Matthew Haynes Matthew Haynes

Straightforward Elementary - Reading Lesson
Elementary level


In this lesson students will initially discuss some questions that ultimately lead to the reading topic of the lesson. The context of the reading is family with an emphasis on different vocabulary words to prepare the students for the followup lesson on grammar.


Main Aims

  • To give Ss practice in reading for gist, specific infornation and detail in the context of adults living at home

Subsidiary Aims

  • Speaking / Present Simple / Review family vocab


Warmer/Lead-in (3-5 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Draw a Family Tree on the board. Put your name on it. Then write the names of four or five family members next to it in a list. Tell the students about your family (Mark is my father. He is very nice and lives in Arizona). At the end, tell the students to copy and complete the family tree. They can ask you any questions to help them. All the preceeding text in this lead-in was taken from and the copyright is held by: Scrivener, J., Sayer, M. et al (2012) Straightforward Elementary TsBk 2nd Ed. Macmillan Make sure to include the ages of some family members to help the segue into the next stage.

Pre-Reading/Feedback (10-12 minutes) • To prepare students for the text and make it accessible

1. This is a simple discussion starter that needs almost no introduction and very little instruction to complete. The point if this activity is not to look for particular answers but to create building blocks to the next stage. Instead of side-by-side pair work this is a good opportunity to have students work with someone new and broaden their social awareness of other classmates. Write the questions on the board. The left side of the room (will vary depending upon seating) will be #1 and the right side will be #2. Have all the students stand and instruct the #1s to approach the #2s and ask them the questions on the board. Give them about 1 minute. This is not a difficult activity. Have them swap roles for another minute or so. Have the students return to their original seats. No followup or feedback. This entire activity could take as little as 5 minutes or as much as 10 depending on how well the students understood the instruction to get out of their seats and approach their classmates. 2. (Speaking 1) "Chest" the Speaking 1 handout in the center of the classroom and read the questions. Tell the students they will work with the person sitting next to them. They will discuss the questions together and write their answers on the handout. Tell the students they will have about 3 minutes to complete this activity. Monitor from a distance - DO NOT HOVER! Allow them to debate and disagree over what the answer should be without the teacher offering their own cultural perspective. Feedback - elicit some answers from the group and write them on the board. Do not offer right/wrong feedback. Simply seek confirmation that they have understood the questions and have answered them. Right or wrong is subjective here. Spend about 1-2 minutes tops on this.

While-Reading/Listening #1 (10-12 minutes) • To provide students with less challenging gist and specific information reading/listening tasks

"Chest" the Andy Castle text handout and tell the class they will be reading and learning about a man named Andy Castle. Tell the students, "Let's read the text and see if there is a problem." Have the them read the first column and stop - Ask "What is the problem?" Elicit answers from the whole class. Ask "Is it a problem for his mother?" Have them read the second column - Ask "Is it a problem for his father?" Elicit answers from the whole class. Have them read the third column - Ask "Is it a problem for Andy?" Elicit answers from the whole class. There should be no need for feedback as the story is self explanatory and provides the answers easily. Acknowledge correctly answered questions and move on quickly.

While-Reading/Listening #2 (14-16 minutes) • To provide students with more challenging detailed, deduction and inference reading/listening tasks

Have the students read the entire article again. Make sure to state, "Read the whole text." You can do this while "chesting" the text. Tell the students that after they have read the text they will underline the correct answer in the sentences on the back of the handout. Complete number 1 on the handout as a demonstration if needed, but do not spend overmuch time explaining this activity. Keep moving.

Post-Reading/Listening (8-10 minutes) • To provide with an opportunity to respond to the text and expand on what they've learned

Divide the students into pairs or groups (if more than 2 ss per group there is a possibility of dominance within the group by stronger personalities). Have the students discuss why Andy lives at home and what they think about it (opinion). Elicit a few opinions. Try to find opposing opinions.

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