Standard Writing Practise
Name of Teacher: Mitchell Fernando
Class/Grade/Language Level: Grade 6, use this lesson only after they have had some writing practice already
Textbook and specific lesson: We Can! 2, Unit 4: I like my town, Hour 6 (can be repurposed for other lessons),
Goal: To prepare the students for a themed writing task at the end of the unit; increase writing speed and finesse
Preparation: You will need…
- Lined Worksheets, A4 size (Lines have guides that help students write letters clearly)
- PowerPoint Presentation (for TVs) and/or Large Flashcards, A4 size (for blackboards) for vocabulary (you should already have something like these)
- Textbook Software (Alphabet Chant. Pg 31)
Class time: Full period (~45m); can be shortened by removing Textbook Activities or Warm-up
PART 1: PHONICS & WARM-UP - FLIP CHALLENGE
The Textbook has an Alphabet Chant in the どうぐ section of the software. Play this thing at least once per class, making sure that the students actually pronounce the sounds of the alphabet. Feel free to find another phonics song.
Next, since this lesson is focused on writing skills give the students a copy of the Lined Worksheets. A teacher will then write a nice sentence on the blackboard.
I like to sometimes use the sentence: “The big brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” since it uses all the letters of the alphabet. You could also use a sentence from the textbook like: “We don’t have an aquarium.”. Go over the meaning of the sentence if it is relevant to the lesson. This sentence is only used for writing practice.
The students, on a count of three or something, flip their worksheets and on the back of the sheet, write the given sentence out as many times as they can in 2 minutes or so. The student that can write the most may get a prize or something. Teachers can also the take opportunity to check the writing abilities of their students as they write.
PART 2: VOCABULARY & GRAMMAR REVIEW
Using a PowerPoint or Large Flashcards, go over the relevant vocabulary for the lesson. This is a good time to work on phonics by emphasizing the intonation and stress patterns of English, so NO CLAPPING. Have the students repeat after the ALT, not the HRT.
As you go through the vocabulary, weave in and practice sentence structures they are also learning. In this case something like “We have a station.” And “I want an amusement park.” Repeat as necessary.
The students will create Postcards about the town they live in at the end of the unit. Lessons like this one are given to make the writing and even the speaking portion of the task easier to accomplish by giving them more practice beforehand.
The teacher writes something like these 6 incomplete sentences on the blackboard:
Note that these sentences are related to this specific unit and are also used in the Textbook audio and video files. Some examples are on the right.
Hello. I’m _____. eg. [Hello. I’m Yuri]
I live in ________. [I live in Obiyama]
We have a ______. [We have a Cosmos]
We don’t have a _______. [We don’t have a Starbucks]
I like ________.[I like drinking coffee and reading]
I want a _______.[I want a Starbucks]
Go over the meaning of the sentences, which the students should already be familiar with from previous lessons. Both the ALT and HRT both give examples using the 6 sentences, making sure to use words outside of the textbook. (eg. “We don’t have a Starbucks.”, “I like drinking coffee.”) The students can practice their listening here too. Repeat with other examples as necessary.
PART 3: TEXTBOOK ACTIVITIES (can be removed or replaced with another activity from within or without the Text) EXAMPLE: Pg. 31 – Let’s Watch & Think 2
The English they will hear in this listening activity is similar in structure to what was written on the blackboard so the students should have an easier time listening for key points. They don’t need to understand everything here. If you care, you should replace Let’s Watch & Think 2 with a composition or skit by the ALT and/or the HRT, making sure to use cultural references to your respective country… for added flavor.
PART 4: WRITING TASK
The students are given worksheets with 6 guided lines. Note that these “guided” lines are optional if you find that your students can adequately write on more simple blank lines.
The students are to write the 6 sentences and fill in whichever word they prefer in the blanks. The students are encouraged to write quickly so that they can develop some finesse. The ALT and HRT are to walk around the classroom and help students should they have any questions. Students that finish writing early can practice reading aloud what they wrote. Students can volunteer or be voluntold to present at the end.
I found that some older students are too slow when they write, even though they know the alphabet. So, just make them write every time – especially their names as well as other proper nouns and everyday things.
Teachers often underestimate their student’s abilities, but students are usually able to handle something like this. It might be slow at first, but they’ll get used to it.
Use more interesting and relevant examples (ie. Nothing from that xxxx textbook), the students like it, makes things more relatable, and allows you to give more realistic glimpses of life in gaikoku.