You’re my excuse to travel

When I started this project, I asked the students to write down some topics that they wanted to talk about in the coming weeks. The most popular topic, unsurprisingly, was travel.

Lesson one

To link into the previous lesson on 2nd conditionals, I started the lesson with this question;

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I asked the students to think about the question and when they knew where they wanted to go, tell their partner where and why.

I sat back and let them talk, they seemed into it from the off, so I waited until the conversation naturally tailed off. In open class we discussed the places everyone wanted to go. Mexico, America, Italy where just some of the countries. One student wanted to go to Sydney, Australia because here boyfriend’s name was Sydney and he had been named after the city. Another wanted to go to Japan, Tokyo because of the technology. Luckily some people wanted to go to the same places. I paired them up and then put the other people in pairs or groups and asked them to decide on a country they all wanted to go to together. We ended up with pairs going to America, Japan, Mexico and Italy.

The next thing was to get them to list as many ways of travelling as possible. I ruled out taking a car, train and plane. We ended up with a large list of alternative ways of travelling.

The next task was to draw up a list of things to take that would help them on their travels.

The last task was to think of problems that could happen to people while travelling.

To finish the lesson, I put a large map of the world up on the wall and asked the groups to pick the route they would take. They also had to choose three different types of transport and three different problems they would face on their travels. They had the remaining ten minutes of the lesson to make decisions and take notes. In the next lesson they would write a collaborative diary about their journey.

Second lesson

I started the lesson by showing the class an extract from a diary I had found. Unfortunately, the diary had a few mistakes in it and their job was to correct it. I had intentionally planted errors related to tense in the text, to draw the student’s attention to using the narrative tense when writing their own diaries. The text produced the first major talking point of the lesson. I had used the present simple right at the end of the text to talk about what was going to happen the next day. One of the students questioned this, another said it was okay, so I elicited the different ways we could talk about the future and boarded them.

We moved onto the writing stage. The students had themselves, me and some bi-lingual dictionaries to help out. This is what we covered;

  • past perfect
  • present perfect
  • things/belongings/possessions
  • scared about / afraid of
  • get on the bus / get on the plane / get in the helicopter
  • another example of the passive
  • search for / look for something
  • the difference between finding something and finding out something
And a whole lot more!

The students seemed to enjoy this process. One person writing, the other looking in the dictionary, asking me for advice and clarification on this and that, and because of this they produced some really good work. I enjoyed this lesson. Thinking on my feet, going from one group to the next, thinking about the best way to explain the difference between certain words, giving examples, offering alternatives. Another simple idea that allowed a lot of language to emerge and was entirely student generated.

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2 thoughts on “You’re my excuse to travel

    • Hi, Oli.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.
      I used http://www.wordle.net/ for the pictures. Unfortunately you can’t download the images, only print them out. So I used Jing to capture the image and downloaded that instead. Just as good as the real thing. Lots of other word cloud makers out there. Excellent for simply giving to students as vocab reminders. Especially young learners.

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