How to Teach 'Talking about funerals" in Form Two

How to Teach 'Talking about funerals" in Form Two

Welcome to UNIT 16.3

PREVIOUSLY: In Unit 16.2, we discussed about the various ways of teaching the sub topic "Expressing state of health" in Form One.

IN THIS UNIT 16.3, we will cover the sub topic  "Talking about funerals" in Form Two.

Sub Topic: Talking about funerals
Periods per sub topic: 8
Class: Form Two

When someone dies, people make some necessary preparations and customs before hurrying him/her. This service is called funeral ceremony.

In this sub topic/lesson the student should be able to describe what takes place in funerals.

This stage is about the preparation of the teacher before undertaking the lessons of the particular sub topic. These are all activities, procedures, materials, teaching aids, and games prepared by the teacher for teaching a sub topic:

  1. Putting heads together: Introducing the topic/lesson properly. Organising how students will be able to get to know what is the topic/lesson about. It is where teacher makes sure that students are going to be in his/her train. It includes brainstorming and familiarisation of the topic/lesson with the students.
This makes students stay together with the teacher. It is at this stage students can understand what is going to be discussed in the particular topic.

In this sub topic/lesson, the teacher will introduce students to the various ways funerals are attended and some customs involved.

  1. Preparation of Materials. A teacher has to decide on the teaching/learning materials he/she is going to use.

In this sub topic/lesson, the teacher will guide students to read texts on funerals from various sources like books, magazines, and newspapers.

  1. Target Practice. Show them/Guide them to the practice of the functions of the sub topic. A teacher has to show or guide students to the target practice of the grammatical functions of the sub topic.

In this sub topic/lesson, the teacher has to guide students to brainstorm and understand the grammatical patterns and sentences that are applied when talking about funerals in the society.
The burial took place in the cemetery
The mourners didn't eat food
If a rich man dies.....
If someone dies in a family...
If you die....

  1. Context-Based Practice. A teacher leads students to the discussion on how the target grammatical functions practised earlier can be applied or integrated into the contexts and situations. The students are guided by the teacher to apply the learnt skills in relevant contexts and situations like school and library.

In this sub topic/lesson, the contexts such as home, school, church, mosque, and graveyard are to be considered by the teacher and the students as well. In most cases, the funeral events happen in the combination of multiple contexts. If someone dies at home, at working place or dies in the accident, we expect that the funeral service can be held at home, church, mosque and finally at the graveyard.

  1. Vocabulary Building Practice. At this time, teacher discusses with the students on the vocabularies and phrases to apply in the already mentioned contexts and situations.

In this sub topic/lesson, he most commonly applied vocabularies when describing funerals are: mortuary, die, funeral, grave, coffin, HIV/AIDS, mourners, condolences, shroud, widower, widow, deceased, preacher.

Guide the students to the full sub topic/ lesson procedures, activities and games for better understanding of the sub topic by following these activities:

Activity One: Brainstorming the sub topic/lesson through oral questions with answers, pair works, and group discussions of all important concepts to get students on track.

In this activity, teacher and students will together brainstorm and discuss some oral questions about the sub topic. As an introductory prompt, the teacher can ask each of the students or some of the students what they see or experience when someone dies at their household. The teacher will record the responses of each student on the blackboard. For example, some responses can be:
When someone dies:
- People start mourning.
- Neighbours gather to mourn with the affected family.
- People bring food.
- Important relatives of the deceased person are summoned.
- The corpse is prepared for the burial.
- The corpse is taken to the graveyard.
- The Burial's religious service is conducted at the graveyard.
- The corpse is buried after the religious service.

Activity Two: Teacher's application of his/models or examples so as to bring the topic/lesson and the students into the real or common sense of the topic/lesson.

In this activity, the teacher demonstrates how he/she can express or talk about the funerals in the class. Pursuant to this context, the teacher will apply important vocabularies and grammatical patterns to talk about his/her experience on funerals. The students should be well guided on how these events are reported.
When my sister fell sick at home, my parents took her to the village dispensary. I stayed home with my two young brothers. I cooked rice and took them with me to see her in the dispensary. Fortunately, she was recovering. Doctor said she had malaria. Next day, she was discharged and our neighbours came to see her. We were happy she had fully recovered. At the dispensary, Doctor strongly advised us to use mosquito nets during the night.

Activity Three: Showing students how models like that of a teacher can be applied by them. Here students need to be guided on how to use given expressions, structures, vocabulary, and phrases or similar ones.

In this activity, the teacher guides students to read about funerals from selected texts. The teacher has to supervise this reading activity. This is the students' experience of reading about funerals in the texts. By reading these texts, students will have another experience of interacting with how funerals are reported in various contexts.

Activity Four: Taking/leading students to the real situations or contexts where they can apply what they have mastered. Here speaking, reading or writing activities are involved.

In this activity, the teacher has the role of making sure that students interactively discuss in pairs or in groups on what happens when someone dies. The teacher has to guide them and encourage them to use appropriate vocabularies, grammatical sentences and contexts. It's a good idea to remind them the patterns they have learnt in the Target Section and the vocabularies learnt in the Vocabulary section.

The teacher also guides these groups to present what they have discussed to the class. The teacher can organise class presentation for each group so that every student can see what others have discussed. These class presentations will help students to compare their works and correct their works as well. The presentations help students to come out with a well-polished work for future reference and use.

Activity Five: Winding up the topic/lesson activities. Here teachers summarise the topic/lesson by emphasizing the importance of the sub topic/lesson and suggesting other related aspects of the sub topic/lesson.

In this activity, the teacher will sum up the lesson activities by encouraging students to practice on expressing funerals properly. The students should be given more talking points that relate with the funerals.

Additional Activity: As a teacher, what other activity can be applied in this sub topic/lesson? You can always drop your alternative activity or activities to this article so as to improve teaching and learning of ‘O’ Level English (OLE).

Tense Practice
For more tense practices, check out:

Ask students how they get funeral news at home or at school. Actually, some students will say they get them from their parents, relatives or neighbours. At school, they will say they get them from teachers, friends and from other verified school servants. This is how funeral events are experienced in the real life.

A teacher should design an evaluation for students by using appropriate assessment tools like oral questions or assignments so that to see if the students are able to describe what takes place in funerals.

Assessment #01: Group work.
In groups, ask students to write what happened in the funerals they saw or experienced.

Assessment #02: Pair works.
In pairs, ask students to write what happened in the funerals they saw or experienced.

Assessment #03: Individual work.
Ask each student to write what happened in the funeral they saw or experienced in their respective locality.

Note: You can give students more individual works, pair works, and group works to facilitate their interaction and understanding of the sub topic or lesson. As English language teacher you have to give students more works to do. Because language is meant to be largely spoken and written, the teacher should rely on written exercises and notes. Instead students have to learn English language by vigorously exercising individually, in pairs, and in groups.

Funerals are daily life happenings. A funeral is conducted when someone dies. Deaths are the worst events to human beings. However, it's important for everyone to understand how to express what happens in various funerals. The students are no exception. They should be equipped with the ways on how funerals are expressed.

NOTE: These stages explained above are not necessarily covered in a single lesson of single or double period. Remember that this is the guide for teaching the whole sub topic which has periods ranging from 6 to 20. So, the teacher's task is to divide these stages according to the total number of periods for a particular sub topic.

This article is about how to study and teach "Talking about funerals" in Form Two. As a student or teacher, what is your opinion on how to study and teach this sub topic/lesson?
Your opinion is worth and I believe that it can make these materials better for our own consumption.

You are Welcome!


Title: “Form Two English Language Notes with Grammar, Exercises and Key Answers”
 1st (2022)
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Emmanuel Kachele

Emmanuel Kachele is a founder and Blogger of KACHELE ONLINE Blog, an educational blog where 'O' Level English - 'OLE', 'A' Level English (ALE) and other related teaching and life skills are shared extensively. This is an online center for all Tanzanian Secondary School English Language students and teachers (Forms I-VI) and all interested English Language learners and teachers worldwide.

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