Habits and Rituals
Upper Intermediate level
To provide clarification and practice of nuance in the context of habits and routines.
To provide writing practice through a personal story in the context of personal habits and routines.
Procedure (30-41 minutes)
Be annoyed, tell a brief story. Think about people who annoy you and how they irritate you. Also think about the good things. Talk about these things with a partner.
Give students a paragraph I have written about the behavior of Americans and Turkish people. Write a few basic questions on the board beforehand. Which two countries am I talking about? What is the topic? Give them some time to read through this on their own. In pairs, ask them to find answers to the worksheet. Find a sentence that means ________. By checking their answers to the questions based on the paragraph, check their understanding of the concepts covered.
Hopefully students will have figured out the language points. In case they need clarificaton, be prepared. Most common way of speaking about habits and routines is by using simple tense with an adverb of frequency or adverb phrase. As a student, she got up late every morning. She hardly ever did any work. Now, she always gets up at 7:00 am. Used to do—something that happened in the past on a regular basis, but doesn’t happen any more. I used to drive my car when I went most places. Present and past habits includes the following: Present or Past Continuous Tenses to talk about a habit which is repeated more than usual, which the speaker finds unexpected or annoying. will/would + infinitive to talk about behavior which is typical or characteristic of the person. They can describe both pleasant and annoying habits. Will (or won’t) is used for present tense, would is used for past. She will get up at 5:00 am tomorrow. He won’t talk to anyone until after breakfast. I would walk to school everyday unless I was late, when I would take the bus. Contractions: will = ‘ll, would = ‘d Past or present continuous We use past or present continuous + always to talk about a habit which is repeated more than usual, which the speaker finds unexpected or annoying. She’s always texting while we are eating. Will/would + infinitive We use will/would + infinitive without to to talk about behavior which is normal for a person. (bad or good) She will eat chocolate even if she isn’t hungry. We would always go to the movies on Sundays. Used to + infinitive We use used to + infinitive to talk about a past state or repeated actions. I used to go to the gym every other day. She used to only speak Turkish. * we do not use would with used to I used to go to the gym every other day. (NOT I would go to the gym every other day.) *Students might be confused about this. Also, on Wednesday they learned if clauses. If I wanted to stay healthy, I would go to the gym every other day. We use would when the topic has been established, and we generally specify a time. She used to go the gym every other day. She would go at 8:00 in the morning, and then she would go to work.
Distribute fill in the blank worksheet so students can practice.
Now students write their own similar paragraph. They should write about two places they have lived or visited and some behaviors they observed there. Students should include: used to, always, will, and would in their paragraph. This will really check their use of the language concepts and give them a chance for free practice. Monitor their writing and give whole class feedback on the board based on what I see. Make sure to allow some time for students to exchange paragraphs and share with each other.