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High School Cliques

People from different cliques in the movie "The Breakfast Club."

Everybody's high school experience is different (it usually ranges somewhere between awkward and awesome). This is a conversation lesson based on a social science article. You'll learn about a study done on why cliques exist at some American high schools more than at other schools. We've all survived high school, so you can also tell your teacher about your personal experience or high schools in Japan in general if you want to! 


Before class, read the article about the study done on high school cliques:  http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/november/cliques-high-school-110514.html

Make any notes of vocabulary or language you don't understand. Your teacher can help you during class with any questions you may have.

Warm Up: 

What is a clique?  How would you explain it to a child?


Work through the tasks with your teacher:

Language check

Do you have any questions about vocabulary or grammar? 


Tell your teacher what the article is about. Try to make it conversational: "I read an interesting article yesterday. It said..."


Answer the following questions:

  1. Do schools that offer more choices tend to have more or less cliques? Why?
  2. Does the researcher recommend that bigger schools are better?

Try to put these sentences in other words:

  1. "Bigger schools offer a broader range of potential friends, as well as greater exposure to people who are different." 
  2.  "Different kinds of students are likely to thrive in settings with different blends of supervision, freedom and uncertainty."

Discuss this topic with your teacher. You can talk about personal experiences in high school or just focus on the article. Try to converse naturally as if you were speaking to someone about this over dinner with a colleague or friend. This is a perfectly natural topic as many people share their school experiences with other people.