During a peak period when my teaching hours went up to 37.5 hours a week, I have to admit that the time I spent planning went down accordingly. I just didn’t have the time. But, I didn’t want to deliver sub-standard lessons and I still wanted them to be relevant and using authentic texts. So I developed a quick and easy way of turning an article into a lesson.
I’ve attached a template below that you can adapt as well as some step by step instructions and an example lesson using the same format.
It’s not perfect by any means as every group and every article is different but it should be enough to get you started.
Step by Step:
- Reading: Scan or copy the picture from the article and place it beside the headline at the top of the worksheet. When you hand it to the students, fold the sheet over so they can only see these two parts.
- Scan or copy the entire article and place it below the headline / picture.
- Vocab Focus: Pull out some words / phrases from the text that you think will help the students to understand the text or that they might be interested in learning. (practising the skill of finding the words from the context is the real aim here).
- Organise the vocab so that they have the word form and a synonym or definition. This will help them to find them in the text.
- Discussion: The aim here is to get them to engage with the text. It’s not just about comprehension. Give them questions that encourages them to share their opinions and to think critically.
- Language focus: This doesn’t need to be a massive grammar lesson (although it can be) but the key is to get the learners to analyse a piece of language in context. Pull out an interesting language chunk and ask them why this tense has been used or if it could be rephrased. Get them looking at verb patterns and how prepositions are being used.
- Follow-up: As a follow-up you could encourage writing. Students could try to summarise the article, they could rewrite it as a story or they could write a similar article using the same vocab and style.