Erick Erick

Practice guided and free writing: an exciting vacation or travel experience
Upper-intermediate level


Students practice their writing skills by producing a story about an exciting vacation or travel experience. They learn to use sequencing expressions such as "as we set out,..." and "by the time we got back,..."


Main Aims

  • Students will have practiced controlled (guided) and free writing to produce a story about an exciting travel or vacation experience they have had.

Subsidiary Aims

  • Students will have learned how to use sequencing expressions such as "as we set out,..." and "the next day,..." to write a story in a sequenced manner.
  • Students will have also learned how to organize a story into sequenced parts (e.g. introduction, beginning, climax, conclusion).


Warmer/Lead-in (2-3 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Students look at a picture of the Grand Canyon in a Google document. T asks them if they have ever gone hiking or mountain climbing. Depending on their answers, T students asks them if they had a difficult or adventurous experience while doing it, or if they have ever had a dangerous life experience in the city (if they have never practiced hiking or climbing), or if they have ever experienced with an extreme sport.

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

Students are given a handout that features the story of a tourist's first visit to the Grand Canyon. SS read the story and identify the text's layout components: introduction, description of the main characters, beginning, an unexpected problem happening, the climax and the conclusion. SS are given the components in disarray in a word box from which they take them and list them in the correct order. SS are given a time limit and work in pairs to do so. Then, clarification on the layout is given briefly in open-class feedback.

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

SS are shown a Google slides presentation featuring the formulaic language for the lesson. Meaning is clarified first. SS are shown a slide with three statements: As we set out, I noticed that the other hikers weren’t dressed like us. By the time we got back, our legs felt like jelly. The next day, after a long breakfast, we were ready for another view of the Canyon. Under the statements are key phrases in callout clouds to convey meaning for the target language in each case. SS are elicited to match each cloud to the corresponding statement. Form is analyzed next. Formulaic language is broken down for the first statement so as to serve as an example. SS are elicited to identify parts of speech in the sequencing expressions and where clauses start in each of the other two sentences. Use of punctuation marks is highlighted. Appropriacy is address last. SS are shown a slide with icons representing formal, informal and neutral language and are asked in what category the language analyzed belongs.

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

SS are asked to look back at their copies of the Google docs handout. They are instructed to complete and arrange in order sentences in the reading text that feature sequencing expressions. The sequencing expressions are presented in a word box. SS use numbers to organize them in the correct order. SS are given a time limit to complete this task and to compare their results in pairs. SS are given directions on how to produce their own story in the last section of the handout. T encourages SS to use the formulaic language analyzed and practiced with before and to use the following layout components for their story: introduction, beginning, climax and conclusion. SS are given a time limit to complete their productions and to read and comment on a classmate's text.

Feedback and Error Correction (5-7 minutes) • To provide feedback on students' production and use of language

T praises SS and points at lesson goals reached and through practice. SS comment on their own stories and those of their classmates. T provides feedback on the lesson's goals and the contents of the stories. T points at good language use and exemplifies on the board. T then addresses language that needs to be corrected or reformulated. T encourages SS to self- and peer-correct.

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