Ivana Popov Ivana Popov

Detailed reading: Time (Revising prepositions of time)
Level B1, Intermediate level


In this lesson students are introduced to a range of expressions about 'time' through a detailed reading exercise about attitudes to time keeping. Students will revise prepositions of time and also practice talking about their own time habits.


No materials added to this plan yet.

Main Aims

  • For students to practıce extracting detailed information from a text about attitudes to time-keeping, and to relate that information to their own time-keeping habits.

Subsidiary Aims

  • For students to learn and practice using a range of popular time related expressions in a personal context.
  • For students to revise time prepositions through a controlled reading exercise.


Warmer/Lead-in (3-4 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students in a discussion about their culture's attitudes to time-keeping.

I will ask ss. if they can remember back to my first lesson. Does anyone remember which country I was born in? - The Bahamas. I will tell the ss. that I grew up in a house on the beach, that was directly under the flight path of the international airport. All day and every day we would look up from the beach and watch the planes as they made their descent/came into land. Bahamasair, the local flight company, was always always late and the local people would joke about this. Everyday, at around 9pm the daily Bahamasair flight would land and it was an understood joke to look up and say: Here comes the 4o'clock flight. I will keep this story short and simple and then ask ss. to turn to their partners and discuss attitudes to time in their own country. - Is it acceptable to be late for a business meeting? - What about a dinner party? - Would you turn up for the start of the party? - Or would you arrive fashionably late? - Do things run on time? - Transport, building projects etc... I will give ss. 3 minutes to discuss with their partners and then nominate individual ss. for answers.

Pre-Reading (9-10 minutes) • To prepare students for the text and make it accessible: introducing popular time expressions and clarifying time related vocabulary that is specific to the text.

I will put the ss. in 3 groups. I will tell the ss. that in English we have many expressions relating to time. I will show ss. a HO that has three time expressions written on it. I will ask ss. to read the time expressions individually and then, in groups, try to figure out what each of the time expressions means. Ss. will have 3 minutes to complete the task. I will then give the ss. the original expressions and corresponding definintions on separate strips of paper and ask them to work in groups to match the expressions with the correct definitions. Ss. will have 1 minute to complete. I will ask ss. to walk around the room and check answers of other groups. At end of task I will check that WC is happy with definitions, give each ss. an answer key and take back individual strips to use later.Do you have any time expressions in Turkish? I will bring ss. attention to a horizontal line on the WB. I will try to elicit the word time-keeping from ss. and write on board. I will draw three marks on the scale, one to the left end of the scale, one in the middle, and one to the right. I will try to elicit the phrases 'strict time-keeping', 'healthy time-keeping', and 'bad/no time-keeping' from the ss. and write the words on the scale, with 'healthy' in the middle, 'rigid' on the right, and 'casual' on the left. Below these words I will write a few synonyms and associated expressions, elicited from the ss. where possible (i.e. strict, last minute, effective, ruled by the clock, meets deadlines - all vocab taken from the main reading text). CCQs to elicit meaning where necessary and drills for pronunciation. Ss. will decide where to put the Bahamas on the scale, and where to put Turkey. I will show the ss. three strips of paper with the original time expressions written on them. I will try to elicit the phrases 'killing time' and 'catch the train' by showing images. I will tell the ss. that I will give each group one expression and that they have to decide in their groups where their expression fits on the scale. I will ask ss. to nominate one person from each group to be a runner, and tell ss. that the winner will be the group that can put their time expression in the correct place on the scale first. I will tell ss. that I will put the expression face down on their tables and they are not to turn it over until I say GO! I will ask WC if they are happy with answers.

While-Reading #1 (3-4 minutes) • To provide students with less challenging gist information reading tasks: identifying situations where time-keeping is important

I will show the ss. the main text and point to the title 'attitude to time-keeping'. CCQ: Again, what do we mean by time-keeping? And attitude? I will show the ss., by pointing to relevant parts of the worksheet, that the text is comprised of a series of questions in bold, with possible answers beneath. CCQ: What kind of a text is this? - A questionnaire! I will tell ss. that they will have one minute only to read the writing that is in bold - ie. the questions - and to think of as many situations as possible where time-keeping (being on time!) can be an issue/is important. I will instruct ss. to read individually and then discuss answers in pairs. Ss. must fold paper before anything, so that scoring is not showing! ICQ: Are you reading the whole text? Are you looking for situations where time-keeping is important or situations where time-keeping doesn't matter? And what are you doing before anything?! - Folding the worksheet! I will tell ss. that they should find three main situations and write the numbers 1 - 3 on the WB. I will elicit answers from ss. by nominating individual ss. I will write answers on WB: social commitments, work, travel plans, using the images on the board to also clarify meaning.

While-Reading #2 (6-8 minutes) • To provide students with more challenging detailed, deduction and inference reading tasks: extracting information from the text and relating it to yourself through the completion of a questionnaire

I will ask ss. to now read the whole text individually, circling the answers that apply to themselves.

Post-Reading (2-3 minutes) • To provide with an opportunity to respond to the text and expand on what they've learned: what is your attitude to time-keeping?!

When ss. have finished filling questionnaires I will ask the ss. to unfold their worksheets and ask the ss. to check their answers against the scoring, and discuss results in pairs, thinking about where ss. fit on the time-keeping scale (on WB). I will ask ss. to raise their hands if they have a rigid attitude to time-keeping, a healthy attitude to time-keeping, or a casual attitude to time-keeping.

Post-Reading # (3-4 minutes) • For students to use the language and ideas introduced in the lesson to generate their own language: activities that are a waste of time

I will regroup the class according to their questionnaire answers i.e: rigid time-keepers, healthy time-keepers, and casual time-keepers. I will ask ss. to discuss in groups and come up with 3 useless activities. Does anyone know another phrase for a useless activity? - A waste of time. Drill- emphasis on stress. A WASTE of time. A COMPLETE waste of time. ICQ: Are you thinking of important activities or activities that are useless? Ss. will have 2 minutes for this. WC FB through nomination.

Grammar: prepositions of time (4-7 minutes) • For students to understand where to use certain prepositions of time, and to practice their usage through a controlled speaking exercise

I will give ss. a HO that lists various prepositions of time and when to use them. I will ask ss. to take a quick look at the HO. CCQ: If I arrive somewhere at the right time do I say 'on time' or 'in time'? - On time. And if I arrive somewhere at the last minute, just before it's too late? what do I say? - In time. I will write the following sentence on the board: 'I work best during night.' CCQ: What is wrong with this sentence? - It should be 'at night'. I will introduce an exercise where ss. have to underline the correct prepositions in the sentences. I will remind ss. that they should use the HO on prepositions of time to help them with this activity and that they should work in pairs to complete the exercise. I will give ss. 3 minutes to complete exercise and then give them individual answer keys so they can check their answers. I will ask them to discuss in pairs whether the sentences are true to themselves and their partners and nominate a few individuals to share their answers.

If time allows! (4-5 minutes) • To clarify a few specific time expressions, with references to popular culture

I will ask ss. to go back to their questionnaires and tell ss. that there were a number of expressions in the text that have been used in the lyrics of famous pop songs. I will tell ss. that I will play a short clip from pop song and that they must work in groups to find the expression in the text that matches the song. I will tell ss. that the expressions are written somewhere in the room and ask ss. to nominate one person from the group who will run to the correct expression when they have the answer. Songs: Dolly Parton 'Nine to Five', and The Beatles 'Eight Days a Week'. I will elicit clarification of expressions 'nine-to-five' and 'eight days a week' from ss. Killing time? Catch/miss a/the train or plane? Elicited with images.

Web site designed by: Nikue