Monday, 24 January 2011

Giving Advice Lesson JHS 3rd grade or any SHS

1961 Ferrari 250GT California Spyder photographed by DougW of at the 2005 Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance. Public Domain Image

This rare Ferrari and the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off were the inspiration for this giving advice lesson.
There is a dialogue and a worksheet for students to carry out in groups.

First things first.

Download the prints here


Part One (Dialogue)

1. There is a dialogue. Read the Dialog to the students with your JTE.
2. Check student comprehension. I usually get the JTE to ask them questions in Japanese about it.
3. Perform the Dialogue a second time
4. Allow the students to read the dialogue. Teach any words or phrases they don't understand. From experience I find that lower grade students may be confused by the conditional. If I were you I would...
Point out the phrases which are in a box. These are the patterns which we want them to use in the final activity!
Check with the JTE
before the lesson to see what words may be difficult for the students.
5. Students in pairs. Get them to practice the dialogue

Part Two (Worksheet)

1. Distribute a copy of the worksheet to everyone
2. Read the situations to all the students. Check understanding. JTE can help with this
3. Ask the students to work in pairs. They should think of some advice to give in each of these situations.
   Ask them to write using the "giving advice" patterns which are highlighted in the dialogue.
4. Choose a few students to read their advice out-loud to the class.
5. Students should practice dialogue again. This time they replace the situation in the dialogue with one from the sheet.

Part Three (Mingling Activity)

1. Students must choose one problem from the above.
2. They must then walk around the room and interview five students, asking for their advice.
3. They should also give advice to anyone who approaches them.
4. They should write down the name of the student they talk to and the advice that they were given. Observe them doing this so that they ACTUALLY do it!

Collect Prints

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Lesson Idea- A Christmas Carol- Ordering a story

I want to share the resources I made for my Christmas lesson. Please read my brief description below and click on the link to get the document
One of the tasks you can get students is to put a story into the correct order. That means you need to cut out about ten or so sentences and give them to the students. Tell them to mix them up and then get them to arrange them together.

I wanted to teach the students a really good Christmas story. Many students are familiar with the story
thanks to Disney!

The story comprised of five parts which I shall irreverently summarise as follows

1) Scrooge is BAD
2) Scrooge sees a Ghost, and gets nostalgic and sad.
3) Scrooge sees another Ghost and gets sad and worried
4) Scrooge sees the last Ghost and gets SCARED
5) Scrooge becomes GOOD

For my lesson I needed to give 10 pieces of paper to 10 groups. I split each chapter into two (sets of sentences) . The total is ten. therefore a group of forty students with four group members each.

I made this set of sentences using some online resources including a fantastic ESL site that gives a simplified version of the story. Plus I used another copy of a summarised version and made this one.

I gave each group an envelope with the stories inside them. They then had to put them in order.
Here is a link the file I used. Please print these out for yourself if you want to

When I did it this year, I allowed the students to talk Japanese while they arranged the story. This was for many reasons.
For an example of a Task Based Lesson where the students must put the story into the correct order, and only speak English, please check out JIMBOS blog here.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Happy New Years: Modified Task (Designing a holiday plan)

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a great time over the vacation. I would like to spend the next few entries discussing reports from lessons that I have tried. Here is the plan for my latest attempt at TBL.
For my Christmas lesson I got my students to complete a task of piecing a story together but I allowed them to do it talking Japanese.

I am still a little shy about TBL but I am determined to keep trying! Here is my latest lesson plan where I will try and get the students to complete the task using only English.

The Text

The text I used was Birdland and I drew from chapter nine of the text. The main dialog was two people talking about their vacation plans. I however wanted my task to be modeled on the "Lets Try" section on page 69. The listening dialogue (truncated and edited) is as follows.

T: Where would be the best place for our school trip? What is your opinion Ayaka?
A: I recommend that we visit Hokkaido. The main reason is because many of us haven't been there.
T: Okay
A: Secondly there are a lot of interesting things to see there. I personally want to visit Furano, which is the setting for a famous TV drama.
T: Thirdly, I think Ainu culture and history are worth studying. We can learn more about them in Hokkaido

Essentially, this is about people DECIDING a destination and giving reasons why. I made this the Task I want my students to achieve in this lesson. Students will be given a personal profile of a person, which states something of their interests and hobbies. They then must decide on four places in Wakayama prefecture where that person should visit.

Lesson Plan.
I decide to tackle this by a mixture of pair-work and group work.

Warm-up ( 3-5 mins)
I ask the students some questions about places they have been in Wakayama prefecture during the winter break. The students sit in pairs and I call out questions as follows "Have you been to Wakayama castle" If the students have been there, they point at the circle and if not they point at the square.
After the students must ask a follow up question i.e. "When did you go there" or something like that.

Listening (5 mins)

Listen to the dialogue from page 66 of Birdland. Get the students to COVER the conversation. Read with the Homeroom teacher. Ask the questions from the book. Then get the students to fill out the table on the work sheet. They must identify the "Good Point" and "Bad Point" of each place.

Introduce places in Wakayama (Quick Karuta game and Writing activity)

I created a set of flash cards, which contain images of famous places in
Wakayama. Please post me your mail address and I will email the PDF. It is too big to put on Google Docs.

I read sentences describing the places and the students must race to pick up the card.
After that, the students in their pairs, must pick three places and write "good points", "bad points" and "possible activities". They do this in the table provided on the worksheet. I also wrote the table on the black-board to explain how to fill it out.

After that they hand in their "pair work " work sheet.

Listening (Task Style Conversation from Birdland)

This time we move to the listening section on page 69 of bird land. This dialog has two people choosing a destination and giving reasons.  The dialog is the one at the beginning of this entry in yellow highlights.

The students listen to the conversation and then fill out a table listing Ayaka's recommendations and the reasons why she made them.

Setting up the Task

I will pin large paper cutouts with the main language used to complete the task.  This time. The phrases, which are pinned on, the board are as follows.

I recommend that.....
I think we should....

The main reason is..

I think so too
I agree

I don't think so..

I arranged the phrases on the board and wrote additions in chalk, lining them up to make the conversation.

Explaining the Task

Students will be sitting in groups of four. They will receive a final-task group worksheet. They must complete the information in it.

I will then distribute a personality card. These were taken from an ESL textbook. Here is a picture of some here. I cannot reproduce them all on this blog.

Elementary Communication Games, Hadfield,J.1984 George C Harrap and Co.

If you are an ALT in a Wakayama Highschool. Please email me privately and I will be able to fax copies of these sheets for "educational purposes"  in your lessons. I will only fax them to your school not to your private fax. Sorry.. but I don't want to be on the wrong side of the law.

Students in their groups read the personality and then design a vacation to suit that persons interests. The vacation must be in Wakayama .

  • Each student must give his or her opinion.
  • They can talk only in English.
  • They must complete the worksheet, which records each person’s opinion and the reasons why.
I will give the students about ten minutes to complete the task.


I will be attempting this and tweaking this all of next week. Wish me luck with this one.
I will report my progress next week,