Saturday, August 13, 2011

Amish Grace: Amish People

Talking about the Amish people in the language classroom enriches students' cultural knowledge, they get to know about people most of them have never heard of, and they learn to respect differences as well. This scene is great to get familiar with their lifestyle.

I. Work in small groups and decide if the statements are true or false about the Amish people. Information taken from

1. The Amish exchange gifts and Celebrate Christmas on December 25th and Old Christmas (Epiphany) on January 6th. They visit with family and friends. They do not, however, decorate their houses as English people do.

2. The Amish live in 5 states of the United States.

3. The Amish make their own clothes

4. The Amish don't file for a birth certificate.

5. Anyone can live in an Amish community by simply moving to where the Amish live in a specific area.

6. A person could visit an Amish area and talk to the Amish at roadside stands or stay in a Bed and Breakfast in an Amish area or where the Amish host visitors in their home.

7. An Amish person would not just "talk" on the phone. They would use the phone for a specific utilitarian purpose, i.e., to order supplies for the farm, to call the Doctor or notify a distant family member of a death or major illness in the family.

8. Amish groups do not wear colored clothes.

9. The Amish paint the front door of their homes blue to show that they have a daughter available to be wed.

10. Amish women who make quilts make an intentional error to show their humility.

1. T

2. F ( The Amish live in 28 states of the United States (Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New York, Maine, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Montana, Washington, Arkansas, Colorado, Mississippi and Nebraska) and the Province of Ontario, Canada)

3. T

4. F

5. T

6. T

7. T

8. F (They don't just wear white and/or black. Ladies wear shades of blue, green, red, brown, etc. Granted most colors are probably the darker tones of the color wheel but color nevertheless. Men also wear shades of all the above in their shirt color. Pants are brown, navy or black (generally).

9. F (The Amish live in large, comfortable houses that are painted white. They would not "decorate" their front door and they would not advertise that a daughter is available for marriage. Amish courtship is a rather private event).

10. F (Probably the "error" may have been a lack of the same material or color to finish the quilt, more so than the intentional piecing of an "error")

II. Watch the movie segment from the movie Amish Grace and discuss the questions.

1. Describe the scene

2. Describe their clothes

3. What are they discussing? What are their points of view?

4. What can you say about the Amish and their lifestyle based on the segment?

5. What's your opinion about the Amish?

6. Would you manage to adapt to their way of life? Explain it.