Annette Frost Annette Frost

Crime Vocab Lesson
B1 level


In this lesson students will learn about crime vocabulary through the context of brief news articles. They will be introduced to the vocabulary via a text-based discovery followed by an exercise where they will try to understand the definition from context. After a clarification process, the students will practice the new vocabulary in a brief semi-controlled writing exercise which will be peer-checked.


Main Aims

  • To provide clarification and practice of crime words in the context of newspaper articles

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide product writing practice of a news article in the context of crime
  • To provide inference reading practice using a text about crime words in the context of newspaper articles


Lead-in/Context Building (4-5 minutes) • Generate interest in the newspaper theme/pre-teaching lexis

Draw a sample newspaper on the board: CCQs: What is this called? (newspaper) What are these called? (articles) What are these? (headlines) Are headlines written in complete sentences? (no) Are they made up of key words? (yes) Focus in on the "Missing ESL Teacher" headline and elicit that they are missing from a possible 'kidnapping'. Clarify this word. Say today we are focusing on crime words in the news.

Reading Task (9-14 minutes) • To practice reading for gist, and to contextualize and introduce the TL

Group the class into groups of 4 with a "1,2,3,4" count-off. Instructions: show handout, point to articles with their numbers and point to headlines with their letters. Match each headline to the appropriate article [the one that makes the most sense to you]. I will give you 4 minutes to read and match (alone) and 1 minute to check (in your groups). Write the letter next to the number of the article. ICQ: Are you writing anything? (yes, the letter beside the number) ICQ: How much time do you have to match these? (4 min) After the 4 min. Stop and have one person from each group write the correct letter next to the (prewritten) numbers on the board. Error-Check/Clarify Ask: Which stories did you like the best? Why? Discuss and CCQ questions that arose during exercise and were clarified during discussion. i.e. Did Frank Gort get a better sentence from the "understanding" judge? (no, he got an extra year).

Highlighting Language and Initial Practice (5-11 minutes) • To get the students to infer the meaning of the highlighted vocab through context

Segue from discussion on articles to say that some of these words are new. Hold up the reading and point to the underlined words. The meaning of the articles and of the words around these words can help you decipher what these words mean. Hold up HO. Work with your groups to try to use the reading to help you fill in the words in the appropriate space. Take 4 minutes to complete this task in your group. Monitor closely and write down errors in meaning/pronunciation/form as you hear them. Have two students from each group come and write the correct words on the board. Error Check and CCQ for meaning/form based on monitoring notes. [What is the difference between police officers and traffic police? Where does a judge work? Is being called a fugitive a good thing or a band thing? Is it good to be on the 'wanted' list?] Drill for needed pronunciation.

Semi-Controlled Practice (10-20 minutes) • To get the students to practice the new vocabulary in a semi-controlled writing exercise

Put a visual on the board that shows someone getting her bag stolen, the police noticing, and the police arresting the person. Elicit any new vocab (purse, etc.). Ask the students to work alone and to write a brief news story using some of the vocab we just learned. If time, have every student put his or her writing sample on the board and walk around like a gallery. If there isn't time; have students peer check with their partners and vote on which article better described the visual. WC Feedback clarifying any outstanding/persistent errors. Positive feedback for lesson. END

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