A Vicious Circle

Aim: Learn about social conditions and values in the US

Level: vg1

Time: 2 lessons (of 45 min)

 – using the song “Ghetto Gospel” by 2Pac and the documentary “Gangs Behind Bars” about prison gangs.


1.    Write Vicious Circle on the board; ask students what they think it means and give examples

2.    Play “Ghetto Gospel” from YouTube or Spotify; while students follow the lyrics

3.    Ask students to find one line from the song that is the most “powerful” to them

4.    Do a round in the class of chosen lines and why they chose it

5.    Show the documentary “Gangs Behind Bars” (available on YouTube)

6.    Students write down what they remember from the documentary and the song that relates to reasons behind Vicious Circle eg. retaliation/nothing to do…

7.    In groups of 4 students compare their answers and then decide collectively on one that they feel is the main reason for the continuation of a vicious circle

8.    One student from each group presents/writes on the board

Follow-Up: Ask students to write a summary of what a vicious circle is by referring to a definition and examples from the song and the documentary.


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