Teaching Practice 7b
To provide clarification and practice of 'was/were' in the past simple tense in the context of holidays and weather
To provide clarification and practice of weather-related vocabulary. To give practice speaking in a semi-controlled environment. If there is time, to provide specific information listening practice using a text about a holiday in Canada.
Procedure (45-56 minutes)
I place a number of photographs of things typically Canadian on the WB (CN Tower, hockey, moose, Leonard Cohen, Jim Carrey). I ask students if they can identify any of the photographs. Once we have looked at all the photographs, I ask students, "which country are all of these from?" I ask students, "who has visited Canada on a holiday?" "Who would like to visit Canada on a holiday?
I ask students, "if you want to take a holiday in Canada, what do you need to know before you go?", "what would you want to know about Canada before you go?", trying to elicit the idea of weather. When the idea has been stated, I tell students that in a moment I'm going to give them a HO (explain instructions before giving out the HO). The HO contains several pictures corresponding to names of different types of weather. I hold a copy of the HO for students to see. "These are different kinds of weather. I want you to match the names on this list to the pictures". I demo one example. While students are working I take down the photos from the warmer activity and put up copies of the photos that students have on their HO. When they are done, we will take WC FB and I will write the vocabulary under the appropriate photos. I will indicate stress and drill, cycling back to words that cause students difficulty. Next, I ask students, "how do we ask someone about the weather?" On the WB I write: "What's the weather like?" Below I write "It's rainy and cold. It's sunny and warm" to show how we ask and and talk about weather. "We use the word 'it' to talk about the weather." I model the language with a few example. I ask students a few CCQs to check that they have understood: "What's the weather like today?" "What's the weather usually like in the summer?" "What's the weather usually like in the spring?"
I tell students, "Now let's look at what the weather's like in Canada." I tell students that in a moment I'm going to give them a HO. "Here is the weather in four different cities in Canada. I want you to read these questions and write down the cities they are talking about". I monitor as students complete the gap-fill activity. I also write the four sentences for the following activity on the WB. When they are done we take quick WC FB. I ask students a few questions: "What's the weather like in Montreal?" "What's the weather like in Toronto?", making sure that they answer using 'it's'. Next, I ask students to look at the four sentences on the WB. I ask them to help me think of a country or a city for each of the sentences. I direct students to look at the same sentences on their HOs. "In your groups I want you to think of one more place for each of these kinds of weather." ICQ: "how many places are you going to think of for each one?" After a few minutes we take WC FB.
I will clarify the concept of past simple was/were wasn't/weren't in accordance with the methodology guidelines for using grammar boxes on p. xiii of the Straightforward Elementary Teacher's Book. On the WB I write the information from the Grammar Box (p.55), keeping the same layout as the book. I leave gaps in key places (our holiday ____ lovely; we ____ in Canada; I ____ very happy; The shops ____ open). "When we talk about things that have already happened, we use the past tense". I ask students to help me fill in the missing information.
I tell students that in a moment I'm going to give them a HO. "There are 6 sentences here. You need to decide if was/were or wasn't/weren't is correct for each sentences. You can work with a partner". I demo the first example and monitor as students complete the activity. When students are done we take WC FB. The top of the HO also contains the grammar box from the clarification stage for students to refer to.
I direct students' attention to the following activity on the HO. "Each sentence has one mistake in it. With a partner I want you to cross out the mistake and write the correct word instead". ICQ: "How many mistakes are in each sentence?" I demo the first example. Once students have completed the activity, we take WC FB.
I tell students that in a moment I'm going to give them another HO. "Now we're going to see how we make questions with was and were" "All of these sentences need was or were to make them questions. With your groups I want you to decide if these sentences need was or were. Write the questions under the sentences". I demo the first example. While students are working I write the 8 questions on the WB, leaving a blank space where I want students to fill in the correct answer during FB. If there is time, I will ask one student from each group to fill in the blank space on the WB. If not, we will fill in the blank spaces as a WC during FB. Next, I tell students to look at the next activity on their HO. "Each of these sentences is an answer to one of these questions. In your groups I want you to match the questions with their answers". I demo the first example. After students have completed the activity, we take WC FB.
I divide the class into pairs by giving each student a number. After checking that students know who their partners are, I ask students to go and sit with their partners. I ask students, "who has taken a holiday?" "I want you to ask your partner about a holiday they've taken. You're going to ask them the questions that we've just made" [motion to WB]. I demo the dialogue with one of the teachers. "After you've asked your partner all these question, they are going to ask YOU the same questions." After the class has had a chance to speak to each other, we take brief WC FB. I ask students, "which places have your partners gone to for holidays?"
I give students a HO and tell them that "we're going to listen to Lara and Tom talk about their holiday in Canada. I want you to put a tick beside the words that you hear". I play the recording twice and we take WC FB.