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Unit 6: Leisure activities

Day One: Letters and photos

Objective

  1. Students will comprehend expressions of likes/dislikes, frequency, and location when reading short sentences.
  2. Students will be able to use expressions of likes/dislikes, frequency, and location in oral interaction.
  3. Students will be able to write expressions of likes/dislikes, frequency, and location by writing short sentences in a letter format.

Setting the Stage (2 minutes)

Teacher has prepared an imaginary "letter" with pictures or photos from a young person living in the country where the target language (TL) is spoken to a young person living in another country. Students each have a copy of this letter and have about a minute to write down what they think this letter is about. Students also can guess, by looking at the pictures or photos, what the writer is telling the reader.

Input (20 minutes)

The teacher reads the letter aloud to the students, who are not to look at the text of the letter. The students are directed to write down everything they understand as the teacher is reading.

The text, in English, follows. (Teacher needs to translate it into the TL.)

Hi, (name of reader),

How are you? I'm writing you a short letter and sending you some photo of me and my friends, as well as a brochure of my town. This will give you an idea of what I like to do here. It's really beautiful here right now. I love the summer. It's quite warm. Thank goodness we also have a little wind almost every day. What is the weather like where you live? Is it hot right now, too?

During summer, I go swimming a lot. There is a public swimming pool in the park near my school. I also play tennis with my friends. My friend, (name of a young person living in the culture of the TL), and I like to go hiking. I love sports. My brother does wind-surfing and sailing. In the winter, we often go ice-skating and skiing. We have a nice mountain really close to our town. Does it snow where you live? What do young people do for sports? Skiing? Hiking? Do you have a pool near you? Or the beach?

When it gets really cold in the winter, I stay home and watch television or I listen to music. I love rock and techno, too. My brother plays the piano. It's great! Do you like music? What kind of music do you listen to? Once in a while, my family goes to the library and read. What do you do on the weekends? Oh, I almost forgot. I also love to make movies with my father's video camera. It's a lot of fun!

There is also a nice shopping mall in my town. I like to go shopping. I am lucky to live here. I love my town!
Until soon,

(name of writer)

After the teacher has read the letter, student pairs push their desks close together and share their list of what they understood.

Now the teacher shows a Powerpoint presentation of the same pictures with captions added, (see sample), and asks for student volunteers to tell in which season these pictures were made.

Guided Practice (10 minutes)

Activity 1

Students read and answer a set of questions about the letter they just read and the photos they just saw. EXAMPLES: (to be translated into the TL)

  1. What did (the reader's name) receive besides the letter?
  2. What are some of the sports and hobbies mentioned?
  3. What kinds of questions were asked?
  4. What does (the writer's name) tell about his/her town?
  5. What other things did you learn about (the writer's name)?
Activity 2

The students now read a set of quotes and are to guess whether the writer wrote these statements or not

  1. I really don't do a lot of sports.
  2. Most of my friends go skiing in the winter.
  3. I hate winters!
  4. One of my favorite hobbies is making movies.
  5. I watch a lot of television in the summer when it's warm.
  6. Music? I don't really listen a lot.
  7. I prefer to read books, especially in the library.
Activity 3

The students look for expressions in the letter of the following elements:

  1. Greetings
  2. Asking how someone is feeling
  3. Asking about the weather
  4. Asking for an opinion
  5. Expressing an opinion
  6. Asking about another town
  7. Saying goodbye
Activity 4

The teacher shows the Powerpoint presentation again and the students show, with thumbs-up or thumbs-down, whether or not they participate in the activities being shown.

Independent Practice (10 minutes)

Teacher provides a postcard-size copy of one of the pictures from the Powerpoint to each student, and explains that they will be evaluated on the next activity. Students will write a short note to an imaginary friend, using the picture as a model for their note.

Evaluation (5-7 minutes)

Students get out of their seats and walk around the classroom. They are to show their postcard and read their note to at least five of their classmates. Teacher walks around and monitors. Teacher jots down a plus (+) for good work, a check (√) for adequate work or a minus (-) for inadequate work.

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