My first English language teaching activity got published in August 2008. It happened on the site http://www.teachitelt.com. The site regularly sent me the royalties and I created several more activities for them. Unfortunately, recently they sent me an email that the site is going to finish on 30th March 2016. The good thing is that they returned the rights to me and I am allowed to used the materials I created in any way I like and publish them wherever I like. So, here I share the first lesson plan I created. It is called Embarrassing Dates.
Embarrassing dates – warmer
Students should not look at their handouts until they have heard the story. The topic is very appealing for teenagers, but avoid eliciting their own experience at the beginning of the lesson as they will have the chance to talk about it at the end.
Tell them the following story. It is true story which happened to me, so you can introduce it as a story which happened to one of your friends and colleagues to catch students’ interest.
‘When I was about 17, I used to attend dancing lessons after school. One evening, after a lesson, my schoolmate and I were going home. It was late and it was dark. We came to a bus stop and we were waiting for a bus when I noticed a beautiful blond girl also waiting.
We started talking to her and we soon found out that she went to the same school and that she loved literature, like me. My friend wasn’t interested, but I liked her very much and we talked the whole way back.
I couldn’t sleep that night. I was thinking about her and remembering everything we said. I couldn’t wait to see her again.
So, the next morning I started looking for her, but I couldn’t find her for some time.
In the end I found her in a classroom. I was a bit shocked, because she didn’t look quite as perfect as the night before, but I thought that looks weren’t that important. So we agreed to go shopping that afternoon.
But the afternoon turned out badly. I soon found out that she was really bossy and she ordered me around the shop like a small boy. I felt embarrassed and I was happy to say goodbye. We never met again.’
Now ask the students to look at the pictures and put them into the correct order:
Answer key: c, e, b, a, d, f
Now ask the students to retell the story. You could have them work in pairs and take turns to recount a picture each, or tell it cumulatively, repeating what their partner said before moving on to the next picture. Monitor and correct. At the end, ask one or two students to tell the whole class the story or have students tell it round the class. You could then give whole class feedback.
Embarrassing Dates – vocabulary
This exercise contains most of the words that might cause problems for your students in the reading comprehension.
1.i, 2.b, 3.e, 4.f, 5.a, 6.d, 7.h, 8.c, 9.g
Sudoku has been very popular recently, but I bet that your students have never done one with words. It gives them practice writing and memorising the new vocabulary. Afterwards, you could have students cover the words in the matching task with a blank sheet of paper and write the words back in next to the definitions.
Embarrassing Dates – reading
The questions in this reading comprehension exercise should not be very challenging for your students.
1. Todd’s; 2. Steven; 3. Michael; 4. Anthony and Tony
Embarrassing Dates – grammar
Unlike other grammar exercises this one does not concentrate on one or two rules but on a language as a whole, so it will be difficult for your students, but they can learn a lot by analysing their mistakes. There may, of course, be correct answers that are not identical to the original sentences.
Crossword answer key
1 fell down; 2. twin; 3. embarrassing; 4. showed up; 5. chat up; 7. clap; 8. wallet; 9. cute
Solution: first date
Embarrassing Dates – Follow up
If you have time, you could ask your students to draw one of the stories from task C then exchange it with their partner and re-tell their partner’s story.
You could get older students to speak about their own embarrassing dates.