April April

A tale of two cities - Comparatives
High beginner/low intermediate level


In this grammar & vocabulary lesson, students generate a list of descriptive adjectives for two cities, and then attempt to use these adjectives to compare the two cities. From this activity, students will be learn how to form the comparative form of adjectives and inductively deduce rules for categories of comparatives (regular short words: ending in 'e' to 'er'; ending in consonant, double consonant and add '-er'; ending in 'y' change to 'i' and add '-er'; regular long words: introduce adj. with 'more').


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Main Aims

  • To provide clarification of comparative adjectives in the context of travel.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide review of descriptive adjectives in the context of city life.


Warmer/Lead-in (2-3 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Show image of my friend Yasmine, explain that she wants to go on vacation, but can't decide which city to go to (Mont Tremblant vs. Toronto). Read aloud and project her story, or give as handout.

Exposure (8-10 minutes) • To provide context for the target language through a text or situation

HO City Chart (one per pair). "With your partner, think of as many adjectives as you can to describe the two cities." T: Draw a t-chart on the board/on the projector, elicit or give 2 or 3 examples, give student 2 minutes to generate lists of adjectives. Have students write their adjectives on the board.

Highlighting (2-4 minutes) • To draw students' attention to the target language

T: "Which city do you think is better?" Elicit student responses. Write the sentence frame on the board: "Toronto is ____ than Mont Tremblant; Mont Tremblant is _____ than Toronto"

Clarification (8-10 minutes) • To clarify the meaning, form and pronunciation of the target language

Write - safe - big - noisy - beautiful on the board. Ask students to help transform these into adjectives, show the formations (add r, double consonant, remove y ad -ier, add more) Present incorrect forms and spellings: "Can I say "Mont Tremblant is more safe than Toronto"? Can I say "Toronto is beautifuller than Mont Tremblant? "

Controlled Practice (8-10 minutes) • To concept check and prepare students for more meaningful practice

HO: Rule sheet One half of the class will argue for Toronto, the other for Mont Tremblant. 1) Each pair will create 2 sentences about why their city is better: > Model: "Toronto is better because it is MORE MULTICULTURAL THAN Mont Tremblant" 2) Teams of pairs then work together as a small group to develop their arguments 3) Toronto team vs. Mont Tremblant team will give their arguments about which city is best During stages 1 & 2, T will circulate, giving help with correct forms and other vocabulary.

Free Practice (10-20 minutes) • To provide students with free practice of the target language

Individually, students will write a short e-mail to Yasmin, advising her about which city they think she should go to. Students will write for 8-10 minutes, then swap their writing with a peer for feedback. Peer feedback will last about 10 minutes, and then these short pieces of writing will be collected as formative assessment.

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