Cody Valdes Cody Valdes

TP6a -- Countables vs Uncountables re: Foods
Elementary level


In this lesson, students raise their awareness of countable versus uncountable nouns in the food genre, learn and use their different forms (a/an vs. some vs. any), and practice speaking with them in the context of 'miracle diets'. The lesson follows a Presentation, Practice, Production structure. First the Ss raise their awareness of the problem of countables vs. uncountables and do a controlled exercise to consolidate their understanding of what food stuffs belong to which of these categories. Then they are progressively introduced to the rules of grammatical structure related to these noun types through presentation and guided discovery, leading to a controlled and freer speaking exercise in which they practice speaking with correct grammatical form in the context of giving advice for a 'miracle diet' of their making.


Abc M0 - Food Pictures
Abc M1 - Controlled Exercises
Abc M2 - HO (Un)countables
Abc M3 - Role Plays
Abc M4 - Uncountable Conversions

Main Aims

  • To provide clarification and practice of countable and uncountable nouns in the context of foods as part of a 'miracle diet.'

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide accuracy and fluency speaking practice in a role-play in the context of giving and receiving advice for a diet.


Lead-in/Highlighting + Clarification (5-6 minutes) • To draw students' attention to the target language

Have Ss count countable foods. Elicit other words for the given # to check that ss are capable using "a/an" and "some" for pluralized nouns, e.g. "some bananas" or "an egg". Have Ss count uncountable foods, arriving at the problem: we can't. Use WB to distinguish between Countable and Uncountable nouns, eliciting/providing the criteria. W/C have Ss decide whether food items from previous lesson are countable or uncountable. Model and drill.

Controlled Practice (10-12 minutes) • To concept check singular/plural and countable/uncountable determiners, and prepare students for more meaningful practice

Give Ss worksheet and have them do first two sections (1-9). Have pair check, then compare answers with answer key. Monitor for endemic problems to give needed clarification. Model and Drill key phrases. On WB, elicit/provide rule for negative (any vs. some). Have Ss do third section, pair check, then compare with answer key. Give clarification as needed.

Semi-Controlled Practice (7-8 minutes) • To concept check further and prepare students for free practice

Have Ss do semi-controlled sentence-completion HO to consolidate understanding of usage of determiners with C's vs UC's, working in pairs. Monitor for endemic errors, but elicit/confirm rules regardless. Refer Ss to back of page, a take-home HO, to draw attention to rules. Connect Rules 1 + 2 with WB discovery work.

Speaking - Role Play (12-14 minutes) • To provide students with free speaking practice of the target language for fluency and accuracy

To prepare Ss for speaking activity, convert prompts on WB preceding nouns to imperatives and questions, e.g. "Eat:", "Don't eat:", "You can't eat:", "You can eat:", and "Can I eat?". Explain role-play - Ss will design a 'miracle diet' as nutritionist and try to go on a diet as dieter. Give time to design miracle diet on HO, then give time to read their dieter roles. Pair Ss and have them alternate roles, about 3 mins per role (6 mins per pair). Take W/C FB on whether the proposed miracle diet was a good fit for the dieter. Rotate pairs. If too few students, give new roles: get Obama/Putin into shape, prescribe healthy diet for a pregnant woman, etc. Monitor for grammar use for delayed EC, helping formulate on the spot as appropriate. After exercise, solicit FB on content and do delayed EC.

Further clarification/practice (if time permits) (8-10 minutes) • To clarify additional rule of the target language and consolidate understanding of usage

If time permits, elicit/provide rule re: uncountables and singular verb conjugation and have Ss do final section of worksheet to consolidate rule in a controlled-practice exercise. Have Ss peer-check and refer to answer key. If more time permits, do Workbook Ex. 4 by reading dialogue and humming gaps, having W/C provide missing word (any, some, a/an). Give Ss M4 - uncountable conversions.

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