Polina Polina

Never Smile at a Crocodile. Listening
A2 level


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Main Aims

  • To provide gist and specific information listening practice using a text about how to survive an attac of a wild animal in the context of wild life

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide fluency speaking practice in a conversation and storytelling in the context of wild animals


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

I play the song "Never Smile at a Crocodile" (from the Peter Pan cartoon) with subtitles to provide the context. We probably come back to this song at the end of the lesson to make a an optional gap-fill activity.

Warmer/Lead-in (5-6 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students. This lead-in is extended because it is followed by a listening activity.

I put some pictures of wild animals on the table and ask the Ss whether they have met any of them. Do you think they are dangerous? What do you have to do if you meet them? Elicit comments, stories, advice. I distribute the HO1 with a multiple-choice test "Would you survive?". Read, tick the variant you think is correct, check with your partner, class feedback.

While-Reading/Listening #1 (4-5 minutes) • To provide students with less challenging gist and specific information reading/listening tasks

The Ss listen to a survival expert and find out whether they chose the right answer. Check in pairs, short feedback and probable agree/disagree comments.

While-Reading/Listening #2 (4-5 minutes) • To provide students with more challenging detailed, deduction and inference reading/listening tasks

I distribute the HO2 with true/false statements and ask Ss to read the statements first. Then they listen to the text once again, chose an option, check in pairs, class feedback. Pre-teach/elicit 'colour blind'.

Post-Listening Vocabulary focus. (8-10 minutes) • To make a revision of most frequent animals names

I suggest training Ss' memory and distribute the sets of cards with the names and pictures of animals. The procedure is the following: each pair receives a set of cards with pictures and names. The first stage is to put the right animal name to a picture. If not sure - try to guess. Short class feedback on some of the unknown names. The second stage is to remove the names, reverse and put all pictures in one pile. Each person draws a picture and names the animal on it. If successful, the person takes the picture in their pile. If not - the second person can give a try. If nobody knows it, they put it aside and I help them memorizing this card while monitoring. The person with the most correctly named cards wins.

Post-Listening Discussion/Freer Speaking (10-13 minutes) • To provide with an opportunity to respond to the text and expand on what they've learned

The activity is based on the exercise 4, p. 67. I disribute HO4 with questions for discussion in pairs or in groups of three (depending on the number of students and the layout of the class). I monitor the discussion. Finally, I ask some of the students what they have learned from their partners. Class feedback.

OPTIONAL Gap fill with a song (3-6 minutes) • To provide some practice in vocabulary prediction and gap-fill

The Ss receive the text of the song (Never Smile at a Crocodile) with gaps and a list of words to fill in. They work in pairs and try to guess the gapped word from the context in pairs. Class feedback, optionally listen to the song once again.

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