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8b grammar: comparatives
elementary A1/A2 level


students will use the correct comparative adjective forms in their speech in the context of vacations


Abc Images of New York city, Antalya, the Simpsons
Abc vocabulary cards for sentence-generating activity
Abc guided discovery activity (determine the comparative rules)

Main Aims

  • To provide clarification and practice in the use of comparative forms of adjectives

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide accuracy in conversations comparing cities in the context of travel destinations


warm-up/lead-in (8-10 minutes) • to establish context for talking about comparatives and activate schema concerning cities and comparison of cities

You're going on a vacation. Where would you like to go on your dream vacation? (show a picture of the Simpsons on vacation). With your partner, create a list of words to describe your ideal vacation spot. (I go first to try to get students to use adjectives: My dream place, my dream location is sunny.) Students work with partners to come up with list. I elicit words from students, put any adjectives on the board. If I don't get all or most of the adjectives on p. 64, ask students to look at their reading text and find some more words we use to describe vacation spots. These words will form the vocabulary stock to be used in the presentation stage.

presentation (10-12 minutes) • to clarify to students the basic sentence structure for comparative sentences and the rules for forming comparative forms of adjectives

Teacher puts up pictures of New York City and Antalya (Turkey) and asks students if they know these places. Teacher prompts students to start describing the pictures (using the words we generated in the previous stage) and also to compare, also using those same adjectives. (Write one sentence on the board to show the basic structure of comparative sentence, refer them to this sentence when they do the guided discovery exercise). Get them to use at least one of the different-length words. At the end, get them to make an overall evaluation so that they use the irregular forms good and bad. Hand out exercise 5 from p. 64: students work with partners to determine the rules (do the first one with the students). Teacher goes over rules with students. Drill students in pronunciation of sentence on board (highlighting stress, sentence intonation).

controlled practice (10-12 minutes) • To provide students with guided practice of comparative adjectives in sentences

Teacher divides class into groups of 2. Each group is given 2 decks of cards , one deck containing nouns and one deck containing adjectives (with twice as many items in the noun deck). One person forms a sentence using two cards from the noun deck and one card from the adjective deck (teacher demonstrates) in the order: noun, adjective, noun. The other student forms a comparative sentence using the three words (teacher demonstrates). If the student forming the sentence says the sentence correctly, he/she gets the cards. If not, the first student gets the cards. Person with most cards at the end wins.

freer practice (12-14 minutes) • To provide students with freer practice of the target language

Teacher divides class into 3 groups. Group 1 are tourists. The other two groups are travel agents, each group representing either Phuket or Bangkok. First students meet in their groups. Tourists talk about both Phuket and Bangkok and which one they would probably rather visit, and why, comparing them. Group 2 talks about the good things about Phuket, based on the reading text. Group 3 talks about the good things about Bangkok, based on the reading text. Groups 2 and 3 should both brainstorm some sentences they will use with the tourists to try to convince them to go to their city. Next, teacher forms groups with one person from each of the three large groups. The two real estate agents ask questions to find out what is important to the foreigner and then try to convince the foreigner that their neighborhood is ______er than the other one in that respect. First, teacher reviews sentence structure for giving suggestion: "You should go to Phuket/Bangkok. Phuket is _____ than Bangkok," stating reasons or giving examples. (Teacher gives examples). Encourage students to speak for a long time (not just one sentence). If there is time, tourists move to a different group AND everyone changes roles. As a wrap-up, individual students report to the rest of the class on what they decided and why, using comparatives to justify their choice.

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