This lesson plan was designed for high-school beginners as an early lesson to test their level and give them a basic framework for communication. The topic today was jobs and also family words.
- To teach the names of different jobs and professions
- To teach family words: mother, father, uncle, niece
- To practice the question, “Who is Bob?”, “Who is your uncle?”
- Jobs Flashcards
- a blank chart of your family tree, preferably 3 generations
- Cards with the names of your family to fit into the family tree
- Extra cards with a few more family members, that have the name on one side and the relationship to someone else on the other
Print out the Jobs Flashcards with names of jobs, pictures of jobs, names of one tool that goes with that job, and a picture of that tool. Hand out the full set of cards to students in pairs or small groups, mixed up. Their job is to match the word with the picture and the tool with the job. So if there’s a picture of a baker, they have to match it with the word “baker”. Then they have to match the word “oven” with the picture of the “oven”. Finally they have to match “baker” with “oven”.
Once they feel they have matched them up as best they can, go over all of them. I like to do this by calling out a word and having them show me the picture, or showing them the picture and the students call out the word.
For more practice, have make two separate piles of the word cards and the picture cards. Student A picks up a word card and Student B picks up a picture card and they decide if they match or not. If so, they take the pair out of the deck. If not, they have to name the picture card, put both cards back in their respective decks and repeat until they have matched up all the words.
Alternate procedure: Student A picks up a picture card and Student B names it and/or looks for the correct word card.
Finally, we’ll elicit some other jobs and tools that they know. If it seems like they can handle it, you can do simple sentences such as “A hairdresser cuts hair.” “A builder builds buildings.”
To segue into family, put up a sample sentence: “My father is an accountant.” Check the meaning of accountant. Then ask a few of them, “What does your father do?” “What does your mother do?”, to make sure they know the words for mother, father, sister, brother. Note that this is a good chance to teach, “What do you do?” meaning “What is your job?” Also, this is a good way to find out more about your students and what jobs they might need to know.
Then we can move into the Family Tree lesson by Jan Dormer. Prepare a chart of your family tree but make sure all the spaces are blank. Also prepare cards the same size as your blanks with the names of your family on them. There should be one card per blank.
Go over family relationship words, “uncle, aunt, cousin, nephew, niece, grandma, grandpa, husband, wife, son, daughter” by asking a few students, “Who is your mother?” “Who is your uncle?” and so on. Clear up any confusion and make sure they are comfortable with these words.
Then the fun part. Hand out the family tree and cards to each students. Show them where your name goes so that they have a base of reference.
Now encourage them to ask questions like, “Who is your mother?” or “What is your mother’s name?” You may need to model this a few times so that they get it. When you answer, the whole class should try to place the correct name card in the space indicated for your mother. Alternatively, students can ask questions based on the name cards, “Who is David?” Now you will give an answer like, “David is my father’s uncle.” And students will have to place the David card in the right place.
If your class is small, you can have students just call out questions. If the class size is large, you’ll probably want to call on students one by one to ask questions.
Once they have finished the family tree, put up the correct tree on the board, or have it prepared as a handout or to put up on the screen.
Now hand out the extra cards that have the names of some other family members (not already on the family tree) on one side and their relationship to another member of your family on the other. Students put the cards in a stack, name side up. In pairs, they take a card and show the name to the other student. Student B has to ask, “Who is Bob?” Student A should read the description and then Student B has to place the card in the correct place.
For homework, they should prepare their own family tree with small cards with family names on it, and the next class we’ll play the same game in pairs with their families. After that we’ll add jobs to their family trees to review and extend job words.
Many thanks to Jan Dormer and to Simple Speaking Activities (Oxford Basics)
book for the lesson plan ideas.
See also High School Beginners Lesson 1 for a way to teach and review basic uses of the verb “to be”, introductions and greetings. And lesson 2, on possessives, basic questions and biographical information