Lesson:Postcard home

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Prep[edit]

Learning goal[edit]

Students will be able to

  • use "there is/there are" with adjectives and common place names to tell about their hometown;
  • write a simple description using the above forms;
  • address and complete a postcard.

Prequisites[edit]

  • knowledge of the be verb
  • knowledge of common civic place names (e.g., "park," "library," "subway")

Materials[edit]

Lesson[edit]

Intro[edit]

  1. Put the "Are there many tall buildings in Denver?" dialog up on the overhead as students come in and get settled. Ask students to practice it in pairs. (They may also wish to copy the dialogue. This helps them process the language and is fine.)
  2. When students have all arrived, shift to choral practice with A and B sides of the class. Emphasize rhythm and pronunciation.
  3. Tell students: "Today you're going to learn how to describe your hometown and write a postcard."

Presentation[edit]

  1. Hold up a filled out postcard. Say "Last week I got a postcard from my friend your friend. He sent it to me from some city''."
  2. Read the postcard to the class. (It can say anything you want, but should emphasize adjective-noun combinations and use there is/there are: Rome is a great city! There is a big cathedral called St. Peter's Cathedral. There are many beautiful paintings and sculptures in the Cathedral. Etc.) Stop to remark on interesting points and repeat phrases.
  3. Tell the students about your hometown and begin a session of audio-lingual drill, asking students questions along the lines of: What city are you from? Is there a subway in __________? Are there many taxi-cabs? Is there a big park? Etc. (Repeat the questions as per audio-lingual technique. You are training the students to reflexively form the structures, which requires repetition.)
  4. a. Give the students 10 minutes to write out questions they would like to ask you about your hometown. b. Ask them to write their questions on the board. c. Provide support as needed with structure.
  5. a. Set the students in groups of 3 and tell them to interview each other about their hometowns, using the questions on the board. b. Give three periods of equal time, one for each student in a group to receive questions from the other two and form answers. c. Make the periods long enough (3-5 minutes should be enough) that students run out of questions and want to change partners. Don't let them stop. d. Circulate and support/nudge their continuing to come up with questions.

Application/activity: a postcard home[edit]

  • Describe the activity:
  • Put the postcard from a friend transparency up on the overhead and pass out the mock postcard sheet.
  • Ask students to use the first mock card to write a postcard home.
  • Say they can copy the format from the overhead and only need to substitute the name of a friend or family member for your friend's name and substitute their own sentences about the city you are in for those about the city on the overhead.
  • Circulate and give support.
  • Self correction:
  • Ask students to exchange papers with a partner and to check their partner's sentences for capital letters, periods and correct verb forms.
  • Circulate and give support.
  • Ask students to rewrite their postcards in the second mock card.

Test[edit]

Pick up the mock postcard sheets and correct the students' second draft.

Follow up[edit]

When you return the corrected sheets...

  • pass out postcards from the city you are in;
  • give students time to copy their 2nd drafts (with your corrections) onto the cards;
  • invite them to take the cards home and address & mail them to their friend or family member.