So, it’s international women’s day today and I couldn’t resist popping a topical lesson up. This one is a simple little one, with the content mostly ripped off from Wikipedia. The idea is to examine how / when we use the passive voice. There is some quite high level language in here but I’ve always felt that if the task was right, you could use any text. I recommend this for a pre-intermediate or intermediate group.
Objective: By the end of the lesson students will be better able to write an informative paragraph with the focus on one individual.
- To examine how / when we use the passive voice.
- To give students a reason to read.
- To encourage students to analyse language in context before going to their dictionaries.
Level: High elementary / Pre intermediate / Intermediate
Time: 2 – 3 hours
- Intro: Open up with the first question about the day. This can be done on any day but 8th March makes it a little more topical. The idea is to awaken interest and then answer their questions.
- Answer their questions: The paragraph from Wikipedia should give them some history to the day. Discuss as a class.
- Vocabulary 1: The words here shouldn’t be tricky for them but they give them some key language for later.
- Discussion: With the vocab and history in place, this gives them a chance to give their own opinion. Students discuss in small groups. Teacher should monitor and note down any interesting vocab they didn’t quite get right but which might help them later on. Feedback as a whole class and deal with the emergent language.
- Creating interest: the picture and info box about Emily Davison is designed to awaken some interest. Discuss as a class.
- Pre-teaching: nothing kills interest like not understanding the key vocab. Spend a few minutes ensuring they understand the words in the pre-teaching section.
- Reading for interest: Allow students to read it first to see if anything surprises them. This gives them the chance to get a general overview and engage with the text with a more realistic task.
- Vocabulary 2: Throughout the lesson we have been spoon-feeding them a little with regards vocabulary. Now it is time for them to really try and see what they can get from context. Check they understand the questions properly before letting them loose. If they can’t come up with any ideas, let them check on wordreference.com or any other appropriate site. It doesn’t matter that they get the right answer, just that they are trying to figure it out. Help nudge them in the right direction by looking at words they might know like “hunger” and “feed”.
- Language focus: Assuming they have already come across the passive, this will be a revision. Students can run through the questions in groups and then discuss as a class. If they are new to the passive, spend some time going through these questions with them and looking at form.
- Practice: try to get students from similar countries together so they can research and write together. Direct them to Wikipedia / Simple Wikipedia or let them research in their own language.
- Follow-up: put the paragraphs up around the room and allow sts time to move around and read them. Pull errors from them (specificially passive / vocab related) and place on board. Correct them as a class.