Where’s my cheese? (IWB) lesson plan revising some prepositions of movement

Level: elementary to pre-intermediate.
Ages: kids, teens and adults.
Type: competitive games; controlled and freer practice using worksheets.
Skills: speaking; listening.
Language focus: vocabulary and grammar – revising prepositions of movement.

Introduction: This is (hopefully) a fun series of worksheets to revise some prepositions of movement (some of which can also be prepositions of place). Apart from the revision itself, the main aims of the activities below are simply to use the language in a foolishly humorous and team-building way, to make them easier to remember, to encourage engagement with the language, and to strengthen feelings of co-operation within the class.

Note: I wouldn’t use this activity to introduce prepositions of movement to your learners, but to revise them only. This is because the worksheets contain a couple of antonyms – as Paul Nation and other researchers have shown, learning very closely-connected words together (especially synonyms and antonyms) increases memory load, making them more difficult to remember than if you teach them at different times. That said, it won’t be the end of the world if you choose to introduce these prepositions all at once; it’s just that your learners are unlikely to remember them as quickly and easily.

Materials:

Preparation:

  • photocopy the worksheets or IWB pages, one per student in your class;
  • you could also enlarge one copy of each sheet (if you don’t have an IWB) to stick on your whiteboard (don’t forget blu-tack!), or make a transparency for projection (don’t forget markers for the transparency!)

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Procedure:

  • Board or project the first picture (below), or hand out copies to your students. As a class, ask them how many objects in the illustrated room they can name.
    Prepositions of Movement - worksheet 1
  • If necessary, project or show the second picture (also below). Go through any pronunciation patterns as necessary (remembering that the first word in a noun phrase usually contains the main stress).
    Prepositions of Movement - worksheet 1
  • Pair your students and hand out the third sheet (as below). Ask each pair to match the prepositions to the actions. Get class feedback, then hand out the fourth sheet, which contains probable answers (though accept any others that would fit).
    Prepositions of Movement - worksheet 1
  • Show the fifth worksheet (below). With the whole class, elicit where the mouse can travel to get the cheese. Try to have your students using as many of the prepositions from the third/fourth sheet as they can.
    Prepositions of Movement - worksheet 1
  • Put your students into groups of 3 or 4. Ask them to make the most complicated route they can think of for the mouse to take to get the cheese. Set a time limit (e.g., 5 minutes) and ask your students to use as many prepositions as they can, and as many times as they can. It might be good to suggest a small prize for the team which can produce the craziest route, using the most prepositions.
  • When your students are ready, stop the route-creation activity. Ask each team, in turn, to describe its route, while one student from that group draws the route on the board (use the first or fourth picture for this). Award a point for each preposition correctly used, and minus one point for each incorrect use. If the group use all the prepositions on the board, award them five bonus points.
  • Continue the activity with the other groups. The group with the most points at the end is the winner and can claim their prize, if you have one (a small piece of cheese?).

Follow-on activity:

  • Design a route around the classroom or the school, using as many prepositions as possible, or divide your class into two or three groups and get them to prepare a treasure hunt for another group, leading to a counter – first group to return the counter to class (when all groups have finished writing instructions) is the winner. You may need to elicit the English words for items of classroom furniture. One person calls out directions while another follows them – again, you could turn this into a competition if you like.

Airport IWB Lesson

Levels: pre-intermediate to low intermediate.
Ages: older kids; teens; young adults.
Type:matching games; vocab revision; optional interactive whiteboard downloads.
Skills: speaking; listening; pronunciation (particular words).
Language focus: vocabulary for the airport.

Materials:
a SMARTboard interactive whiteboard and a download of this IWB lesson (if you don’t have a SMARTboard, you can try this pdf version of the whiteboard screens instead;
enough copies of this text and this gapfill task for each student, or pair of students.

Procedure:

  1. Introduce the task by asking students what the longest journey they’ve ever taken is. Invite them to think about the details of this journey – when it was, how long it took, what the best and worst things were about this journey, etc. – and to tell their partner about this trip.
  2. Ask the students if they have ever been stuck at an airport, and what it was like – what did they find to do? Did they get bored? etc. Perhaps tell a story of a time when you were stuck in an airport.
  3. Show the students the second page of the IWB lesson (see above to download). Put them into two or three teams and ask each team to try and name the pictures. Set a time limit of about two minutes for this.
  4. Reveal the answers one at a time, awarding points for correct answers.
  5. Delete the yellow box at the bottom of the second page. Again, in teams, ask students to match the collocations with the pictures. After a couple of minutes, go through this with the class, moving the collocations to the correct places.
  6. Divide the students into pairs and ask one student per pair to face away from the interactive whiteboard. Explain to the other students that they will watch a short film about airport travel; ask these students to make notes of the journey’s stages and explain they will have to give as many details to their partner as they can remember. Ask their partners to write predictions about what the stages will involve whilst they wait.
  7. Play the first half of the video below, from 0:00 to 1:00. (NB, it’s here on youtube, and you can download it via keepvid.com).

  8. Swap the students around, so that those who were facing away from the IWB before are now turned towards it, and vice versa. Ask the students facing the board to take notes of what they see; ask those facing away from the whiteboard to write predictions about what will happen next.
  9. Play the rest of the video. Afterwards, ask the students to face each other in their pairs and compare notes.
  10. Watch the video together, the whole way through. Were any details missed?
  11. Read out the story above (attached), which describes the start of a trip to Hong Kong. Ask students if they have been to Hong Kong, if they would like to go, etc.
  12. Hand out the gapfill sheet and ask students to work together in pairs to put the words back in.
  13. After about 6 minutes, ask one member of each pair to stand up and move one place to the left to make a new pair. Students compare notes, check each other’s work and try to complete the gapfill.
  14. Read the whole text aloud one more time, then (if necessary) allow two or three more minutes to complete the gapfill task.
  15. Hand out the completed text, so students can check their work.
  16. Put the students into groups of four and ask them to design the perfect airport. Allow about twenty minutes for this, giving ideas as necessary.
  17. Ask the students to practise presenting their airport design to the class. Explain that every student should speak for roughly an equal amount of time. Allow about ten minutes for this; go round monitoring and helping students to focus on intonation and presentation skills.
  18. Listen to the presentations as a class, and ask students to vote on their favourite airport design (they’re not allowed to vote for their own group!)
  19. If there’s still time at the end of this, I’ve included an extra visualisation task inviting students to picture their ideal holiday; feel free to use this, maybe in small groups.

Describing Body Language – IWB lesson

Levels: strong intermediate to advanced.
Ages: teens; adults.
Type: matching exercise; watching and listening to a video of tight-rope walker Philippe Petit to discuss ideas about body language and how status and feelings are conveyed by native and non-native language users; optional interactive whiteboard downloads.
Skills: speaking; listening; reading; writing.
Language focus: vocab – parts of the body/ describing body language.

Note: the idea of the body language table comes from Listening by Goodith White (Oxford Resource Books for Teachers: 1998).

Materials:
a SMARTboard interactive whiteboard and a download of this lesson (if you don’t have a SMARTboard, you can try this pdf version of the worksheet pages);
pens and paper;
video one and video two (from youtube);
if you want, you can download these videos via keepvid – simply enter the URL in the searchbox at the top of keepvid’s page and press enter, then right-click on the “download high quality” option near the bottom of the new page – then add them as an attachment to your interactive whiteboard lesson).

Procedure:

  1. Show the first page of the IWB display and give students five minutes in pairs to try and match the adjectives with parts of the body.
  2. Ask students to come up the board and try and match the adjectives by dragging them with their fingers to the appropriate parts of the body.
  3. Let the students agree on the order; when they have done so, check by showing them page two.
    Show the students page three and ask if they know who Philippe Petit is. If they haven’t heard of him, point to the picture and ask what they think he is like: a thief? a criminal? a scientist?
    Play the students the video below (taken from youtube) and explain that this is what Philippe Petit does.

  4. Elicit vocabulary from students – “tightrope walker/walking,” “a highwire artiste,” etc. and that there is no safety net or harness. Ask them what they think of this spectacle – is it art? Is it vandalism? Ask them if they would like to try a tightrope walk.
  5. Draw an outline of the World Trade Center on the board and elicit from the students what it is. Draw a rope between the towers and ask them if they would walk between the towers.
  6. If you like, you can show students this video, which shows Philippe Petit’s famous walk between the twin towers in 1974.

  7. Explain that Philippe Petit was recently the star of an Oscar-winning documentary, Man On Wire, about his walk between these twin towers, and that the students will now watch an interview with him. Ask them how old they think he is now and how they think he will describe himself – will he be boastful or modest? What adjectives will he use to describe what he does? What do they think his body language will be like?
  8. Play the third video (below) and elicit the answers.

  9. Show the fourth page and ask your students to copy the table. Explain that you’ll play the interview again, and this time they should watch out for the body language used by Philippe Petit, his director and the interviewer. What can they find out about these people from their body language? You can show page two of the IWB lesson to remind them of the words used to describe this body language.
  10. Play the third video a couple more times and allow students to write notes in their copy of the table.
  11. Ask students to compare notes in small groups; then check and give feedback with the whole class. Were they surprised by any of the interactions? How much could they tell about the people from their body language?
  12. Possible follow-up: This lesson naturally leads into job interview-style lessons, or group roleplays (for example, the banana game, which also focusses on intonation patterns).