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Unit 8: Home tour

Day One: An exchange student


Students and teacher will create a story that describes an exchange student coming to stay with a family and this young person's introduction to the home.

Setting the Stage (10 minutes)

Teacher has a variety of magazine photos of various homes spread around the classroom, on tables, desks, bulletin boards and the front board. The students get up and walk around the room and look at these pictures. The students need to choose their favorite house.

Students then return to their seat. Teacher walks around the room and points to each photograph, one at a time. At each photograph, Teacher asks for show of hands of who chose that particular photograph as their favorite home. Students who raise their hands then volunteer explanations as to why they chose that home as their favorite.

Input (25 minutes)

Teacher and students create a story about a young person, an exchange student from another country where the target language is spoken. Teacher asks for direction and input from the students by constantly asking yes/no, either/or and who/what/when/where questions for each new detail of the story that the students volunteer.

The basic elements of the story should include:

  • The name of the host family
  • The name of the children in the family
  • The name of the exchange student
  • The name of the country from which this student comes
  • The age of the children in the host family and of the exchange student
  • The name of the city in which the host family lives
  • How long the exchange student will stay with the host family
  • A description of how the host family goes to the local airport and locates the exchange student by holding up a sign with the exchange student's name
  • A description of the drive from the airport back to the host family's home. Which types of community buildings (library, city hall, museum, churches, temples, synagogues, schools, parks, etc.) do the occupants of the car see?

Guided Practice (10 minutes)

Using the board in the front of the classroom or a blank overhead transparency and the overhead projector, the teacher and students draw a map that shows the location of all the community buildings named during the Input section of the lesson. Teacher reinforces the vocabulary for directions and location: north, south, east, west, down, up, left, right, across, next to, in front of, behind, straight ahead, opposite, etc.

Teacher asks yes/no, either/or and where questions and encourages responses from the entire class, not just one single student. This ensures student participation and involvement in the process.

Independent Practice (10 minutes)

Students, in pairs, refer to the city map the class has just created. One partner states that he/she is at a certain location and wishes to get to another location in the city. The partner has to provide the directions on how to get to that location. They take turns asking for directions to various locations on the map. For example:

  • Student #1 states that he/she wishes to get from the airport to the city hall.
  • Student #2 relates that first Student #1 must exit the airport, turn left on Main Street, travel two blocks to the library on the corner of State St. and Shady Lane St., turn left again and travel one block. The city hall is on the right on Shady Lane Street.

Closure (5 minutes)

Teacher leads class discussion on aspects of the lesson that were helpful to the students and aspects that could be improved. Teacher can start the process by volunteering one event that he or she feels was helpful and one event that needs improving. This activity can be called "Glow and Grow." The Glow is a compliment or positive evaluation of something that happened during the lesson. The Grow is a statement of how the lesson could be improved

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