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This is a conversation lesson plan to practise past (3rd) conditional structures whilst debating the value of specific professions to society. Credit to the university of Kent for the inspiration for the activity. I have changed the wording of the task slightly so that students must imagine a world without the achievements and inventions of some famous names from history.
You will need the handout, I have made 4 versions:
I planned this as an activity to practise uses of advanced 3rd conditional structures such as:
But for + noun phrase, would/could/might have….
But for Thomas Edison, the lightbulb would have been invented much later.
Or inverted past conditionals:
Had it not been for Shakespeare, we wouldn’t have such a rich vocabulary.
Below you will find they advanced adults version of the activity.
You are in a hot air balloon which is losing height rapidly and will soon crash because it is overweight. You are travelling with a group of school children who will grow up to be very famous. You have to decide which 7 to throw over the side; if the balloon crashes you will all die. The passengers are:
|If_____ hadn’t invented_____, _____ wouldn’t have happened.||There’s no way we’re throwing ______ overboard because______|
|But for ________ we wouldn’t have________.||Throwing _______ is out of the question because________|
|If it hadn’t been for ______, we wouldn’t have _______ now||I think ________ is expendable.|
|Had it not been for _______, we wouldn’t have________.||What did _______ really do for us?|
If Charles Darwin hadn’t discovered evolution, society wouldn’t have developed like it has.
If it hadn’t been for Gandhi, India would still be a British colony.
But for Shakespeare, we wouldn’t have such a rich language.
Had it not been for Abraham Lincoln, the slaves wouldn’t have been freed.
Students write an essay examining two of the people from the balloon and deciding which one has contributed most to society. They must compare and contrast the achievements of the two and reach a conclusion as to which should be crowned as the most inspiring person in history.