Michael Paduano Michael Paduano

Teaching Practice 4b
Upper Intermediate level


In this lesson, students learn about reflexive verbs through guided discovery based on a reading text about human genes. The clarification stage will give students practice scan reading; they will develop their vocabulary; and they will practice speaking for fluency in the final planned activity. The lesson starts with miming: students identify a number of actions that can be expressed using reflexive verbs. This is followed by a guided discovery clarification stage, where students answer a number of questions to learn more about reflexive verbs. Next, students complete a vocabulary matching exercise to prepare them for the lexis in the following gap-fill activity. Finally, students complete a discussion activity, first in pairs and then as a WC. If there is time there is another handout in which students are asked to determine where reflexive verbs are needed in a short reading text.


Abc Vocabulary/Gap-Fill HO
Abc Whiteboard
Abc Reflexive Verb Guided Discovery HO
Abc Inserting Reflexive Verbs HO
Abc Reading Text HO

Main Aims

  • To provide clarification of reflexive verbs in the context of a reading text about human genes.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To give students practice developing scanning reading skills. To develop students' vocabulary using words they will encounter in the exercises. To provide students with practice speaking for fluency (using the target language) in the context of a pair/class discussion.


Warmer/Lead-In (3-4 minutes) • To develop the evening's lesson context and engage students/activate schemata.

I begin by miming a number of different activities that can be expressed using reflexive verbs (eg. washing myself, drying myself, introducing myself, burning myself). I elicit the idea that what all these things have in common is that they are things I do to myself. I will avoid introducing the term 'reflexive verbs' at this point, since I want students to approach it on their own via the guided discovery clarification stage.

Guided Discovery Clarification (12-14 minutes) • To clarify the concept of reflexive verbs and make students comfortable identifying them. To give students practice scan reading.

I tell the students that in a moment I will give them a HO and that in pairs they are to complete it. The last question on the HO refers students to the reading text from the earlier lesson. By this time students reach this question they will have discovered that the language we used to describe the actions I mimed in the lead-in activity involved reflexive verbs. They will know what reflexive verbs are, how they are constructed grammatically, and when we should use them. Students will now continue working in pairs to identify all of the reflexive verbs in the reading text. Throughout these exercises I will monitor closely and help students wherever they experience difficulties. I may also interrupt them before they complete the last question to take WC FB on the rest of the HO. Otherwise, we will take WC FB once they have completed everything. During FB, I will model the grammatical structure of reflexive verbs on the WB with a few examples. After FB I refer students to the other side of the HO where I have summarized reflexive verbs and include a list of the reflexive pronouns.

WB Activity - Reflexive/Non-Reflexive Verbs (5-6 minutes) • To help students understand the difference between reflexive and non-reflexive verbs

I write a number of verbs of the WB, some of which can be reflexive, some which cannot be reflexive (non-reflexive: grow, operate, feel, concentrate; reflexive: cut, hurt, teach, enjoy, convince). Students take a minute to discuss in pairs which verbs are reflexive and which are non-reflexive. As a WC we organize these verbs under two columns: reflexive and non-reflexive.

Vocabulary/Reflexive Verb Gap-Fill Activity (12-13 minutes) • To prepare students for the lexis in the immediately following exercise text, to build their vocabulary, and to give them practice using reflexive verbs.

I tell students that in a moment I will give them a HO and that in pairs they are to match the words with their correct definitions. Then the students pair up and complete the activity. While the students are working, I write all of the vocabulary on the WB, in order to better deal with any difficulties students may have with particular words. During WC FB, I will indicate stress, drill, and ask CCQs if necessary (for example, CCQs might be appropriate for words like 'deceive', 'adapt', and 'content'). Next, I ask students to turn over their handouts and to complete the gap-fill exercise on the back, using the verbs we just learned as reflexive verbs. This is also done in pairs. After the students have finished, we take WC FB and I use CCQs to check that students have understood that a reflexive verb is used when its subject and object are the same.

Discussion Activity (6-7 minutes) • To give students practice in speaking for fluency using the target language wherever possible.

I will ask the students to work in new pairs and discuss whether they agree with the sentences in the previous activity. Then we will continue the discussion as a WC.

Extra Activity (5-6 minutes) • To give students practice identifying where in a text reflexive verbs are needed

If there is time left at the end of the lesson, I will tell students that I am going to give them another HO. In the same pairs they are to insert the reflexive verb 'themselves' wherever it is necessary in the HO reading text.

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