Annette Frost Annette Frost

Greetings from Crete!: Intro to Writing Postcards
B1 level


In this lesson, students will focus on writing skills through writing a postcard. The writing task is product writing based on a model postcard. The lesson will also include some brief reading and speaking tasks.


Main Aims

  • To provide product writing practice of a postcard in the context of travel/taking a vacation.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide gist reading practice using a postcard in the context of vacation.


Warmer/Lead-in (2-4 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Have projector on, with postcard ready to pull up. Have vocab answer key ready to put up after it. "My sister is on a trip right now in Greece. She is on the island of Crete. I"m super jealous because it looks so beautiful, and I could really use a vacation. Raise your hand if you like vacation. Okay, take one piece of paper from the middle of the table and write on it a place you would to go for a holiday, and your name. (don't forget to write your name). Collect Paper. Would you like to see the postcard my sister sent me?

Exposure/Prep Part 1 (3-5 minutes) • To provide a model of production expected in coming tasks through reading/listening

Write on the board: Is she having a good/bad time? Is she working/relaxing? Take 1 minute to read the postcard and answer these two questions. Project Postcard. Elicit answers: good - why? relaxing - why? [At 10:37, move on!]

Exposure/Prep Part 2 (6-8 minutes) • To expose students to common/uncommon content in the written product

Put the class into groups of 4 according to where they are sitting. Hold up HO. On this side are items that you and your group should decide if it makes sense to include them in a postcard. For EACH ITEM decide if it is ALWAYS, SOMETIMES, or NEVER. When you've finished (3 min), discuss and come up with answers for the 3 questions at the bottom of the HO. ICQ: Will you work alone? (no, in groups) ICQ: What will you write in these boxes? (Always, Sometimes, Never) Answer-Key + WC FB (3 Q WC Review: ) Q: Why won't you write a description of your home? [elicit from ss] (postcards are usually sent when traveling so it makes sense to describe the destination and not where you normally live) Q: Why wouldn't you write a secret on a postcard? [elicit from ss] (because everyone can see it) Q: Is a postcard formal or informal? [elicit from ss] (informal; if you wanted to write something formal, you wouldn't choose a postcard. there are not many times when you want to briefly describe the vacation you are on to someone very formally) **[If it is after 10:43, skip the underlining]** UNDERLINE one sentence at a time on the projected post card: Which category is this? (Greeting, comment to recipient, description of place, description of activity you've done recently, description of food, description of activity you plan to do, comment to recipient, ending)

Useful Language (4-6 minutes) • To highlight and clarify useful language for coming productive tasks

(If it is after 10:45, skip this step and go straight to Writing a postcard) Hold up vocab matching sheet. Instructions: Quick vocab review. Match the adjective to the correct definition. Work alone. When you finish, check with your group. Take 2 minutes, and then check with your group. (After 3 min) Project Answer Key: Review: Relaxing [elicit model sentence from ss] (Lying on the beach is very relaxing because I have no obligations!), Fun [elicit model sentence from ss] (everything is fun when I don't have to work!), (maybe also Freezing [elicit model sentence from ss] - vacations can be in cold places!)

Productive Task(s) (10-14 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Now everyone is going to write a postcard. Hold up blank postcard HO. You are going to write a postcard from an amazing vacation you're about to go on in about 30 seconds. (hold up little papers) You are going to receive a piece of paper with a name and a place. Who will you write to? (point) (name on paper) Where will you write from (point) (place on paper) *Will you include all the same sentences my sister wrote to me? (no) Will you only use adjectives from the vocab sheet? (no) Will you write a postcard about your bank info, tax id, and a sad childhood story? (no) *Will you write about a vacation in the place on your card? (yes) *Will you write a postcard as a group? (no! alone) You will have 7 minutes to write. Have a great trip! Monitor. Write errors/take notes. Guide early finishers to self-correction.

Speaking and Peer Feedback (5-8 minutes) • To provide peer feedback on written products and reading practice

Attention: We are going to have a race to see who can deliver their postcard and get back to their seat the fastest. Look around the room and find who your postcard belongs to. Anyone who doesn't know the recipient of their postcard? (yes, raise hand, find person). Okay - Go! Now, take the postcard you have received and read it to decide whether or not the person who wrote it to you took a similar trip to the trip you would have taken. In pairs, tell your partner about the postcard you received. Don't read it to them, just tell them about it. Decide: who's postcard writer went on a better vacation?

Feedback and Error Correction (5-8 minutes) • To provide feedback on students' production and use of language

While students are delivering their postcards, write 4-5 incorrect sentences on the board you noticed while monitoring. If no monitoring errors (but there will likely be some), use examples. Possible errors: [I am having a great time last week on my trip] (the trip is still going - no last week) [The weather is nice] (not very descriptive, why write a postcard about it?) [I miss you were on this trip] (confuse wish and miss) [Sincerely, xxxx] (too formal for a postcard) Elicit from Ss - Is this good or bad? Bad? Yeah, why is it bad? Yes, and why is that part/word/content wrong? *((If time, have the students turn to their partners and tell them about a recent trip they went on))* Great job! Have a great next vacation!

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