This activity, suitable for pre-intermediate students, follows on from a presentation and controlled practice of the comparative and provides extended practice of this structure.

It engages the students visually and integrates all four skills. The students will produce a newspaper travel review of two ‘island' destinations. The end product is authentic looking and the process very motivating and fun.

Preparation

You will need the following:

  • Copies of a categorising worksheet (one per student)
  • Copies of two holiday destination photos/flashcards (for drawing dictation)
  • Internet access for all students (optional, see follow-up stage)

Procedure

  • Draw a simple picture of a holiday destination on the board. Elicit ‘holiday destination'. Give students worksheet with categorisation table (verb, noun, adjective relating to holiday destination). Set time limit of two minutes to fill in the table. Feedback all vocabulary to the board.
  • Set up drawing dictation. Divide class into pairs of A and B. A can see the picture of the holiday destination (either using a photocopy or the IWB). A describes the picture to B who draws the picture. Set a time limit 2/3 minutes. Students change role and describe and draw second holiday destination.
  • Students work in the same pairs. Ask students if they would like to visit these destinations. Students imagine that they are going to visit one of the islands. What questions would they ask to decide which destination to visit. Elicit some example questions and write them on the board.
  • At this level students will tend to ask yes/no questions. It is important to elicit open questions which will provide more information when answered. e.g. Not Are there many hotels? Instead What are the hotels like? Where can people stay?
  • Students work in pairs to produce a list of suitable questions. Set a time limit of 5 minutes. Write all of the students' questions on the board.

For the following activities it is important that a record of these questions is available to the students. If using an IWB it is best to type up the questions and save them. If the teacher doesn't have access to an IWB, recording the questions on an OHT is a good alternative.

  • Students remain in their pairs. Divide the class into 2 groups (e.g. 6 pairs divided into two groups of 3 pairs). Allocate each group one of the holiday destinations from the drawing dictation. Elicit names for the holiday destinations. Tell students they have visited this destination. Students (in pairs) answer all questions from the previous stage, making short notes.
  • Students split from pair and work in a new pair with a student who has visited the other destination. Now they interview each other to find out about the other destination using the questions on the board again. The student carrying out the interview makes short notes of the other student's answers.
  • Students then return to their original partner and compare their holiday destination with the other. E.g. Ours has got better discos than theirs.
  • Explain that students are travel journalists writing for a famous newspaper. Using their answers students write up a travel review of the two destinations using comparatives and recommending one of the holiday destinations over the other.
  • On the board draw an outline of a newspaper. Elicit a headline and opening sentence to get the students started. E.g. GREAT GETAWAYS This week our flying reporters, Antonio and Marcella, visited the holiday destinations of Peace Island and Sea York....
  • Students use their notes to write up their articles. At this stage it is important to be able to see all of the original questions (from stage 3).

Follow up

  • Students write up their article in a newspaper format http://www.fodey.com/generators/newspaper/snippet.asp
  • Prepare some easy comprehension check questions on all of the articles. Stick articles around the room and students answer the questions. It's a good idea to include a question such as Which is the best article? This gives students a purpose for reading the articles.
Author: 
Jeff Fowler and Jo Adkin
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Comments

Holiday is the best time to make a fun and enjoy the destination. I think, this kind of activity is really very helpful for pre-intermediate students. This will very affected. I will definitely try this. Last year during summer holidays I was in New Zealand. New Zealand is the most beautiful place to travel and there are number of places to see. It's really a beautiful place to spend holidays & places like Sutherland Falls makes it more beautiful.

Hi Rick

I think the idea is to make your own categorisation sheet based on the needs of your class.

Cheers

Del

Definitely, it helps to increase the skills of the children and improve their imagination. However, taking them to these places would help them to learn more and experience. A group holiday of children teaches them some of the managerial skills too. Being a nomad, I love to travel places around the world solo. It makes me strong; so that I retain the ability to face any challenges down the road.

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