Melody Norris Melody Norris

Optical illusion - grammar (reading)
Intermediate level


In this lesson students will practice using the articles 'a'/ an' and 'the'. The lesson starts with pictures of optical illusions. Students have to match four pictures of famous optical illusions with their descriptions. The students will read a text about a master of optical illusions and fill in the missing articles 'a/ an' and 'the' in the correct place. The students will then focus on pronunciation of the articles and study the rule of pronunciation. In the production activity, the students will work in pairs and try to use the correct article to instruct their partner to draw the picture that they have .


Main Aims

  • By the end of the lesson some students will have clarification of articles 'a/ an' and 'the' in the context of reading descriptions about optical illusions.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide practice in reading for comprehension and fluency speaking in using articles 'a/ an' and 'the' to describe a picture.


Warmer/Lead-in (3-4 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

T displays picture of vase/ faces illusion on power point and asks if students know what it's called (optical illusion) T asks: 'Can you see the two pictures?" 'What are they?' Ss: 'Vase and 2 faces'. T shows slide with 4 illusions. T : 'Can you see the illusion in each one ? Discuss with your partner.'

Pre-reading Task (2-5 minutes) • To set the context of the reading

T gives Ss picture of 4 optical illusions and cut out words and phrases attached to sheet. T tells Ss to match the patterns and shapes to the illusion. T demonstrates on WB FB: T reads out each phrase in turn and asks Ss in which picture they can see this: T: criss-crossed lines, parallel lines, straight lines. (b) T: parallel lines, a staircase, straight lines (c) T: curvy lines, a rod, straight lines, towers. (d) T: black background, criss-crossed lines, spots, straight lines. (a) FB: T calls on volunteers to answer as each description is read.

Reading Task (4-5 minutes) • To practice reading for comprehension

T points to the illusions and pronounces the names of the illusions: 'Schroeder, Zollner,the Hermann Grid and 'the impossible object'. T says: 'Read the descriptions of four famous illusions. Match the descriptions 1-4 to pictures a-d. FB: T writes answers on the white board: 1C, 2D, 3B, 4 A.

Clarification (4-7 minutes) • To clarify the meaning, form and pronunciation of the target language 'a/an' and 'the'.

T says: "Let's focus on grammar. a/an , the'. Do you know what we call these words?' ss: 'articles'. T; What do they mean? When do we use them? S ideas. T shows slide: Match the article with the rule and demonstrates the first one with the WC. T HO copies for ss to do in pairs. FB: T asks volunteers A, B or c.

Controlled Practice (2-4 minutes) • To concept check and prepare students for more meaningful practice

T shows slide of Escher's waterfall and asks CCQs: Is MC Escher a master of optical illusions or the master of optical illusions? (a) In this picture does a waterfall go down the canal or does the waterfall go down a canal? (the) The MC Escher was a master of optical illusions. Right or wrong (wrong) T asks volunteers to fill in the gaps with the correct article. FB: T checks/ corrects.

Pronunciation (3-5 minutes) • To practice pronunciation for accuracy.

T shows slide with 2 sentences with 'the' and ask ss to listen to the difference in pronunciation. T plays track 2.04 and asks ss to repeat. T: Why is the pronunciation different?' S: 'The' is before a vowel in the first sentence. T: Let's practice. T shows slide with list of nouns and drills pronunciation. T shows slide with 3 sentences using 'the' and ss have to decide the correct pronunciation. FB: volunteers to read out sentences.

Free Practice (8-15 minutes) • To provide students with free practice of the target language

T demonstrates with volunteer. T describes while volunteer draws. T shows slide with instructions. T HO pictures for ss to describe in pairs. T monitors.

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