I’ll post a series here about three Item lesson styles intended for High level students as narratives. These aren’t full lessons start to finish, just this one part of the Loop: the Item. You can use my experiences here as a model for how to fit them into your own Loop. I’ll go over narrative presentations for the Phrase Lesson, The Vocabulary Lesson, and the Idiom Lesson. Each of the narratives contains a follow up day as well so I’ll post them all each as a 2 part series.
A Narrative Structure of The Phrase Lesson
Smith’s School of English curriculum, the Phrase lesson hints by Author.
A Narrative Structure of the Phrase Lesson
High student talking time. No prepping. Active and fun interaction. Common phrase word building. Limited board work. Student to student course lesson manipulation.
Level: Advanced (High red onwards)
Class focus: Materials/Resources – Phrase Cards
Aims: to develop question making skills
to widen the students’ range of the common usage of phrases
to provide an opportunity for students to prepare, practice, create questions and example sentences for group or one on one discussion.
Anticipated problems and solutions:
Pay detail to memorizing new words, understanding their usage and importantly their tenses on how and when questions are said and used. Explain and define each word in English as some words can not be literally translated in full. Also how these kinds of phrases are applied appropriately.
Number of students: 2
Kind of student: Office lady & High school boy
I said today we are going to practice and use phrases in today’s lesson, then placed 5 English phrase cards on the table. The students looked over them and then I produced 5 Japanese translations cards and asked them to match them to the appropriate English cards. Whilst they were matching them up, I opened up the teaching manual to make sure they matched them correctly. Once they finished I double checked with the teacher’s manual. The phrase cards I used in the lesson were :
Break into Broke Broken
Cut off Cut Cut
Run over Ran Run
Cut it out Cut Cut
Take after Took Taken
* Introduction of verb tenses.
They had matched each phrase correctly. As always some translations are sometimes not perfect with certain words, so I explained in English in detail each phrase. Once they understood each phrase, I introduced them to the verbs tenses. I wrote on the board the 5 phrase words as above and asked the students to tell me if possible what are the past and past participles. They had some problem with “break” and “run”. I corrected the errors and continued. They copied the words into their notebooks.
Then I asked the students to make an example sentence for each phrase, either as a true story or an example. I started with the office lady to make an example for “Break into”. She said “Some houses in my neighbor has broke into”. Before continuing, I said that’s a good example and corrected her syntax by writing on the board “Some houses in my neighborhood have been broken into”. The students went ahead and wrote the example sentence in their note books. I asked the high school boy if he had any questions about her example. He said “How about your house?” She said it hadn’t been broken into. He said “you have been lucky”. She said maybe it is because her house doesn’t look rich. The other houses that were broken into were new with luxury cars outside. They continue to talk about the increase of break ins in Japan and its problems, (by the way if we look at the overall number of break ins within Japan compared to other developed English speaking countries this a chat is a giggle) all the time I was giving them prompts to make other questions about that topic. Once that phrase had been exhausted we moved onto the next phrase.
I asked the high school boy to give me an example sentence for “Cut off”. He said, when he lived in Germany with his family, they had a small garden he often played in. He said “My father cut off his finger in garden”. We thought is that true? He said it really happened. Before talking about the event I corrected his example sentence to “My father cut off his finger in the garden”. They copied the sentence into their note books. The Office lady said “How did that happen?” He said “He was cutting down the weeds with a knife and he slipped” She said “why was he using a knife?” He said “it was special knife that is used in the garden”. I said “What’s this knife called in English?” He said “He didn’t know”. I asked him to draw it on the board. He drew it on the board and I said that’s a “Scythe” in English and they copied the word in their notebook. The office lady was interested in the boy’s story and asked other questions on how he could cut off his finger. They must have talked about it for 10 minutes. It turned out it wasn’t so serious after all, his father had only cut off the tip of his index finger, but they still needed to go to the hospital.
We continued to do example sentences for the following phrases and talked about their experiences and made discussions.
Before moving on to another step of the lesson, I asked them to do homework. I said for next week please make a question for each phrase that we can ask in the next class.