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What's in a name?
Pre-intermediate level


In this lesson, students will learn lexis for describing people via name-recognition and memorization exercises. The lesson begins with a memory game involving a selection of household objects. Then students will read about several techniques for remembering peoples’ names before breaking into pairs to discuss which techniques they use. Then students will learn the difference between using adjectives and noun phrases to describe people. Finally, students will complete writing exercises to describe people in the book and their classmates.


Abc Pp 6 and 7 of Inside Out.

Main Aims

  • To review and practice lexis related to describing people.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To give students practice in reading for detail.


Warm-up (1-5 minutes) • To introduce the subject of remembering things and to engage the class.

Begin with "has anyone seen my glasses" teaser. Pretend to have lost them. "I have such a bad memory." Begin game. Allow sts to see collection of household items for about 30 seconds; ask them to memorize as many as possible. Then cover items, and ask them to write down what they saw. Finally, check to see who can remember the most objects. ICQ: Can we help each other? Nooo!

Transition - remembering things to remembering people (5-10 minutes) • To introduce the main context of remembering names

Transition to remembering names. Leading question: What are some hard things to remember? Elicit the difficulty, importance of remembering names. Are you good at remembering names? Let's test you! Study the names and faces on P. 6 for 30 seconds. Then flip to page 124 to see if you can remember who has what name! ICQ: Can you look back? NOOO! How did you do remember some names?

Reading - techniques for memorizing names (10-23 minutes) • To introduce techniques for memorizing names

P. 6 ex. 1. Begin by helping sts with names of memorization techniques. Have a student read each. Explain "visualize it" and "make associations" in greater detail CCQ: What is "it?" What are we remembering? A name. Then have students read the descriptions and match each description with the technique name. ICQ: What will you write in the line beside 1,2,3 etc.? A number? No a letter. Give students a few minutes to work, then review as a class. For techniques which students struggle with, enact introductions w/sts to illustrate methods.

Discussion - How do students remember names? (23-31 minutes) • To get students talking about how THEY remember names

P. 6 Ex. 2. In pairs, sts discuss which techniques they use to remember names. Share ideas with class. In pairs, discuss how these methods can help you remember English words. Do you have other ways to remember English words? How about words that sound like what the mean. Ex. Whisper, hot. ICQ: What will you discuss? Techniques for remembering objects? No - names.

Lexis - Describing People (31-45 minutes) • To help students describe people using "looks" and "looks like."

P. 7 Ex. 1. T-S: Write sentence fragments ("he looks like") on board. Do one practice example for each "looks like, looks." Give students a few minutes to complete phrases with descriptors ("friendly, a banker. etc.") Go around room asking students to choose the correct stem for each word.. 2. Elicit the part of speech of each. Noun, adjective, etc. by asking what the words under each stem have in common. What type of word goes with "looks like" and with "looks? 3. Try out "looks" and "looks like" with the faces on the opposite page. Write one sentence to describe each person, but leave a blank for the person's name. Then give your paper to partner; have him/her fill in blank. ICQ: Are you going to write the person's name? No. Leave a blank. 4.Repeat the exercise using classmates as the model. Ex. "__________" looks like a president. Caution: Write nice things!

The "If stage" • To use up time at the end of class if lesson ends early

Have each student choose one of the student teachers. Introduce yourself, and find a way to remember the student teacher's name. As a class, share some of the names of student teachers and how you remembered their names.

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