Posted in Proficiency, Vocabulary Classes, Writing Classes

C2 Proficiency: Review of a West End Musical

This is a lesson plan for C2 students based around a review of a West End Musical. Students will learn vocabulary related to the theatre and performing arts that can then be recycled in their own reviews of live performances as practice for writing part 2 in the Proficiency exam.

Download the handout below:

Here is a possible part 2 task you could set as follow up to the lesson plan:

Review of a live performance

An online entertainment website is asking for reviews of live performances. They want reviews of any type of performing arts including plays, dance, musicals or concerts. You should explain why you decided to go to the performance, describe the highlights and point out any weak points that you think it had. You should also recommend the show to a specific audience or demographic.

280-320 Words

Quizlet Set

Here’s a quizlet set of the vocabulary to use for recall.

Pre-reading

  • Are you a fan of musical theatre? Why/why not?
  • Read the title to this review and predict:
    • Will it be a positive review?
    • What was the audience’s reaction?
    • What is the rehearsal process like for a big west end musical?
    • What is the experience like for the actors?
  • Read the review. Were your predictions correct?

Mamma Mia! Opens to Rave Reviews

A new adaptation of the jukebox musical Mamma Mia! opened to a packed house in London’s Theatre Royal last Friday night. The popular show, co-written by playwright Catherine Johnson and lyricists Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, will run for the next 6 months after a series of successful preview showings over the last week.

The audience gave the cast a unanimous thumbs-up by giving them a 10-minute standing ovation at the curtain call. The classic Abba songs such as Dancing Queen and the title-track Mamma Mia really brought the house down with hoards of backing dancers filling the stage right on cue for the final chorus.

In spite of leading lady Betty Harris’s dazzling performance, she admitted backstage after the show that it hadn’t all been plain sailing during rehearsals. “The dress rehearsal last week was an absolute disaster, one stagehand was nearly hit when a light fell from the rig and the leading man came down with a migraine half-way through the show. His understudy had to stand in at very short notice.” Harris, who has admitted to suffering from crippling stage fright in the past, explained how she had used the emotional recall of her own troubled relationship with her late mother to conjure up the necessary feelings for the nail-biting finale. Despite the emotional rollercoaster of the last few weeks, she said that seeing the beaming smiles of audience at the end had made it all worthwhile! She really is an accomplished actor and I have to admit that the poignant final scenes really brought a tear to my eye.

The show has received glowing reviews across the board and tickets are selling like hot cakes so get yours while you can!

Post Reading

  • Would you like to see this show? Why/why not?
  • Have you ever acted in a play/show/film? Or performed in front of an audience?
  • Look at the expressions in bold, use the context to guess the meaning.
  • Test your partner on the language and expressions

Recall

Can you remember the expressions?

Mamma Mia! Opens to _______ Reviews

A new adaptation of the ________ musical Mamma Mia! opened to a _______ house in London’s Theatre Royal last Friday night. The popular show, co-written by _______ Catherine Johnson and _______ Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, will run for the next 6 months after a series of successful _______ showings over the last week.

The audience gave the cast a u__________ thumbs-up by giving them a 10-minute standing ______ at the c_________ call. The classic Abba songs such as Dancing Queen and the title-track Mamma Mia really brought the _________ down with hoards of _________ dancers filling the stage right on ______ for the final chorus.

In spite of ________ lady Betty Harris’s d________ performance, she admitted b________ after the show that it hadn’t all been ________ sailing during rehearsals. “The ________ rehearsal last week was an absolute disaster, one stage_______ was nearly hit when a light fell from the rig and the leading man c______ d_______ with a migraine half-way through the show. His under________ had to _______ in at very short ________.” Harris, who has admitted to suffering from c________ stage _______ in the past, explained how she had used the emotional ________ of her own troubled relationship with her late mother to _________ up the necessary feelings for the n_____-b_______ finale. Despite the e_________ r___________ of the last few weeks, she said that seeing the ___________ smiles of audience at the end had ________ it all worthwhile! She really is an a___________ actor and I have to admit that the p__________ final scenes really brought a ______ to my ________.

The show has received g__________ reviews across the ________ and tickets are selling like ______ _______ so get yours while you can!

  • Which ones were easy to remember?
  • Which ones were difficult to remember?
  • Which are your favourite expressions?
Posted in Reading Classes, Young Learners

Mini Halloween Plays for Young Learners

Image credit: cartoon-clipart.disneyimage.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a Halloween themed lesson for young learners. There are two spooky short stories for students to act out in small groups. Download the stories here:

Halloween Stories

Depending on the time and the student’s level there are two procedures for this lesson.

  1. For lower levels: Read and act out both stories for the class and then split students into groups to recreate them with the text.
  2. For higher levels: Split the class into groups, give out texts and have students read them in their groups and then rehearse and perform them.

Students should work in groups of 3-4, designate 1-2 strong students to act as narrators. Help ss with vocabulary and pronunciation problems.

Give ss 10 minutes to practice and then have them perform their stories to the rest of the class.

The Stories

The Werewolf

Once upon a time there was a farmer. One day he went walking in the forest. He was very tired so he decided to go to sleep under a tree. When he woke up it was dark and he was very cold. He looked in the sky and he saw a full moon. Suddenly, he heard a wolf howl very close.

There was a huge wolf behind him! He was very scared and he screamed. The wolf attacked him and bit him on the arm. He felt very strange, he ran to the river and looked in the water, his face was transforming into a wolf’s! Hair covered all his body and his teeth grew very long. He tried to shout but a long howl came out of his mouth.

Now if you go into that forest on the night of a full moon, maybe you will meet him…..

The hunter and the witches

Once upon a time there was a brave hunter. One day he was chasing a rabbit in the mountains with his dogs. They ran to the top of the mountain where they found 2 witches making a magic potion. The rabbit ran past the witches and the dog chased it. The dog crashed into the magic potion and it fell onto the floor. The witches were extremely angry and shouted at the hunter as he ran away after the rabbit.

The witches were very angry so they made a plan. One of the witches transformed herself into a rabbit. The other witch made a very powerful potion and put it in a little bottle. The rabbit witch ran to the hunter’s house, knocked on the door and ran away. The hunter and the dogs ran out of the house and chased the rabbit witch up the mountain. But at the top the other witch was waiting. When the hunter arrived she threw the potion at him and his dogs and they all turned to stone!!!

If you go to the top of the mountain you can still see the stone hunter and his dogs.

Follow up

Do you know any traditional scary stories from your country?

Halloween Quizlet set:

Here’s a good quizlet set to practice Halloween vocabulary.

Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes

A little bit of drama: Reported speech – reporting verb patterns

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a lesson plan for higher levels (B2+) to teach verb patterns with reporting verbs using video and scripted roleplays. It will be especially useful for CAE students as these structures tend to come up in key word transformations quite often.

You will need:

Explanation of the 4 groups of reporting verbs:

reporting-verbs1

Credit to http://www.eltbase.com/notes.php?id=59 for their great explanation.

The scripted scenarios (print out at least 3 copies):

reported-speech-script

The key to the scenarios:

Reported Speech Script Key

Introduction:

Write the verbs “accuse” and “deny” on the board. Then play the first minute of the following video:

Elicit the following sentences from students:

The Dad asked the boys who had got the paint out.

The older brother accused the younger brother of gettting/having got the paint out.

The younger brother denied getting/having got the paint out.

The older brother accused the younger brother of building stairs out of blocks.

Analyse the sentences and come up with the formula for the verbs accuse and deny:

accuse somebody of doing/having done something

deny doing/having done something

Ask students if they have ever been in a similar situation with a sibling or friend.

Have you ever been wrongfully accused of doing something?

Stage 2: 4 groups of reporting verbs

For this part you can either give out the handout on the 4 groups of reporting verb patterns. Or model the sentences on the board and have students dedicate a page in their vocab books for each group of verbs.

You’re going to need a lot of space on the board for this part. Divide the board into 4 quarters.

Write the following sentence, one at the top of each quarter:

  1. I’ll come to the party. (say)
  2. I’ll come to the party. (tell)
  3. I will definitely help with the cleaning. (promise)
  4. I didn’t steal the money. (deny)

Tell students to change the sentences to reported speech using the verb in brackets:

  1. He said that he would come to the party.
  2. He told me that he would come to the party.
  3. He promised to help with the cleaning.
  4. He denied stealing the money.

Tell students that these are the 4 groups of reporting verbs.

Group 1: Say pattern: Same as “say”

 He said that he would come to the party.

Subject + reporting verb + (that) + clause

Common verbs of this type:

admit
advise*
agree
announce
claim
complainconfess*
confirm
declare
explain
insist*
mention
promise*
propose*
say
suggest
warn*demand

* also used with other patterns – see below

Group 2: Tell pattern: Same as “tell”

He told me that he would come to the party.

Subject + reporting verb + direct object + (that) + clause.

Common verbs of this type:

advise
assure
convince
inform
notify
promise
reassure
remind
tell
warn

Group 3: Reporting actions: Promises requests etc.

 He promised to help with the cleaning.

Subject + reporting verb + infinitive with to

Common verbs of this type:

agree
ask
claim
demand
offer
promise
propose
refuse
threatentell (imperative)

He encouraged me to take maths instead of history.

Subject  + reporting verb + DO + infinitive with to

Common verbs of this type

advise
ask
beg
convince
encourage
forbid
instruct
invite
order
persuade
remind
tell
urge
warn (not to)

Group 4: Reporting verbs with gerund.

He denied stealing the money.

Subject + reporting verb + gerund

 Common verbs of this type:

admit
deny
mention
propose
report
suggest

 

Verbs with prepositions and gerund:

 

Accuse sb of doing st

Confess to doing something

Apologise to sb about/for doing st

Blame sb for st

Complain to sb about st

Insist on doing st

Object to st/doing st

Advise ab against doing st

Stage 3: Controlled Practice

Have students complete the 10 sentences on the back of the handout.

Report the sentence using the verb in brackets

  1. I want to see the manager! (demanded)

_________________________________________

  1. Don’t leave the path, there are dangerous snakes. (warned)

_________________________________________

  1. I will help you clean up after the party (promised)

_________________________________________

  1. Don’t forget to feed the fish. (Reminded)

_________________________________________

  1. No no no! I’m paying for dinner. (Insisted)

_________________________________________

  1. Listen everyone! I’m moving to New York next week. (announced)

_________________________________________

  1. You are not allowed to chew gum in class. (forbid)

_________________________________________

  1. I will punch you if you call me that again. (threatened)

_________________________________________

  1. I’m really sorry that I broke your favourite cup. (apologised)

_________________________________________

  1. Stand up and put your hands on your head. (ordered)

________________________________________

Key

  1. He demanded to see the manager. He demanded that he saw the manager.
  2. She warned us not to leave the path. She warned (us) that there were dangerous snakes.
  3. She promised to help clean up after the party. She promised (me) that she would help clean up.
  4. He reminded me to feed the fish.
  5. She insisted on paying for dinner. She insisted that she paid for dinner.
  6. He announced that he was moving to New York the following week.
  7. She forbid me to chew gum in class.
  8. He threatened to punch me in the face if I called him that again.
  9. She apologised for breaking my favourite cup.
  10. He ordered me to stand up and put my hands on my head.

Stage 4: Scripted role-play

Split the class into groups of 2-3 and give out the role-play scenarios, give them a couple of minutes to read and rehearse and then have students come to the front of the class and act out the scenarios. Then the other groups have to write sentences using as many reporting verb patterns as they can based on what happened in the scenarios. Guide students and model sentences, encourage them to place them in the correct group.

Reported speech – Scripts

Scenario 1

A: Hi son, How’s it going?

B: Hi Dad. I’m going out.

A: Wait a minute, wait a minute. Have you done your homework?

B: Ahhh come on Dad, it’s Friday night.

A: I don’t care, have you done it or not?

B: No. But I promise I’ll do it tomorrow.

A: Ok, but if you don’t you’ll be grounded for a week.

B: Ok it’s a deal.

They shake hands.

Scenario 2

Sarah: Hi Fiona, how’s it going? Are you coming to the party tonight?

Fiona: No I don’t think so; I’m not in the mood and I have to work tomorrow.

Sarah: No you don’t! Tomorrow is a holiday, the shop is closed.

Fiona: Oh yeah! I’d completely forgotten. I’m still not sure.

Sarah: Oh come on, you’ve got to come! Tommy’s going to be there.

Fiona: Really? Hhhhmmmm well, ok go on then, I’ll come.

Scenario 3

Teacher: (to John) You stole €5 from the charity collection box!

John: Me??? It wasn’t me! How dare you accuse me! It was Sandra who stole the money. I saw her do it!

Sarah: Me? No way! He’s lying!

Teacher: I want to see what’s in your pockets right now!

They turn out their pockets. John’s pockets are full of money.

Teacher: Aha! What’s all this?

John: Ok, it was me. I admit it.

Sarah: I think it’s unfair that I was accused of this crime. I’m going to tell my parents.

Teacher: I’m terribly sorry Sarah, it was a misunderstanding.

Scenario 4

Anna and Natalie are having a party. The music is very loud. There is a knock at the door.

Anna: (opening the door) Yes? Who is it? What do you want?

Little old lady: It’s 3am, I can’t sleep please turn the music down.

Natalie: Turn it down? No way! We just graduated!

Little old lady:  Oh please please please turn it down, I’m so tired.

Anna: Nope sorry, we’re not going to turn it down.

Little old lady: (angry) Well, if you don’t turn it down I’m going to call the police.

Natalie: Go ahead! You can come in and use my phone if you want.

Little old lady: oooo the cheek of it! That’s it! I’m going to call the police!

Reported Speech Script Key

Scenario 1

The Dad asked the son if he had done his homework.

The son admitted that he hadn’t done his homework.

The son admitted to not doing/having done his homework.

The son promised to do his homework the day after.

The Dad warned the son that if he didn’t do his homework he would be grounded for a week.

Scenario 2

Sarah asked Fiona if she was going to the party tonight.

Fiona replied that she didn’t think so. She said that she wasn’t in the mood and that she had to work the day after.

Sarah reminded Fiona that the day after was a holiday.

Sarah persuaded/convinced Fiona to come to the party by telling her Tommy would be there.

Scenario 3

The teacher accused John of stealing/having stolen the money.

John denied stealing the money and accused Sarah of stealing the money.

The teacher ordered them to turn out their pockets/demanded that they turned out their pockets.

John admitted to/confessed to stealing the money.

Sarah objected to being accused of stealing the money.

The teacher apologised for accusing Sarah of stealing the money.

Scenario 4

Anna asked who it was and what they wanted.

The old lady asked/urged them to turn the music down.

Natalie refused to turn the music down.

The old lady begged them to turn the music down.

Anna refused to turn the music down.

The little old lady threatened to call the police if they didn’t turn the music down.

Anna invited the old lady to use her phone.

The old lady announced that she was going to call the police.

Stage 4: Follow up activity, students write their own scripts.

Students come up with their own scenarios trying to use as many of the different verb patterns as possible. Other groups have to correctly guess the verb they were trying to express.