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Tattoos express belonging
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Activity 1

Tattoos express belonging

Adapted from Lucy Bellwood,

Culture note

The word “tattoo” comes from the Tahitian “tatu”, which means “to mark something”. Tattoos have often been used as a symbol of community, and they have had a strong role in rituals and traditions. Sailors got tattoos to show the places they had been.


  • convey a message (exp.)
  • be characteristic of (v.)
  • mean (v.)
  • represent / show /ˈʃəʊ/ (v.)
  • symbolize /ˈsɪmbəlaɪz/ (v.)
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Look at the picture above. What strikes you?
Workbook p. 56

Have you already seen some of these tattoos? Which is your favorite?

Go online to find the meanings of tattoos in other communities. Select three to present to your classmates.
Useful vocabulary: It’s the first time that I come across…
I’ve already seen this… What I found the most interesting...

Let's talk this out!

Voir les réponses

Share your findings with your classmates.

Do you share the same vision on tattoos? Why or why not?

Find some examples of symbols or codes that people use in everyday life, both real and virtual. It can be classmates saying hello, online gaming codes, etc.

Language in progress

Les adjectifs possessifs

Les adjectifs possessifs indiquent l’appartenance. À l’inverse du français, ces adjectifs s’accordent en genre avec la personne propriétaire.

Ex : Our people... → Notre peuple...
His tattoos are… → Ses tatouages sont...

Exercices p. 9
Précis grammatical p. 262

Let's learn!

Pictionary Game

Select a symbol or a tattoo you learned about on this page and draw it. Your neighbor has to guess what it is.

Over to you!


Let’s use what you have learnt in and / or !

As a junior journalist, you interview Steven Burton about his project. He tells you the story of one of the former gang members whose tattoos were digitally removed. He also presents you his new project.

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