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Unit 17: On the air!

Day one: About discussions


  • Students will be able to engage in conversations to provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions and exchange opinions.
  • Students will listen to one another's presentations.
  • Students will prepare information for an audience of listeners.

Setting the Stage (10 minutes)

Teacher has pre-recorded a segment of a current soap story drama or telenovela that depicts people in dramatic conversation. Teacher shows this video clip, but with the sound turned off, so that students can focus on facial expression and body language of the actors.

When video clip is over, Teacher leads class discussion on what the video clip might depict, such as common problems that cause conflict in family situations. Teacher writes down the main elements of the discussion on front board/Smart Board/Overhead projector.

Input (10 minutes)

Teacher leads students in developing a hypothetic scenario in which a young person has a heated discussion or argument with an adult or member of the family. The topic should involve an adult asking for certain behavior from the young person. (Teacher may wish to reinforce or review the command or imperative mood.)

Teacher encourages students to provide the details, names, and family roles involved in this scenario. Teacher reinforces language acquisition and comprehension by asking who-what-where-when-why questions for each element of the scenario. Examples:

  1. Who is in the argument or discussion?
  2. What are their ages?
  3. Where do they live?
  4. What is the argument or discussion about?
  5. Who says what?
  6. Why are they arguing?
  7. Do you have similar arguments?
  8. What do you think will happen?
  9. Why do you think such arguments or discussions happen in the first place?
  10. What would you do in a similar situation?

Teacher can choose two or more volunteer students to come to the front of the room and pantomime this scenario as their classmates create the scenario.

Guided Practice (10 minutes)

Activity 1

Teacher and students play a game, in which someone gives a command to another person in the class. That person does the action. Then, the person who does the action gives the same command to a third person, but another element is added to the command. The third person does both actions, then gives the same command to a fourth person, but adds a third element to the command. This pattern continues until one of the persons misses an element of the command and is eliminated from the game. For example,

  • Teacher: Mary, stand up! (Mary stands up.)
  • Mary: Joe, stand up and turn around! (Joe does this.)
  • Joe: Samuel, stand up, turn around and walk to the door! (Samuel complies.)
  • Samuel: Martha, stand up, turn around, walk to the door and knock 3 times! (Martha misses one element and is disqualified. Samuel chooses another classmate to do these 4 actions.)
Activity 2

Class Pictionary game

Teacher has prepared a series of commands on small cards or pieces of paper. The written commands are placed in a small box or basket. A student volunteer comes to front of room, picks one piece of paper out of the bunch and then draws the command on the front board. He or she may not use numbers or letters, only drawings or pictures!

Classmates try to guess what the command might be. Classmates must guess the correct command in 60 seconds. If they guess correctly, the pantomime wins a bravo or small reward. Examples of commands:

  • Feed the dog/cat!
  • Make some sandwiches!
  • Eat your breakfast!
  • Write a letter to your grandmother!
  • Go the store and buy some bread!
  • Bring me the newspaper!
  • Listen to your father!
  • Do not play your music so loud!
  • Do your homework!
  • Stop playing with your computer!
  • Come home before 10 o'clock tonight!
  • Drive more slowly!
  • Etc…

A variation of Class Pictionary is the Relay Pictionary game.

Independent Practice (25 minutes)

Students, in pairs, choose a theme and then act out an extemporaneous mini-skit that depicts a 2-minute, typical family argument. Neither partner knows what the other will say ahead of time.

Teacher chooses the first pair to act in front of the class. When finished, this pair chooses the next pair, etc., until all pairs have performed their mini-skit.

Closure (2 minutes)

Class votes for the best presentation and Teacher rewards this pair of students with some small reward.

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