Posted in Listening Classes, Vocabulary Classes

Scared Stiff! – Fear and Horror Film Expressions

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This is a lesson plan for higher level students (high B2+) in which students learn expressions related to fear and horror movies. It is a good companion activity my Chucky’s Participle Clauses lesson, I plan to teach the two activities in one 90 minute class. You will need the audio file and handouts below:

Scared Stiff Teacher notes

Scared Stiff Student Handout

Listening Audio File

Scared Stiff

Listening Comprehension

First check students understand “scared stiff” then tell them they are going to listen to a man talking about horror films. Dictate them these 5 questions, students write them down. Play the audio twice all the way through.

  1. What’s his opinion of gory films? He doesn’t find them frightening
  2. What types of gory scenes make him uncomfortable? Gory scenes involving eyes
  3. What types of horror films scare him the most? Psychological horror
  4. What sometimes happens while they are watching a horror film? The phone rings or the cat makes a noise, scaring them.
  5. What’s his girlfriend scared of? Spiders and anything that looks like a spider

Being a bit of a scaredy-cat I’m not really into horror films. But every now and then I like to sit down and watch one with my girlfriend. I’m not very squeamish so I don’t really find gory films very frightening but anything to do with eyes gives me the heebie-jeebies, so I find any scenes where people get the eyes cut or poked out really unsettling.

The films that really send shivers down my spine are psychological horror films, for me they’re far scarier than gory films. Maybe ones where some people are exploring a spooky house and there’s some creepy music playing, they really put me on edge because you don’t know when something is going to jump out and scare you half to death. Sometimes the scariest thing is when we’re watching a horror film and the house phone suddenly rings, or the cat makes a sound and we jump out of our skins with fright.

My girlfriend is slightly different to me. She’s petrified of spiders and anything that looks like a spider but they don’t really bother me. Once we watched a film about giant alien bugs and we had to switch it off because she was shaking like a leaf!

Students listen again and write down as many expressions as they can.

Language focus

Students look at the expressions in the box, find them in the text and try to deduce meaning from context.

1.       Scaredy-cat – a person who is easily frightened/scared of a lot of things

2.       Squeamish – a person who can’t deal with the sight of blood/gore

3.       Gory – a film with lots of blood and guts

4.       Gives me the heebie-jeebies – makes me feel uncomfortable/scared/disgusted

5.       Unsettling – makes you feel uncomfortable

6.       Sends shivers down my spine – a physical response to being scared

7.       Spooky – haunted, supernatural

8.       Creepy – discomforting, films can be creepy but people can too, a creepy guy etc.

9.       Put me on edge – makes me nervous

10.   Scare you half to death – scare a lot

11.   Jump out of your skin – gives you a big fright

12.   Petrified of – very scared of

13.   Shake like a leaf – physically trembling with fear

Memory gap-fill

Students turn the hand out over and try to remember the positions of all the expressions to complete the text. If they get stuck they can turn the paper over and look for one expression.

Analysis

Students look at the expressions and analyse them with the following questions to increase chance of retention.

  1. Is the meaning obvious from the words?
  2. Which ones exist in your own language?
  3. Which one is your favourite?
  4. Which one will be the easiest/most difficult to remember? Why?

Discussion

Students discuss the following questions with their partner using the expressions and the language in the box below. Students should be encouraged to use the “showing interest” expressions to actively listen to their partner.

Showing interest Personalising
Uh-huh.

That’s interesting/weird.

Oh, I see.

Right.

Totally/absolutely.

I see what you mean.

I’m exactly the same.

Uh-uh, not me.

No way!

You’re joking

For me personally,

Speaking personally,

From my point of view,

When it comes to (scary movies), I think…

Speaking of (scary movies), in my opinion…

I find (gory movies) really (terrifying)

 

(psychological horror movies) are much/far scarier than (gory movies)

  1. Are you a scaredy-cat?
  2. Are you squeamish? Do gory movies give you the heebie-jeebies?
  3. What type of movies put you on edge?
  4. What are you petrified of?
  5. Can you think of a scene in a film that made you jump out of your skin?
  6. What type of scenes/monsters send shivers down your spine?
  7. Which films left you shaking like a leaf?
  8. What scares you more, a spooky place or creepy music?
  9. What situations are unsettling in real life?
  10. Has a friend or family member ever made you jump out of your skin or scared you half to death?

Follow up

Students right a CAE style review of the scariest film they’ve ever seen, explaining why it was so scary and who they would recommend it to.

Posted in Vocabulary Classes

Mind-Boggling Expressions with Mind

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This is a vocabulary activity designed with proficiency students (C2) in mind. However, it can be adapted for advanced students. Students will learn expressions with the word “mind” and use them in a discussion. Download the students’ handout and teacher’s notes below:

Mind Expressions teachers notes

Mind Expressions student handout

Sentence completion

Give out the handout and have students work in pairs to complete as many as they can. For lower levels or if students struggle you could write all the missing words on the board and students could use them to complete the activity. Students can use the list on the back to check their own answers.

Key

1.       Great

2.       Load

3.       Meeting

4.       Frame/state

5.       Right

6.       Give piece

7.       Have own

8.       Boggling

9.       In/of

10.   Cast

11.   Bearing

12.   Crossed

13.   If do

14.   Half

15.   Sieve

16.   Tracked

17.   Running

18.   Put

19.   Own business

20.   P’s q’s

21.   Slipped

Definitions

  1. Great minds think alike – When two people have had the same good idea
  2. A load off one’s mind – news that brings relief
  3. A meeting of the minds – group of experts meeting to discuss something
  4. In a frame of mind – in a mental condition
  5. No one in their right mind would – no sane person would
  6. Give sb a piece of one’s mind – to angrily express disapproval to someone
  7. Have a mind of its own – does things on its own
  8. Mind-boggling – so big/complex that it’s difficult to comprehend
  9. To be in/of two minds about something – to be undecided
  10. Cast one’s mind back – think about a specific time in the past/make an effort to remember
  11. Bear in mind/It’s worth bearing in mind – Remember/take into account
  12. Cross one’s mind/It never crossed my mind to – I never thought about (normally in relation to a solution to a problem)
  13. Don’t mind if I do – I would like to, used when accepting an offer, usually food/drink
  14. Have half a mind to – to be considering doing something (normally something you’re not going to do)
  15. Have a mind like a sieve – bad memory
  16. Have a one-tracked mind – always thinking about one thing, almost always sex
  17. Run through one’s mind – something you’re constantly thinking about
  18. Put one’s mind to st – make a considerable effort to focus on doing something
  19. Mind one’s own business – not interfere in other people’s lives/problems
  20. Mind one’s p’s and q’s – be polite and follow social rules (please, thank you etc.)
  21. Slip one’s mind – forget something

Analysis

This section is important as it gives students an opportunity to process the expressions on a deeper cognitive level and relate them to their lives, this will increase the chances of retention. Allow them to discuss the questions and then briefly in open class.

Discussion Key

  1. Sieve slip
  2. One
  3. Cast
  4. P’s q’s
  5. Own business
  6. Gave
  7. Put
  8. In/of
  9. Right
  10. Own
  11. Bear
  12. Load
  13. Running

 

Student’s Handout

Sentence completion

Complete the sentences with 1 word to form expressions with “mind”.

  1. So you’ve decided to do a masters too! ________ minds think alike!
  2. They found the lost pendrive down the back of the sofa. Phew! That’s a ________ off my mind.
  3. The UN has organised a council of scientists to discuss the best way to solve the issue, it’s going to be a real _________ of the minds.
  4. Due to the recent speculation about a move to Real Madrid, the player has stated that he’s not in the right _________ of mind to play tomorrow.
  5. No one in their _________ mind would buy that car, it’s a death-trap!
  6. If you two don’t be quiet and go to sleep, I’m going to come up there and _____ you a ______ of my mind!
  7. My mobile phone seems to _______ a mind of its _______. It’s always calling people in my bag.
  8. The distances we’d have to travel to reach another habitable planet are mind-___________, it’s not going to be possible in our lifetime.
  9. I’m ___ two minds about what to do on Sunday, we could have a picnic or we could go to the cinema.
  10. ______ your mind back to the day of the robbery Mrs. Jones, what time did your husband arrive home?
  11. It’s worth __________ in mind that the sun goes down at 5:30 in winter, so we have to be off the mountain by then.
  12. It never ___________my mind to ask Tony for help, I figured he didn’t know anything about computers.
  13. Would you like another martini George? Oooo don’t mind ____ I _____.
  14. I have ______ a mind to go up there myself and tell them to turn the music down.
  15. I’m sorry but I’ve completely forgotten your name, I’ve got a mind like a _________.
  16. Most teenage boys have a one-_________ mind, and we all know what that means!
  17. Hi babe, are you tired? No, why? Because you’ve been ________through my mind all night.
  18. You can achieve anything if you ______ your mind to it!
  19. I was just sat at the bus-stop minding my _____ _______ when this guy walked up and started insulting me!
  20. You have to mind your ___’s and ____’s around my grandma, she’s quite sensitive about that sort of thing.
  21. Oh no! I forgot to bring you that letter, sorry, it completely ________ my mind.

Key

Below are the expressions from ex 1. Look at them with a partner, how can you express them in other words?

1.       Great minds think alike

2.       A load off one’s mind

3.       A meeting of the minds

4.       In a frame of mind

5.       No one in their right mind would

6.       Give sb a piece of one’s mind

7.       Have a mind of its own

8.       Mind-boggling

9.       To be in/of two minds about something

10.   Cast one’s mind back

11.   Bear in mind/It’s worth bearing in mind

12.   Cross one’s mind/It never crossed my mind to

13.   Don’t mind if I do

14.   Have half a mind to

15.   Have a mind like a sieve

16.   Have a one-tracked mind

17.   Run through one’s mind

18.   Put one’s mind to st

19.   Mind one’s own business

20.   Mind one’s p’s and q’s

21.   Slip one’s mind

Analysis

With your partner, look at the expressions and answer the questions below.

  1. Which ones are easy to guess from the individual meaning of the words?
  2. Which ones do you like?
  3. Which ones sound good?
  4. Which ones can be used in the most situations? And which in the least?
  5. Which ones can you easily relate to your life? Why?
  6. Which ones would you use in a letter/email/text message?
  7. Which ones would you use in speech?

Discussion

  1. Do you have a mind like a ________? What things normally _______ your mind?
  2. Is it true that men have a ______-track mind?
  3. How far can you ______ your mind back?
  4. Is it important to mind your ___’s and ___’s around your family?
  5. Are you a busy-body? Or do you tend to mind your _____ _____________?
  6. When was the last time you _______ someone a piece of your mind?
  7. You can achieve anything if you ________ your mind to it. Do you agree?
  8. Are you ____ two minds about anything at the moment?
  9. Complete the sentence about something in your city/life/country at the moment: No one in their _______ mind would…..
  10. Do any of your things have a mind of their ________?
  11. What should people ________ in mind if they want to do your favourite hobby/past-time?
  12. Can you think of any news you’ve received recently that was a _______ off your mind?
  13. Has anything been __________through your mind a lot recently? What are you going to do about it?
Posted in Vocabulary Classes

Peer-Taught Phrasal Verbs

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This is a vocabulary lesson originally designed for higher levels (C1+) but the method can be adapted for any level and any set of vocabulary. The idea is that students teach each other a set of phrasal verbs, analyse them and then put them into practice in a gap-fill and a discussion.

Preparation

Print out the phrasal verb cards and one copy of the worksheet for each student. Cut out the cards so that the phrasal verb is on one side and the definition and example sentences are on the other. I laminated them, as shown below, but you could easily just glue them together. Students will work in groups of 3 and teach 2 phrasal verbs each to their groups so you will need 1 set of cards for each group of 3.

Lesson Plan Word doc – Peer Taught Phrasal Verbs LP

phrasal verbs peer teaching CARDS

Peer taught phrasal verbs worksheet

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Peer Teaching

Put students into groups of three and give each member of each group 2 phrasal verb cards. Give students 2 minutes to familiarise themselves with the phrasal verbs and the example sentences. Students then take it in turns to teach their phrasal verbs to their group mates, who can ask additional questions to clarify the use and meaning. Encourage the “teachers” to think of their own example sentences aside from the examples on the cards so that they can personalise it. Also, you could tell them to give their groups an opportunity to guess the meaning before they explain it. For this section I boarded some expressions:

to hazard a guess – make a guess

to put sb out of their misery – kill someone who’s suffering/give sb who is guessing something the answer

When everyone has finished move onto the next stage.

Analysis and Processing

Invite students to come to the board and write a phrasal verb they have learnt and a definition. However, they must board one of the phrasal verbs they have just learnt, NOT one of the ones they taught to their group.

When you have all 6 phrasal verbs on the board, give the students the handout and have them analyse them in their groups using the criteria on the worksheet:

Look at the phrasal verb and decide:

  1. Is the meaning easy to understand from the words?
  2. Put them in order, which one is the most useful?
  3. Which one is the easiest to use?
  4. Which one do you think is easiest to remember?
  5. Which ones could you use at home/work/school/in the street/in emails/letters?

The aim of this section is to force students to process the items at a deeper cognitive level, thus increasing the chances of retention. Feedback briefly in open class. Make a note of the ones students think are hardest to remember.

Gap-fill and Discussion

Students complete the gap-fill exercise on the handout in their groups and then ask and answer the questions.

Put the phrasal verbs in the questions:

  1. What do you do when people _________ when you’re talking? Do people in your country tend to _________ more than other nationalities? Butt/cut in
  2. What fashion trend _____________ when you were younger? Are they still in fashion today? caught on
  3. What did your parents use to do when you ___________? Were they strict or lenient? acted up
  4. How long do you think you could ________________ the internet/TV/music/your favourite food/meat? do without
  5. Have you ever been _____________? What happened to the company? If a company is in trouble, who normally gets _________ first? laid off
  6. What would you do it you saw two people ____________each other in the street? Would you step in? Why? Why not? laying into

Follow up

Test students on the phrasal verbs in the next class and see if their opinions about which are hardest to remember are true.