Learning to Catch a Fish

J’s Story

There is a well know expression in English “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” It teaches us an important lesson about helping people help themselves. J’s story lets us see the even bigger picture. We all take care of each other. It is a theme repeated throughout Keyboard Village. It is important for us to know how important we are. All of us. Nobody has to be special, we do need to be together. X, our students, and we ourselves can all learn from that.


Job, Work, Employment, Fishing, Self-reliance, Catch a fish, Feed yourself

Lesson Ideas

If-then statements.

There are important social lessons in this story, and with them a great opportunity to use if-then statements in a meaningful way. Asking people to paraphrase the story and explain what it means will allow that to happen naturally. It is also a way to step in to teach and improve students use of the conditional. This can happen as a way to help students express their ideas more clearly. Focusing on their ideas instead of the grammar will help them see the value of what we are doing.

Activity Sheet

Are you a creative person? I just have rough drafts for most of my activity sheets, maybe you can help me think of better designs for these.

A job skill teaches people how to do a specific task. Keyboard Village is about reminding people that they can do any task, including speaking English. I have found many students get stuck on the idea that they can’t speak English well. The “I can’t” dominates their thinking about everything. This worksheet is a gentle reminder that there are so many things we can all do already. It tries to make “I can” the focus of our thinking.

I stared with the idea of things I can do with my hands: draw, snap, play guitar. In class I encourage students to think of other things they can as well like swim, speak Vietnamese, sing.