Category Archives: Pictures

Revising Simple Past,Used to and Would with some Engaging Activities

This lesson has been designed as a next-day revision activity for B2 (Intermediate +) students.

Aim: to consolidate the use of Past Simple, Used to and Would for past habits and routines.

Level: B2 (Intermediate+)

In this lesson you will find.

  • Grammar and exercises
  • Speaking: Picture discussion in pairs
  • Speaking: an advert from a popular drink comparing past and present
  • Writing: a fun writing game
  • Speaking: bits of your childhood

STEP 1. Grammar.

The use of these three verb forms to express past habits and routines can be a bit confusing for students, so in this class I am aiming at some revision to clarify concepts. Assuming students have already studied formation rules, the focus is now on use.

PDF with exercises here.

STEP 2.Picture description. Speaking.

Display the picture of a family in the past and ask students, in pairs, to discuss the differences they can see and the differences they can guess exist between the family shown in the picture and their own family.  Encourage students to use the targeted grammar.

Get feedback

STEP3. The video. Speaking.

  • Tell students they are going to watch a video. Explain there will be no comprehension questions as there is no dialogue.
  • Ask students to give you a brief description of what they have seen.
  • Explain that the advert is called “Grandpa” and it tries to show that the lifestyle enjoyed by our grandparents — moving more, eating well, taking it easy — can be beneficial.
  • Students will see the video twice more and  their task is to write down any differences they can see between the man today and his grandfather.
  • Once students have completed this task, ask them to work in pairs commenting on the differences they have seen in the video encouraging them,once again,to use the targeted grammar point: the use of simple past, would and used to to talk about past habits and routines.
  • Encourage discussion of the following points
  1. healthy eating
  2. stress
  3. working conditions
  4. means of transport
  5. relationships
  6. habits

STEP 4. Writing game: I have retired

Target language: Used To, Would and Simple Past Tense to describe past habits, states and routines

Preparation: none

Procedure:

Set the context: tell students they have to imagine they are 70 and retired. They are happier in retirement than when they were working but there are some things that they still miss.

Students, in pairs or in threes, choose the job they used to have.

Students will need to produce four sentences using the targeted language, giving clues for the other groups to guess their job.

  • sentences can be positive or negative
  • the first sentence will contain the clue most difficult to guess
  • the last sentence will contain the easiest clue
  • The first sentence will be awarded 4 points and the last one 1 point

Each group will name a spokesperson who will read out the clues. It’s important, at this stage, to ask students to speak up and clearly. Some rules:

  • The spokesperson will read the first sentence and the other groups will raise a hand if they think they know the answer.
  • Only one guess is allowed for each clue
  • If the answer is correct, they will be awarded the four points, if it is not, the second clue will be read for three points.

Example

  • 4 points. I would work with a lot of people
  • 3 points. I worked after “work”, mainly at home.
  • 2 points. I used my voice a lot
  • 1 point. I used to work with children

How many clues did you need to hear??  Yes, the answer is TEACHER

STEP 5. Bits of your childhood. Speaking in small groups.

Ask students to think about their life at the age of 10.

Give students a list of things they might want to talk about.

Ask students to think about what they will say and the language they will need. Allow some minutes for preparation.

  • Where did you use to live?
  • Did your life use to be very different to how it is now?
  • Where did you use to go to school? Do you remember any of your teachers? Did you have any favourite teachers?
  • Did you use to get good marks? Did you have a favourite subject?
  • What did you use to do after school?
  • Where did you use to play? Do you remember who your friends were? Did you have a best friend?
  • Can you remember your favourite game?
  • At lunchtime, did you use to like the food? Did you use to eat with your parents?
  • What was your greatest wish? Can you remember?

Did you enjoy the lesson? Don’t miss any posts and follow me on facebook

Teaching Environment Vocabulary with Capzles

Today I want to share with you a new tool that could be quite useful when trying to add  a touch of something to your classes. It is called Capzles and it is a very popular site for creating interactive timelines. It is a great tool for several reasons but mainly because the timelines created with this tool  let you use images, videos , pdfs …etc and it can also be embedded into a blog or a website.

Today I have used it to display some images containing vocabulary about the Environment but just as I am writing these lines , I am already thinking of other ways to use it, as being able to embed videos is a great feature and  makes this tool highly recommendable.

Lesson Plan : Technology

Oh my God! can you believe we are already in May??? Three lessons left with my intermediate students and so much to teach them!

I have to admit that we are all tired. If last week felt long I wonder how is  this next week going to feel? I read somewhere that this feeling is called Short Timers Disease ( a disease, really?? ). Apparently , it is an ailment that prolongs time and saps your enthusiasm when a holiday is imminent.

So, being in May, are you suffering from this mythical Short Timers Disease?? Let’s hope not.

These are the Speaking Activities I am planning to do with Intermediate Students . There is a bit of everything in the hope that  they  enjoy my last lessons.

You can download the whole lesson plan here.

TASK 1. JUST FOR FUN . Ask one student to read the following poem aloud. ( good to introduce some new vocabulary). It is called BEFORE THE COMPUTER

BEFORE THE COMPUTER
An application was for employment
A program was a TV show
A cursor used profanity
A keyboard was a piano!

Memory was something that you lost with age
A CD was a bank account!
And if you had a broken disk,
It would hurt when you found out!

Compress was something you did to garbage
Not something you did to a file
And if you unzipped anything in public
You’d be in jail for awhile!

Log on was adding wood to a fire
Hard drive was a long trip on the road
A mouse pad was where a mouse lived
And a backup happened to your commode!

Cut–you did with a pocket knife
Paste you did with glue
A web was a spider’s home
And a virus was the flu!

I guess I’ll stick to my pad and paper
And the memory in my head
I hear nobody’s been killed in a computer crash
But when it happens they wish they were dead!

TASK 2. PICTURE DESCRIPTION. PREPARING FOR CERTIFICACION EXAM. Student describe  and comment on the following pictures. (useful vocabulary here)

TASK 3VIDEO Ask students if they know what the term Nomophobia means. Play the video I forgot my Phone and ask students to share their thoughts.

Task 4. SOME QUESTIONS TO TALK ABOUT

· What are some of the benefit and dangers of the Internet?

· What is your favourite piece of technology?

· Are there any new gadgets that you really want to get?

· What are the main ways in which technology has changed society?

· What do you think elderly people think of modern technology?

· How have technological advances affected your life?

· Do you think modern technology reduces or increases stress? Why?

· How has technology changed education?

· How do you think face to face communication differs from communication using computers?

· Are you connected to the Internet at home? What do you use your connection for?

· What’s your favourite website?

· Do you often buy things over the net?

· Do you use social network services such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn?

· If you do, How often do you use it/them?

Picture Description: Beaches

Kindly sent by Carmen Muñiz from the Elementary Level.

Both photos show a beach, but they are very different.
I suppose it’s summer, because the weather is nice and sunny and everyone is wearing summer clothes.
In the photo on the right, the beach is next to the city. There are a lot of people sunbathing. It’s really crowded. In the background I can see many high buildings. The sea is on the left and it’s full of bathers. The sand is on the right and there are a lots of colourful beach umbrellas. I think it’s a modern big city, it seems a lively place.
On the other hand, in the photo on the left, the beach is far from the city, and there are few people. At the back you can see green mountains and some little houses. The sea is on the right, there is no one bathing. On the right corner, there are two women next to rocks, they seem very relaxed, they are sunbathing in sun beds and they are reading a book. They look like friends, it looks as if they are having a great time.
The scene in the photo on the right looks very noisy and it’s packed with people, while in the photo on the left, it looks very peaceful and quiet.
Personally, I prefer the photo on the left, because it looks like a perfect place to spend a summer’s day. I love going to the beach and swimming in the sea, but I don’t like beaches which are close the city, and the crowds.

Picture Description: Elementary Level

I want to share a few pics that I am planning to use in today’s elementary classes to practise Picture Description. I published this activity last year and it worked so well that I guess I’ll be forever using it. So here it is again!

For this activity the students are sitting in pairs, one student facing the board and the other with his back to the board. Using the OHP, a picture of people performing something is displayed. Now, the person seeing the picture has to describe it in as much detail as possible and the other person has to draw the picture. Allow them four or five minutes and then choose the best picture. Below are some of the photos I’m going to use and some expressions they need to use. (note: we have just begun describing photos, so right now I am teaching the basics. Hopefully, I’ll be teaching the contents in this photocopy soon ( Click here to see it)

Introduce the photo: This photo shows…. I can see

Location: on the left/right , in the middle, at the front/back

The people (appearance and actions) She looks sad. He is reading

Your opinion: I think…. I like it because…

Easy Peasy! Have a nice weekend!