Reading Lesson, The Trouble with T.V.
Upper Intermediate, B2 level
To provide gist and detailed reading practice using a text about the negative sides of watching too much television in the context of daily, ironic language
To provide product writing practice of a article in the context of television
To provide clarification and practice of common verbs and phrases in the context of article writing
Procedure (42-53 minutes)
After greetings, the T asks the Ss whether they watched TV last night and what programs they watched, how they felt after watching them. S/he also asks the question how they feel their bodies themselves after watching the TV. After eliciting some answers from the Ss, the T opens the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zw_7CJ5ozaM&spfreload=10 on the smart board or projection device and ask the whole class to check their answers. (Rationale: Warming up the Ss before an intensive reading task is a good way to help them wonder and be inquisitive about what is going to come next in the lesson. No matter what their ages are, almost all students like discussing about their daily lives, their daily activities and combining them with what they are learning. And, what's more, when they watch a video before the reading task, they feel more motivated and curios about what they are going to learn as the lesson appeals to their visual senses as well.)
The T divides the students into groups of 4-5 (there should be at least one strong student in each group) and hands out pre-reading questions to each group and ask them to discuss each question in 5 minutes. S/he also selects one group leader among the strong students. After the students have finished discussing, the T asks each group to talk about their answers to the whole class by stating their peers' answers as well. (Rationale: I aim to activate the Ss' schemata here and help them to use their background knowledge before they starting reading the text. (top-down theory) In this way, they will be more engaged in the lesson. I also thought about high-level and low-level students. Through group discussions, low-level students can be active as well. Their strong peers can help them. (Zone of proximal development and differentiated instruction. And, the strong students can be the leader to convey the ideas of their group at the end of the activity.)
After the Ss have watched the video, the T asks them what they have learnt about watching TV. S/he elicits answers from 2-3 students and then hands out the reading text paper to each student. The T asks the Ss to have a look at the first question and read the text in 2-3 minutes and find the best title for it. After the Ss have worked on the text, the T gets the answers and gives feedback and tells the correct option. S/he asks the Ss why they have chosen that option and read the sentences out that helped them find the answers. (Rationale: I chose an authentic text here because it helps the Ss to deal with more original linguistic elements. (task-based learning). And, since the level of the Ss is upper-intermediate, more challenging texts can raise their awareness. Thanks to the skimming strategy, the Ss will not have difficulty doing the next task, which is more challenging. Through oral reading of the sentences, I wanted to increase the Ss participation and help those who are slow at reading skills.
After a short discussion on the Ss' answers for the first question, the T asks them to have a look at the second question and read the paragraphs more carefully, in 8 minutes and put them in correct order. While the Ss are reading the text, the T monitors them and gives feedback if necessary. (Rationale: Instead of providing some comprehension questions here, I included a paragraph ordering exercise here because I can get a better feedback in this way. Comprehension questions would only focus on the messages of a the given text. However, by ordering the paragraphs, the Ss are practicing a reading strategy that they will encounter more frequently in the future. And, I would ask the Ss to read the text silently for 7-8 minutes here because the Ss level and age are suitable for reading without interference and helps.) After the Ss have finished their task, the T shows the answer key on the board or hands out the original sample of the paragraph. The Ss check their answers with their peers. (Rationale: By giving the answers to the Ss on a sheet or on a screen, I think, a teacher can help more than just by telling them orally. If the Ss work on the answer sheets with their peers, this will raise their motivation and they will face no interference. Peer learning is an important factor in classroom settings because through conversational partners the Ss can check their learning more flexible Zone of Proximal Development, L.S. Vygotsky)
After the reading task, the T hands out the vocabulary exercise, which includes an activity on the common phrases in the text. S/he asks them to work in pairs and circle the correct choices according to the text. The Ss work in 2-3 minutes and then the T shows the answers on the smart board or writes them. Ss correct their mistakes if necessary. If the Ss have some difficulty in understand the meanings of the phrases, the T makes simpler sentences with given phrases asks concept check questions. After the vocabulary exercise, the T hands the writing paper to each student and asks them to write a short paragraph in 10 minutes by using the new phrases they have studied. After the Ss have finished writing, the T collects the papers back to give feed back later. (Rationale: I have included a writing task because the Ss can practice on the phrases better through a productive activity. And, in this way, the T can take better feedback.