Amy Canter Amy Canter

Upper Intermediate level


In this lesson students will learn how to effectively write a short story and use adjectives and adverbs to make the story come alive. First they will read a model story without descriptive words. Then the students will focus on how important adjectives and adverbs are in story telling by filling in the blanks. They will also briefly look at time expressions to help with writing. Then the students will work with partners and go step by step through the writing process to produce their own short story. Students will then hang their stories around the room, read them, and finally vote on a favorite.


Abc HO 4
Abc HO 5
Abc HO 1
Abc HO 2
Abc HO 3

Main Aims

  • To provide students with practice writing in the context of short stories.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide gist and detailed reading practice in the context of short stories
  • To provide fluency speaking practice
  • To demonstrate and practice effective use of adverbs and adjectives


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

Connect to previous lessons by recalling the Ss have read short stories throughout all 3 lessons. Ask about theme of earlier lessons and elicit from Ss that the previous short stories focused on airplanes We will now look at a short story of another kind - one about a workplace. (show photo for Ss to predict what the short story will be about)

Exposure (8-10 minutes) • To provide a model of production expected in coming tasks through reading/listening

Direct attention to HO1 Instruct Ss to read the story quickly to answer the questions "What was the small mistake?" and "What happened in the end?" Give Ss a time limit Ss will first read individually(2-3 min) and then peer check(1 min) at their table Instruct Ss not to pay attention to the gaps in the story for now. ICQs Are you filling in the gaps or reading? Are you reading quickly or slowly? Pass out HO1 Feedback - ask for volunteer to answer aloud then project answers on board

Useful Language (8-10 minutes) • To highlight and clarify useful language for coming productive tasks

Project HO 1 and ask Ss what could go in blank 6 Elicit answers and give examples (polka dot, striped, dark, light, beautiful, ugly, new, old) if needed Ask what kinds of words these are (adjectives) and how they change the story Project word list and instruct Ss to now do ex. b on HO1 with their partner(2-3 min), then peer check with group(1 min) Have Ss volunteer to write in answers on the board -- Switch seats-- When telling a story it is also useful to use time expressions to order events Attention to HO2. Instruct Ss to work with a partner to fill in the blanks. ICQ - are you working alone or with a partner? -Will you unfold the paper? (no) Give time limit of 1-2 min. Unfold for answer key and project on board

Productive Task(s) (18-20 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

--- Possibly switch seats again----- Tell Ss they are now going to write their own short story with a partner and we will go through the stages together. Let Ss know this will be part of a competition to judge who has the most interesting/exciting story in class to help motivate. Handout HO3, this will give Ss the first sentence of their story Ss have 5 minutes to discuss the plot and outline with partner. They should write about 50 words or 5-8 sentences for this task - Project example Pass out HO4 to each pair for writing Next instruct Ss to think about how they can improve their story with adverbs and adjectives and to edit their story accordingly Remind Ss to think about what tenses they need e.g. how to set the scene, what significant events happened, etc. Recall and project "telling an anecdote" from lesson 3 and 4 narrative tenses from lesson 2. Finally tell Ss they will now write the final draft of their short story. Time limit of 5 min. 120-180 words. Pass out HO5 for writing. ***Number these groups to easily talk about stories easier later, have them put the number at the top of HO 5

Feedback and Error Correction (8-10 minutes) • To provide feedback on students' production and use of language

Ss will hang their stories around the classroom so they can all read each others stories. Ask Ss to note the best adjectives and adverbs and which story is their favorite and why. Ask for feedback from a few Ss about which stories they enjoyed most. Poll class to choose a favorite ** If time write errors from writing on board and do delayed error correction.

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