Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes

Interesting People: Deduction and Speculation

Image Credit: www.visualnews.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a lesson plan for intermediate and up based around pictures of interesting people and language of speculation and deduction. Credit to my workmate Mont for the idea, thanks Mont.

Download the handout here:

speculate pictures interesting people

Warmer – Who’s that guy?

Write the following expressions on the board:

He might/may/could be… (possible)

There’s a chance that he’s… (possible)

He can’t be… (impossible)

There’s no way he’s… (impossible)

He must be… (almost certain)

I’m pretty sure he’s… (quite certain)

Then show them the picture of the guy at the top of the post. Students come up with 5 deductions/speculations based on the picture. Tell them they can speculate about his age, nationality, job, personality or anything else they like.

The show them the pictures from the handout. Give them a few minutes to make speculations about the people.

Then show them the following list:

  • A lawyer
  • A police officer
  • A serial-killer
  • A billionaire
  • A rock star
  • A bank robber
  • A chef
  • A professional sports-person

Tell student that they must decide which person has which job. The secret is: There’s no correct answer! But don’t tell them that yet. Give them 5-10 minute to make speculations and provide reasons for which person has which job, then have them present their reasoning to the class and debate them. Only then can you reveal that there’s no correct answer!

Follow up activity

Composition: Can you judge a book by it’s cover? Have students write and essay/article on the topic of first impressions and judging people based on their appearance.

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Posted in Conversation Classes, Ice-breakers

Find someone who… Summer holiday edition

Image credit: travelnotings.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is my version of the classic “Find someone who…” speaking and ice-breaking activity designed for teenagers for the first class after the summer holidays. I’ve also added a version for adults.

Download the handout here:

Find someone who – teenagers

find-someone-who-adults-edit

Warmer – Guess my holiday

Students get 20 questions to guess where the teacher went on holiday.

Allow students to ask you more questions to find out some information about the holiday.

Main Activity

Project the handout onto the board. Students must circulate, speaking to all their classmates until they have found someone who did all of the listed activities during the summer holidays. When they find someone who has done one of the activities they must also ask them for some details and record them in the details column.

Before starting model past simple yes/no questions on the board:

Went to another continent:

Did you go to another continent?

Also model questions for details:

Where did you go?

What did you do there?

What did you eat?

The winner is the first person to find someone people who have done each of the things on the list or prove that nobody has done them by speaking to everyone.

Handout

Try to speak to everyone in the class. You must find someone who did the following things in their summer holidays.

Find someone who…

Activity Person Details
Went to a different continent
Tried some new food
Went to a summer camp
Had a party
Ate McDonald’s
Tried a new activity
Visited another part of Spain
Saw an amazing monument
Hurt themselves
Didn’t leave Catalonia
Earned some money
Bought some new clothes
Went on holiday without their family
Visited a famous city
Posted in Conversation Classes, Ice-breakers

Icebreaker: Show me a picture of…

Image credit: http://www.tribunahacker.com.ar/2014/05/android-a-las-camaras-o-el-regreso-de-la-polaroid/

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

Thanks to Nicky Hockly at The Consultants-e for the inspiration for this lesson plan. It’s an icebreaking lesson in which students can use their mobiles (shock horror) for intermediate levels and up.

Introduction

In a new class students are always keen to learn a bit about their new teacher and if you’re willing to share and personalise your classes the students will reciprocate with you and each other. So start by projecting some photos of things from your life on to the board with some sentence stems for deduction.

Intermediate levels:

He/she/it could/might/may be his girlfriend (possibility)

He/she/it must be his brother (almost certain)

He/she/it can’t be his sister (impossible)

Higher levels:

I’d say that…

I’d hazard a guess that…

I bet you €X that’s his brother.

I (don’t) reckon that…

I’m absolutely certain that…

There’s no doubt in my mind that…

There’s a good/strong/slim chance that…

I could be wrong but I think…

Drill sentence stress and intonation. Then put students in pairs and show them some of the pictures. Monitor them as they make guesses about who the people in the pictures are and have students share their deductions with the class. Award points for correct guesses.

Here are some example pictures from my life:

Other useful language:

You look just like (your mum)

You don’t look anything like (your sister)

You are the spitting image of (your Dad) (you look exactly the same)

You take after (your Dad) – you look/act the same.

Step 2: Pair work

Put students in groups of 2/3 and tell them to take out their phones and go to their photo albums. They must then take it in turns to show their group a picture of the following things:

  • A parent
  • A grandparent
  • A pet
  • A very close friend
  • An activity you love
  • A great meal
  • A fantastic day
  • An amazing view
  • A selfie

The others in the group must use the language of deduction to guess what the picture is and then they can ask questions to discover more information about their partner.

You might want to model some questions on the board:

When was the photo taken?

How long ago did you take this photo?

Where were you when you took the photo?

What does your Dad do?

How long have you been …ing?

Language for reactions:

Wow! That looks amazing/lovely/gorgeous

No way! Me too!

Your Dad works in finance? No way, mine does too!

That must be (amazing/fantastic etc.) – present event/state

That must have been (amazing/fantastic/so much fun) – past experience

 

Give SS 10-15 minutes to talk, encourage the use of the vocabulary, award points to groups using the most.

Students then report back to the class about the favourite photo their classmates showed them. If you can, project the photos onto the board so the whole class can see them.

Follow up/Homework

Story behind the picture. SS write a composition (150-200 words) telling the story behind one specific picture. Encourage them to copy paste the picture at the top of the page. This is a good opportunity to practice narrative tenses: “I had been walking all day, that’s why I look a bit tired in the photo.” “The sun was shining, the wind was blowing in the trees” “It was the scariest thing I have ever done.” “I was walking down the street when I saw a…”

Posted in Conversation Classes

Dilemmas and Debates

Image credit: www.osomac.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a straightforward “What would you do?” speaking activity to practice hypothetical conditionals and just generate debate and conversation.  Download the powerpoint below and project it or print it:

Dilemmas and debates

Language of agreeing and disagreeing will be useful.

Agreeing Disagreeing Ending an argument:
  • We see eye to eye
  • I couldn’t agree with you more.
  • That’s exactly how I feel.
  • You have a point there.
  • I was just going to say that.
  • Absolutely.
  • We don’t see eye to eye
  • I take your point but
  • I tend to disagree with you there
  • I’m afraid I have to disagree with you there
  • I beg to differ
  • That’s not always the case.
  • Let’s just move on shall we?
  • I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree.

Credit to: http://www.buzzfeed.com/tracyclayton/moral-dilemmas-that-will-break-your-brain#.lhwmbK9XK

For a couple of the ideas.

Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes

3rd Conditional: Balloon Debate

Photo credit:en.wikipedia.org

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

Before you use these materials, why not check out our new podcast for learners and teachers alike? It’s called 2Ts in a Pod, have a listen here:

 

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:

Intermediate teens:

Balloon Debate intermediate teenagers

Intermediate adults:

Balloon Debate Intermediate adults

Advanced teens:

Balloon Debate Adv teenagers

Advanced adults:

Balloon Debate Adv adults

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.

You may want to preteach these structures using my other materials which you can find here and here.

Below you will find they advanced adults version of the activity.

Balloon Debate

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:

  • Mother Teresa
  • Mao Tse-tung
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Florence Nightingale
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Mikael Gorbachev
  • Charles Darwin
  • William Shakespeare
  • Diego Maradona
  • Albert Einstein
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Beethoven
  • Vincent Van Gogh
  • Jane Austen
  • Steve Jobs

 

Language

Conditionals Making Decisions
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?

Examples:

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.

Homework Activity:

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.

Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes, Video Classes

Zero Conditional: Hiccup Cures!

Before you use these materials, why not check out our new podcast for learners and teachers alike? It’s called 2Ts in a Pod, have a listen here:

 

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a lesson plan to help students put the zero conditional into practice in conversation.

Download it here:

Zero Conditional

Introduction

Ask students the following: What do you do when you get hiccups?

Show them the following video and tell them to write down as many causes and cures for hiccups as they can.

Mine the video for vocabulary:

Spasm, stuck, breathe, gasp, exhale/inhale, hold your breath, difference between breathe (verb, long vowel sound) and breath (noun, short vowel sound), chug, pull, tongue, drink from, wrong side, take a sip, swallow, tip your head back, plug your nose, a teaspoon of, sprinkle, squeeze your pinky, pressure point, pinch, recite, backwards, think of, bald, cure/get rid of hiccups.

Ask them which methods from the video they use.

Model a few sentences on the board:

When/whenever I get hiccups, I ask a friend to scare me.

Tell students that this is called the zero conditional. Give out the first page of the handout and go over it quickly.

We use the zero conditional to talk about general or scientific truths and habits.

If you heat ice, it melts. (General truth)

If I drink coffee after 6pm, I can’t sleep. (Habit)

We also use it to talk about what people should do in certain situations.

If you feel tired, stop for a rest.

If you feel ill, take your medicine.

The formula is:

If/when/whenever + present simple, present simple.

Matching exercise

Match numbers 1-5 with letters a-e to make zero conditional sentences.

1.     If it rains, a.     The roads are dangerous.
2.     If it snows, b.     I try a new flavour of ice-cream
3.     Whenever I visit Rome, c.      Tell a security guard.
4.     If you see someone stealing d.     It boils.
5.     When water reaches 100º C, e.     We play basketball inside.

Matching Key

1-e, 2-a, 3-b, 4-c, 5-d

Conversation exercise

Cut the following cards up. Students take them one at a time and discuss them in conversation. Encourage the use of: “Me too/neither” or “So/neither do I”

Whenever I go on holiday… When I go to the dentist…
If I drink too much red wine… Whenever the sales are on…
If I see a beggar in the street… If I see a tourist with their bag open…
When I go to the beach, I always… When it’s my birthday…
If I’m feeling blue… Whenever I need help at work/school…
If I eat too much… When I watch a sad film at the cinema…
When I forget to do something important at home… If I have free time…
Whenever I go to the city centre… When I visit my relatives…
If someone asks me for directions in the street… If you get hiccups…
If you have a hangover… If you feel ill at work/school…
If you need to take a day off… When I have too much work to do…

Here are some alternatives for teenage students:

When I get bored… If I feel sleepy at school…
If I drop my ice-cream on the floor… If a wasp comes near me…
If I can’t sleep… If my brother/sister annoys me…
When I don’t feel like going to school… When my teacher puts a video on…
When I forget to do my homework… If I get sunburnt…

Photo credit: http://imgkid.com/too-much-coffee-meme.shtml

Video credit: buzzfeedyellow

Posted in Conversation Classes, Games, Grammar Classes

Modals of Obligation, Necessity and Prohibition: Pictionary!

Just a quick note…

Before you use these materials… We’ve created a new podcast aimed at B2+ level English students and teachers alike. You can listen for free at our SoundCloud page below. You can download teacher’s notes to accompany them from our Facebook page or from this blog. All comments and feedback welcome! Give us a like and a share 😉

https://soundcloud.com/2tspod


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Modals of Obligation, Necessity and Prohibition: Pictionary!

This is part of a series of 30 minute lesson plans I have been writing for conversation classes with small groups of teenagers. Each one covers a specific grammar point and features a game to encourage surly teens to use it.

Introduction

Write “rules” on the board. Tell students to tell you all the rules that their school imposes on them and board them all.  Try to elicit the following structures:

Prohibition:

Mustn’t/can’t/not allowed to

You mustn’t run in the classroom. You’re not allowed to use your mobile phones in class. You can’t smoke in school.

Obligation:

Must/have to

You have to study. You have to be at school at 9am. You must bring your gym kit for PE.

Lack of obligation:

Don’t have to (careful with this one, ensure they understand the difference between mustn’t and don’t have to)

You don’t have to come to school on Saturday. Children over 11 don’t have to wear uniform.

 

Once you have brainstormed all the different rules, ask the students this:

Which rules do you follow?

Which rules do you break?

Which rules annoy you the most?

Do any teachers let you break the rules?

 

Pictionary

Print and cut up the handout.

Draw the following picture on the board:

nosmoking

Elicit the prohibition: You mustn’t smoke.

Split the class into teams of 3-4. Tell them they are going to play pictionary. However, some of the rules are a little strange. Give students time to think of a team name and invite the first person from the first team to the board. They have a minute and a half to draw as many rules as they can for their team, for each rule they guess they get 1 point. The winning team is the one that gets the most point after 2-3 rounds. If you run out of rules, get students to come up with new ones for the other teams to draw and guess. Encourage them to make them as strange and difficult as possible.

Here are the rules from the handout:

You mustn’t sleep in your car

 

You have to wear a helmet
You are not allowed to feed the lions.

 

You mustn’t touch the dolphin.
You have to switch off your mobile.

 

You mustn’t play ping-pong when it’s raining.
You have to be in bed at 10pm.

 

You mustn’t speak during the opera.
You have to wear long trousers. You’re not allowed to drink in the computer room.
You mustn’t sing to the monkeys.

 

You’re not allowed to play video games after 11pm.
You have to take your medicine before going to bed. You’re not allowed to go skiing in the dark.
You mustn’t drink the water. You have to have a shower before going in the swimming pool.