the lady with a lamp

 In Emotional Intelligence in ESL classrooms

Written Mediation task to practice Translation and Note-taking

to commemorate Ms FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE’s birthdate (activity created during the state of alarm 2020 which can be redesigned and adapted to current times)





You may like to introduce this activity with a reminder of Florence Nightingale who was born exactly 200 years today.



The person who is working as an Au-pair to help you at home with the children is somehow confused with the recommendations to follow in Spain during Lockdown. You have been asked to translate them into English and after doing some research these two texts on how to stay physically and emotionally healthy during the pandemic seemed to best suit the requirements.

The lesson is aimed at beginner Spanish students of English, however, this alternative video is provided so the task can be adapted to higher level groups using information on Easing Lockdown phases, for instance, as well as practising further strategies and techniques like rephrasing, summarising or expanding. 



If you have time prior to the session, ask students to read the two texts at home and get some examples ready for May 12th lesson. The students are to make sentences recommending Do’s and Don’ts during Lockdown, for instance,

keep contact with friends and family like phone calls or videoconferences, or

don’t count the days remaining for the end of the quarantine.

They can also make sentences using Can and Can’t, for example,

you can’t shake hands or

you can do sports only at fixed times. 



Play this video from the Science Museum [alternative video in English] and let students take notes on the life of the creator of Rose Chart. You may like to play this other video following the life of a nurse at the NHS coronavirus hospitals, named after the historical character of great relevance at this vital time.

Allow some time for discussion and students’ viewpoints, comments, or observations. For example, they might explain why Florence Nightingale was called the lady with a lamp.

Set the students in pairs or small groups to interchange sentences and get them to prepare a final text/map/infographic with recommendations for their English au-pair [approx. 50 words] . They may prefer to record a video or podcast before finally submitting their tasks and that would be good too!


 To top the activity up invite students to write Thank you notes to their classmate who has been working as a nurse since the state of alarm was declared.

Screenshots of the students holding their Thank you notes in their video conference classrooms can be posted on Instagram as a tribute to the many many National Health workers all over the world who stood on the front line to save lives.  


#stayhome #savelives

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