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Unit 10: Going shopping

Day 1: Buying school supplies


  1. Students will create a story about two young friends shopping for school supplies.
  2. Students will be able to respond to questions about that story.
  3. Students will create a mini-dictionary and copy essential vocabulary from the story into the dictionary.

Setting the Stage (5 minutes)

Students brainstorm, in their native language (L1), about

  • What do you shop for at the beginning of the school year?
  • What classes that you're taking require special supplies?
  • What would you really prefer to buy?

Input (20 minutes)

Teacher and students create a story about two friends who go to a stationery store to purchase school supplies. Teacher encourages class participation and student involvement by constantly asking students to provide the specific details of the story. Teacher writes down important vocabulary and phrases in the target language on the board in the front of the room and also writes the translation of each word or phrase in the students' native language. Teacher constantly reinforces vocabulary and information by asking yes/no, either/or, and who/what/where/why questions about the various details of the story.

Outline of a story:

  • 2 friends meet at the school supply store (students provide name of friends and name of store.
  • One friend states that he/she needs pens, pencils, an eraser, a calculator and a small bag for all these items. (Teacher asks for class input on which items they choose to be in the story.
  • One of the friends gets the sales lady's attention.
  • A sales lady responds to the friends and asks if she may help.
  • One friend requests one item from the list above and the sales lady shows where this item is. (Teacher asks for class input on which item the class would like to choose first.)
  • One friend asks for the price and accepts that item for purchase.
  • The second friend finds a special item. (Teacher provides a variety of items, e.g. a fancy calculator, a laptop computer, a fancy cell phone, an expensive fountain pen, etc. and asks the class to choose which special item they want in their story.)
  • Both friends ask for the price of this special item.
  • Sales lady gives a price (Teacher encourages class input and the class decides on a price-the more outrageous, the better).
  • Both friends express shock.
  • Second friend asks for price of another item. (Class input decides which item.)
  • Second friend accepts to purchase this item.
  • Both friends find the backpack display and express which one he/she prefers or likes.
  • One friend states that he/she doesn't have enough money to buy his/her favorite backpack.
  • Second friend offers to lend enough money to buy this backpack.
  • Both friends pay for their purchases and leave the store.

Guided Practice (10 minutes)

Teacher has written a variety of questions on little slips of paper and has put these slips of paper in a basket or bag.


  • What are the friends' names?
  • Why do they go to a school supply store?
  • What item does the first friend ask about?
  • What is the special item that the second friend finds?
  • What is the big problem with the special item?
  • How much does this special item cost?
  • What do the two friends decide about that special item?
  • What item do the friends talk about after they decide the special item costs too much?
  • What is the problem with buying the backpack?
  • How do the two friends solve the problem with buying the backpack?
  • What item do you need for school?
  • What do you say to get a sales person's attention?
  • What do you say when you ask for the price of something?
  • What do you say when you don't like something?
  • What items do the two friends buy?
  • What do you think will happen when the two friends leave the store?

Teacher has placed a call bell in the middle of a small table at the front of the classroom. Teacher divides the class into two teams and these teams sit on opposite sides of the classroom. Teacher calls one student from each team to stand on either side of the small table. Teacher pulls out a slip of paper from the basket or bag and asks that question. The student who knows the answer reaches out to ring the bell. That student gets to answer the question. If the answer is right, that student's team gets a point. (Teacher has written Team One and Team Two on the board and keeps tally of the points for each team.) Very often, both students know the answer and rush to hit the bell first. This creates fun and excitement in the game. Once a point has been won, those two students each choose the next player from their team to come up to the table. Teacher puts the slip of paper back into the basket or bag and mixes up the slips. The process is repeated until the end of the allotted time.

Closure: (15-20 minutes)

The teacher shows the PPT on how to create a mini-dictionary. The teacher models each step and guides the students in making their own. Students then copy all the vocabulary and translations from the front board into their mini-dictionary.

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