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EFL/ESL lesson plans: Superstitions
Level: Lower Intermediate (A2)
Skills: speaking and writing
Grammar: first conditional
The aim of this lesson is to revise and drill the first conditional. I've combined the grammar point with the theme of superstition, a topic which usually arouses a great deal of interest and curiosity amongst students. The tasks illustrated in the lesson plan require group work, and preferably you should have a good nationality mix in class.
This lesson would be great to use for Halloween.
Put students into four groups and distribute the pictures on the right, one for each group.
Tell students to brainstorm some comments and vocabulary related to the picture they've got. Give them the following prompts:
What does it symbolise?
What does it remind you of?
How do you feel when you see this picture?
Get feedback from the groups. Hold up each picture for the rest of the class and have a small discussion. Students will most likely mention the phrases 'good luck' and 'bad luck.' If not, elicit the phrases from them.
Divide the board in half; one section for 'bad luck', and the other for 'good luck'. Ask students to make a list of things in their cultures which are supposed to bring good and bad luck. Give them a few minutes to work on the list. Get them to share their list with the class and transfer some of the words onto the board.
Elicit the word 'superstition.' Draw a circle around one of the words on the board, for example 'black cat,' and ask students what the superstition is. Tell them to write the superstition in one sentence.
Get some answers from the students. Look for a sentence similar to the following example:
If a black cat crosses your path, you will have bad luck for the rest of your life.
If none of the answers are close to the one above, write it on the board.
Ask students what type of sentence it is. Some of them might already be familiar with the first conditional.
Go through the structure of the first conditional and encourage students to give other examples.
Individual work: Ask students to write sentences about 5 superstitions in their countries, using the first conditional.
Group work: Students share the superstitions in groups and choose the strangest 5 to share them with the class.
Conclude the lesson with a small discussion on superstitions. Possible questions:
Are you superstitious?
Do you have a friend who's very superstitious?
Do you believe in luck?
Are you a lucky person?