this year’s noses voiced by the likes of Professor Stephen Hawking.

It’s a series of mini games on the theme of Red Nose Day, either about fundraising activities or benefits paid for by the money raised. EFL learners won’t get most of the rather corny puns aimed at native speakers, but they’ll recognise the game world. It’s a longish activity – there is a mini-game for each of the 9 noses before the “comic adventure” starts, again punctuated with mini-games. However, you can have it last as long as you have available – pupils can always go online out of class to finish if they want. It’s a good activity for cooperation and interaction – pupils should work in pairs or groups of 3-4 around a computer and take turns with the keyboard. The others can help decide what to do (in English of course!) Suitable from A1+, with more language input as the level rises.


You can find articles about Red Nose Day at A1+, A2 and B1 levels, with accompanying interactive comprehension activities on the Banque de ressources anglais cycle 4. To see the articles, register or log in now. Then go to: Articles de presse > A1+, A2, B1 > Information, Communication, citoyenneté > "Red Nose Day".

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