Ahmet Cihat Yavuz Ahmet Cihat Yavuz

Mars: The Red Planet
A2 level


In this lesson students will brainstorm and learn about some facts about Mars. They will listen to an interview with a Mars expert who talks about the specifics of the planet and makes predictions about the future developments in space programs. Students-in groups- will also create a list of eight things that will represent and reflect Earth's culture best for a competition administered by NASA.


Main Aims

  • To practice listening for specific and detailed information in the context of an interview with a Mars expert and speaking in the context of a competition announcement by World Space Programme

Subsidiary Aims

  • To practice reading for gist in the context of a space competition


Lead-in (7-9 minutes) • To set the context and arouse interest

Lay down the pictures of nine planets and the sun on the floor, and collect attention to there. After eliciting the words "planet" and "solar system" group ss to put the planets in order of distance from the sun in one minute. Check the results by asking each group "Which planet is the nearest to the sun in your solar system?", then go on with "the second nearest" "third nearest" and "fourth nearest,"and stop after hearing "Mars". Ss get back to their seats to brainstorm in pairs about what they know about Mars for one minute. Take WC FB and write sts' reflections on WB

Pre-Listening (2-3 minutes) • To set a purpose for listening

Hand out the HO-1. Sts do the quiz about Mars in pairs. Monitor them from far

Listening (3-4 minutes) • To practice listening for specific information

Pairs listen to the interview with a Mars expert and check their answers to the quiz. WC FB is given and previous points about Mars on the WB are reflected on

Pre-listening (2-3 minutes) • To give a purpose for listening practice

Sts read five sentences that are extracted from the listening text and guess whether they are true or false

Listening (2-3 minutes) • To practice listening for detailed information

Sts listen to the interview again and check if their answers are correct or not. They do peer checking at the end. Monitor them closely in this process

Freer Speaking Practice (Optional) (10-12 minutes) • To practice speaking for fluency

Draw attention to the discussion topic:"Do you think it's a good idea to spend money on a space programme? Remind/Inform them about some space programs some countries have such as The USA, Russia, Pakistan and Japan and initiate the discussion in groups. Give them a big size paper divided into two parts: YES or NO so that they jot down the reasons under YES or NO. Groups share and justify their ideas before the class.

Reading (3-4 minutes) • To practice reading for gist in the context of a competition announcement

Elicit NASA and brainstorm about its function before handing out the HO-2. Elicit "alien" and show a photo. Explain the competition announcement to the ss. Ask the gist question "What is going to be on the spaceship?", and make them skim the announcement for a minute.

Semi-controlled speaking practice (10-12 minutes) • To develop speaking for fluency and debating skills

Group ss. Write agreeing, disagreeing and asking for opinions vocabulary on the WB to provide ss with the language that can be helpful in their discussion Hand out flip chart paper to the groups. Get them to discuss and make a list of the best eight things that will be sent to faraway planets. Monitor and help them with any new vocabulary Groups nominate one person to share their eight things by highlighting the reason of why they've chosen those things. Other members of the group are free to contribute to the nominated person

Controlled Practice (Board Rush) (8-10 minutes) • To consolidate the vocabulary from the listening text

Stick 15 words from the listening text on the board. Group ss into 2 teams and explain the game. When you start playing the recording, one player from each group competes to grab the word as soon as they hear it. When one of the player grabs a word, stop the recording and call for new players. The group with the most words wins

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