This is a guest post by Alice from Hot Take English on the topic of superstitions and bad luck. Students discuss common superstitions in English speaking cultures and their own, then read an article about some seriously bad luck. The main grammar focus of the lesson is the 3rd conditional to talk about hypothetical past events. Download the handout and teacher’s notes below:
Visit https://www.hottakeenglish.com/ to check out more of Alice’s work. She has some great, free materials on a range of engaging topics.
What Bad Luck – Student Worksheet
1) Warmer: superstitions
Below is a list of good and bad superstitions that are particularly popular in the UK and Ireland. Discuss them with a partner. From where do you think they originate? Do you believe they bring bad/good luck?
Things that bring bad luck:
- Walking under a ladder
- Seeing one magpie
- Putting new shoes on a table
- Opening an umbrella inside
Things that bring good luck:
- Getting pooed on by a bird
- Coming across a black cat
- Finding a four-leafed clover
What superstitions are there in your culture or country?
Match the words on the left with their meanings on the right.
|1. jackpot||a) extremely shocked|
|2. invalidated||b) the sale was not successful/the money was not taken out of the person’s bank account|
|3. stunned||c) not enough|
|4. draw||d) the most valuable prize in a game or contest|
|5. the payment didn’t go through||e) very very happy|
|6. insufficient||f) stopped a ticket from being legally or officially acceptable|
|7. on top of the world||g) the act of selecting numbers or names randomly to decide the winners of a competition|
3) Comprehension check
Read the article. Are these statements true or false?
- Rachel Kenny lost the winning ticket.
- The 19-year old student was aghast at what had happened.
- Rachel and Liam chose different numbers each time they played the lottery.
- The money for the lottery tickets was usually taken directly from Rachel’s bank account.
- The problem was that Rachel didn’t have enough money in her bank account to pay for the ticket.
- Rachel and Liam refuse to play the lottery any more.
4) Grammar practice
With a partner, write down as many third conditional sentences about the article as you can.
E.g. “If the payment had gone through, they would have won the lottery”.
Writing: My Biggest Regret
Write 100-500 words about your “biggest regret”. Include some third conditional sentences.
EuroMillions Player ‘Heartbroken’ After Finding Error Cost Her £182m Lottery Jackpot
The 19-year-old was in shock when her numbers came up – until she noticed a critical problem
Originally published 2 March 2021
A 19-year-old student who thought she had won a £182m lottery jackpot has been left “absolutely heartbroken” after realising an error invalidated the ticket.
Rachel Kennedy, 19, and her boyfriend Liam McCrohan, 21, were stunned when their regular numbers of 6, 12, 22, 29, 33, 6 and 11 came up in the EuroMillions mega jackpot.
Kennedy had played the same numbers for five weeks in a row and had a direct debit set up to automatically play the numbers each week.
The teen was greeted with a message saying she had a ‘winning match’ after last Friday’s draw, according to The Sun.
However, the business student’s hopes of being one of the richest women in Britain were crushed when she found the ticket sale had not gone through due to insufficient funds in her account.
Rachel, of Brighton University, said: “I called my boyfriend Liam and my mum into the room and they couldn’t believe it either so I was like, ‘Oh! My God! I need to call them’.
“I called the number thinking that I had won £182m and they said ‘yeah you’ve got the right numbers but you didn’t have the funds in your account for the payment of the ticket so it didn’t actually go through’.
“I was on top of the world when I thought I had won, but when I found out I hadn’t, Liam was actually more upset than me.”
Rachel said they were “absolutely heartbroken” – and now thinks of her usual weekly numbers as “unlucky” and has decided to change them.