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Unit 5: Health

Day Three: Discussing one's health


  1. Students will be able to discuss health.
  2. Students will be able to complain about their aches and pains.
  3. Students will be able to express concern about others' health.

Setting the Stage (5 minutes)

The teacher has written the following expressions in the target language (TL) on the board or on an overhead transparency (OHT):

  1. Is something wrong?
  2. What's the matter?
  3. You don't look good.
  4. You look sick.
  5. I don't feel very good.
  6. I feel sick.
  1. I'm very tired.
  2. I didn't sleep well last night.
  3. I hurt everywhere.
  4. I'm sick to my stomach.
  5. I'm sneezing.
  6. I have allergies.
  1. I have a cold.
  2. I have the flu.
  3. I have a runny nose.
  4. I have a fever.
  5. I have a sore throat.
  6. I have a head ache.

The students are to try to guess what these statements mean.

Input (15 minutes)

The teacher has prepared a visual of a person that illustrates a variety of ailments, such as a bandaged head, hand, foot, an aching back, a swollen face, a black eye, a scraped elbow, etc.

Teachers who are not artistically gifted can offer extra credit points to a student who is artistic to prepare such a graphic as homework several days beforehand.

Or you can download this example from the
Royalty-Free Clip Art Collection
for Foreign/Second Language Instruction, Purdue University, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.

Cartoon picture of a sick man

The teacher asks the class to give the person a name and to tell his age. Then, the teacher leads the class in creating a story about how this person got sick or injured. The teacher includes all the expressions written on the board or OHT. The teacher asks the class to respond together to Yes/No, Either/Or, and Who/what/where/when questions to insure that all the students are actively participating in creating the story and in processing the information. This insures that the vocabulary is constantly being recycled.

Guided Practice (10 minutes)

Activity 1

The teacher reads the following questions aloud and the students respond in writing by choosing one of the expressions that are written on the board or the OHT:

You are not feeling very well today and your friend asks you what is wrong. How do you answer if...

  1. You went to bed at 1 o'clock in the morning.
  2. You are allergic to cats.
  3. You are very tired.
  4. You need some aspirin.
  5. You are sneezing and your nose is runny.
  6. You went to a soccer game yesterday and cheered/yelled a lot.
  7. You have the flu.
Activity 2

The students, in pairs, decide their responses to the following prompts and write down these responses.

How do you feel if...

  1. You've eaten too much pizza?
  2. You played a sport all day?
  3. You did one hundred sit-ups?
  4. You spent the last two hours jogging?
  5. You danced until late at night?
  6. You studied all night long for a test?
  7. You went to the dentist?
  8. You sat really close to the speakers at a rock concert last night?

Independent Practice (20 minutes)

Students, in pairs, create and rehearse a minute-long phone conversation. One of the students didn't meet the other student after school. The second student is to find out what happened. The first student is to say that he/she is hurt and tells what happened. The second student is to react with sympathy, or, if the second student thinks that his/her friend is not telling the truth or simply making an excuse, he/she is to react appropriately.

Evaluation (15 minutes)

The student pairs present their little skit/conversation to one another in groups of four. The teacher circulates and monitors the presentation.

Another option is for each pair of students to present their conversation in front of the class.

A third option is for each pair of students to present their conversation in an isolated area of the room while the teacher videotapes their performance. (The other students are still "rehearsing" their conversation.)

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