This is a lesson plan based around clips from the Indiana Jones films to teach inversion structures. Specifically the following ones:
No sooner had I sat down than the phone rang.
Scarcely/hardly/barely do you enter the restaurant when you smell the delicious food.
Part 1 – Introducing the structures
Print out this handout and cut it up into separate words, keeping the “No sooner, hardly, barely, scarcely, than and when cards for yourself.” I laminated the words for future use and printed the “No sooner, hardly etc.” parts on orange paper.
Give out the cards to students in group and have them order them into correct sentences. Either do this on a central table where everyone can see, on the floor or have the students come and blu-tac the sentences on the board.
As soon as I had sat down the phone started ringing.
As soon as you enter the restaurant you can smell the delicious food.
As soon as we had stepped off the plane, it started raining.
Tell students that we can use inversion to express the same thing as these sentences in 4 different ways. Now use the “No sooner/hardly/barely etc.” cards to transform the sentences. Be sure to draw their attention to the way in which you invert the auxiliary verb or add it if it’s not in the original sentence. Note: if this is a revision class have the students do it themselves.
No sooner had I sat down, than the phone started ringing.
Barely do you enter the restaurant, when you can smell the delicious food.
Scarcely had we stepped off the plane, when it started raining.
Draw student’s attention to the use of “than” with no sooner and “when” with the others. Have them copy the following formula:
Inversion Phrase + aux verb + subject + verb
Hardly had I sat down
Part 2 – Indiana Jones Clips
Now you can show them the Indiana Jones clips, tell them to watch the action and look out for actions which can be described using the structures:
No sooner had he swapped the sandbag for the statue, than the temple began to collapse. Encourage students to look for more.
Barely had the Nazis got on the boat when Indy escaped on his motorbike. Encourage students to look for more.
Scarcely had the Nazi drunk from the fake Holy Grail, when he grew old and disintegrated. Encourage students to look for more.
There are hundreds of other video clips that can be used to teach these structures, let me know which other ones you find.
Set a composition in which students need to describe an exciting activity they’ve done, encourage them to use the structures to make a narrative more exciting.