Todd Johns Todd Johns

Pre-Intermediate level


In this lesson, students will learn vocabulary relating to illness and doctor's office. After setting the context, a quick review of body parts will help them diagnose problems/illnesses. Students will learn "ache" and how we use it with body parts. Next, they will match the new illness vocabulary with a picture to test their understanding. Once we have established their problems, medicine/treatment vocabulary will be introduced and tested with their diagnoses. Finally, students will have semi-controlled practice using the new vocabulary with a speaking exercise.


Abc Vocabulary Cards
Abc Waiting Room Picture
Abc Diagnosing Chart
Abc Prescription Picture
Abc Pills Picture
Abc Discussion Questions

Main Aims

  • To provide vocabulary practice of body and health in the context of a doctor's office.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide fluency speaking practice in a semi-controlled conversation about personal illnesses.


Lead in (5-7 minutes) • To gauge students' knowledge of illness vocabulary and to introduce the context

Walk up to the board pretending to be ill (hold stomach and head, sneeze, cough) Pull up a chair and tell the class you are not feeling well. Try eliciting "head hurts," "stomach ache," etc. and what you should do about it. Allow the students to speak freely about whats wrong and possible advice. After a few minutes tell the class you went to the doctor earlier and they gave you a pill. Take the pill and immediately feel better Next, draw two stick figures sitting at a table on the WB. Put a stethoscope around one's neck. Ask who he is. Doctor Point to the other figure and ask who he is: Patient (point at yourself if they need help)

Body Vocabulary Review (1-2 minutes) • Review body parts so students can diagnose patients.

Quickly, do a review of body parts by point to: ear, nose, back, stomach, head, mouth, neck, eye, throat, chest write them on the board as they get them.

Matching Body Vocabulary (2-3 minutes)

Give handouts to students: "Work alone" "Match the words in the word bank to the picture" "You have 2 minutes" ICQs: Work together or alone? Alone Are we matching words? Yes How long do you have? 2 minutes After time is up check with a partner. Write numbers 1-10 on the board. Early finishers can write their answers "Can you think of the names for any other body parts?" (point to your foot) Check with class to see if correct

Introduce "Ache" (2-3 minutes) • Introduce students to the term "ache" and clarify its usage and collocations.

(Leave the answers to the previous exercise on the board) Point to your arm, rub it, and say it hurts. Elicit "ache" from the class. CCQs: Is ache a strong pain? No Does it last a long time? Yes Write "+ ache" beside the body vocab answers. Point to the last one (back) and to ache and elicit "back ache" and agree Go through vocab. Note: eye, mouth, chest, throat, nose. do not match with "ache" Point out "throat" and write "Sore" ="Sore throat" Extra: Heartache- Love Would you go to the doctor for a heart ache? No

New Vocabulary (11-13 minutes) • Introduce new vocabulary

Elicit the following and put the word on the board as they guess Headache: (mime) Stomach ache: (mime) Cough: (mime) Cold: (mime) cough, shiver Pain/Hurts: (mime) Note: pain is a noun, hurts is an adjective (CCQs My neck pains? No, My neck hurts. I have a hurts in my foot? No, I have a pain in my foot) Hangover: (Story) The other night I went out with some friends and we drank waaaaay too much. The next morning I woke up with a terrible headache and stomach ache. Temperature: (mime and story) My roommate was really sick yesterday. Her forehead was reeeally hot. Note: point out fever. Flu: (story) Every winter I catch a virus. I sneeze, cough, have a high temperature/fever, my body aches and can't go to work. Drill words Review pronunciation and stress

Testing New Vocabulary (7-8 minutes) • To test the student's understanding of the new vocabulary

Split into pairs "We are going to be the doctor. With this chart, write what you think Davina, Mike, Stuart, and Mary may have." Do NOT write anything. Just speaking. ICQs: Are we working together? Yes. Are we going to write down the answers? No Write: Davina, Mike, Stuart, and Mary on the board. When finished, have students come and write symptoms/diagnosis under their names. See if they class agrees.

Introduce Medicine Vocabulary (6-7 minutes) • To introduce students to medicine vocabulary and understanding what it treats.

Now we know what is wrong with Davina, Mike, Stuart, and Mary. Before coming to the doctor they had to call and ask when to come. What do we call that? Appointment What does the doctor do after this? (Hold up prescription picture if needed) -Put "Prescription" card on the board What do doctors write prescriptions for? Work with a partner and talk about what doctors write prescriptions for. Antibiotics Point to New Vocab, can antibiotics work for any of these? No. For bacterial infections. If you get a cut on your hand and it becomes red and hurts? Yes Sometimes we don't really need to go to the doctor. If we just have a headache, what can we take? Painkillers: Aspirin, paracetamol CCQ: Can we use these for a back ache? Yes Can we use these for a cough? No Sometimes the doctor can't help so he has to send you to someone else. This person is an expert. They see patients with only a specific problem. Specialist CCQ: Can you name some specialists? Drill the new vocabulary Practice pronunciation and stress

Testing Medicine Vocabulary (2-3 minutes) • To test students' understanding of the medicine vocabulary and how it applies to patients

With a partner write down which person needs these (medicine vocab) You have 2 minutes Have students match the vocab cards under the patients' names.

Discussion (6-7 minutes) • To practice speaking about doctor's visits using the terminology learned.

Work in pairs and ask each other these questions. Do NOT write them down. ICQs: Are we working in pairs? Yes. Are you going to write? No Give handout.

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