Marcin Marcin

Writing a book review
Upper-Intermediate level

Description

In this lesson, the learners will practice and write book reviews. Based on the review prepared by the teacher they will have to find the layout of the review (how it is written) and learn some phrases that are useful for writing. Then, they will have to write a review by themselves.

Materials

Abc An example of a book review.
Abc Presentation
Abc Expressions for writing a review.
Abc Jamboard Page

Main Aims

  • To provide process and product writing practice of a book review

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide gist reading practice using a text about books

Procedure

Warmer/Lead-in (3-4 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

T welcomes the learners of this session, shares his screen with them and introduces them to the subject of the lesson. T tells a very brief story about the best book they have read this year. T moves on to the second slide of the presentation and posts two questions on the forum of the class. Questions: What is the best book you have read this year? What was it that made you like it so much? T asks the students to work in Breakout Rooms and gives them one minute to discuss the questions. S work in Breakout Rooms. T elicits the answers and praises the students for their ideas.

Exposure (4-5 minutes) • To provide a model of production expected in coming tasks through reading/listening

T moves on to the next slide of the presentation, where his book review is. T asks the students to read the text quickly before discovering the layout. The review: The best book I have read this year is ‘Never Let Me Go’ by Kazuo Ishiguro, the Booker Prize-winning author. It is a wonderful novel about love, life and growing up. The plot is set in England in the nineties of the previous century. Kathy, Ruth and Tom are students of a boarding school in Hailsham. Trained in arts and literature. Just as the world wants them to be. They live quite pleasant and perfect life until the point when they discover a very sad truth about their lives and reality that awaits them. It is a breathtaking, mysterious and extremely engaging story that will make you doubt everything you have known about life so far. It is easy to read and difficult to forget. I just couldn’t stop reading it. Everyone will be simply delighted with it. Never let me go is a must-read for every human being who wants to discover the sense of life. S read the review individually. They have one to two minutes. T moves on to the next slide and exposes the learners to the following Layout Checking Questions: 1. How many paragraphs does it have? 4. 2. Is it a short or a long text? Short one. T elicits the answers by nominating different students. He makes sure that everyone will be nominated. T moves on to the part with Guided Discovery tasks, where the students have to match different items from the box with the number of a paragraph that the item talks about. They can achieve it by quickly reading the text. S have a minute to finish the task and about 30 seconds to send their answers to their partners (e.g. 1d,2c,3a,4b). Items from the box: a) main characters, time and place of the action (summary); b) who you recommend it to and why (recommendation); c) author, title and the type of book (introduction); d) your comments and thoughts (evaluation). Answers: P1-c; P2-a; P3-d; P4-b.

Useful Language (9-11 minutes) • To highlight and clarify useful language for coming productive tasks

T moves on to the next slide, where the parts from the previous task are listed on the review. T moves to Appropriacy stage of MFPA and asks more questions on the forum of the class. He nominates other students that weren't previously nominated. Questions: 1. Is the language formal, neutral or informal? Neutral. 2. Is the language of a book review always going to be the same? No. 3. Do we use Present Simple or Past Simple when we talk about the plot? Present Simple. T moves on to the slide, where 5 types of books are listed. S have to look at it for a moment and place them into formality table. Items: thriller, English Grammar book, travel guide, novel and 'History of Mexico'. Answers: Neutral: thriller, travel guide, novel. Formal: English Grammar book, 'History of Mexico'. T moves on to similar GD task, where the learners have to decide about the formality dependent on the person or institution they write a review for. Items: friends, academic book magazine, daily newspaper, teen book magazine. Answers: Neutral: friends, daily newspaper, teen book magazine. Formal: academic book magazine. T asks the last question concerning appropriacy here, based on the exercises that have been provided. Students have to choose whether the formality of the book review depends on the number of pages, person or company we write for, the author of the book and their education or the type of the book. Answer: The language and formality we choose to write a book review depend on person or company we write for and the type of the book we are reviewing. T moves on to the Meaning part of the MFPA stage. S have to discover the meaning of the phrases presented in the box based on the CCQs provided. The first example is done for them beforehand. Items from the box: It’s a breathtaking story that will make you cry. It’s a must-read for every human being. The plot is set in England in the nineties. Never Let Me Go was written by Kazuo Ishiguro. I just couldn’t stop reading it! Everyone will be simply delighted with it. The main characters are Kathy and Tommy. It’s a wonderful novel about love and growing up. It is easy to read and difficult to forget. Answers: Paragraph 1: Never Let Me Go was written by Kazuo Ishiguro. Who is the author and what is the title? It is a wonderful novel about love and growing up. What kind of book is it? Paragraph 2: The plot is set in England in the nineties. Where and when is the plot set? The main characters are Kathy and Tommy. Who are the main characters? Paragraph 3: It’s a breathtaking story that will make you cry. What is the story like (general opinion)? It is easy to read and difficult to forget. Was it easy to read? I just couldn’t stop reading it! Was it entertaining? Paragraph 4: Everyone will be simply delighted with it. Who is this book for? It’s a must-read for every human being. Who do I recommend it to? T moves on to the Form stage of MFPA and sends a Google Forms link via chat to another GD task. Here, the learners work on the form of some of the phrases provided in the exercise before. LINK: [https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSehV32eNmLn8pEVtayLnQ01UKKK9KZVOHNqI07SJ3R_jykLcQ/viewform] S have a minute to finish the task. T elicits the answers from the students and fills in the gaps via the Presentation.

Productive Task(s) (19-20 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

T moves on to the slide with the instructions for the task. Task: Write a review of your favourite book. Instructions: Use the language we have learnt during the lesson. You have 18 minutes. The text should have 110-160 words. ICQ: How much time do we have? 18 minutes. T provides the students with the checklist they need to follow to write a book review. T sends two links via chat. The first one is to the Jamboard page with useful the phrases to write a review and a checklist. The second one is to the Google Docs page, where the assignment has to be written. T reminds the students that they can mute their computers for 18 minutes if they need to work in silence. ICQ: Can we mute the sound and the camera during the task? Yes. T asks them to remember to text him via PM if they need some help or clarification. At the same time, he tells them he would monitor their work and would give them comments live on the side of their work. ICQ: Do we send private messages or do we speak out? We send messages. S start to work individually on the task for 18 minutes.

Feedback and Error Correction (8-9 minutes) • To provide feedback on students' production and use of language

T moves on to the last stage of the lesson and asks his students to use the same checklist, they used for their work, and check, in Breakout rooms, if their peers had followed all the steps before. The aim of this task is to double-check their work before the teacher provides OCFB and DEC. T elicits the answers from the students and asks them if anybody had noticed any mistakes. T, for the feedback stage, goes through mistakes that he had noted while monitoring the class earlier. He also uses the mistakes that were caught wrong in the stage above. T praises the students for the language they used for the task.

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