What to do if the lesson plan may not work, as many of the students are absent?
This may have been a problem for many of us (teachers). Today I have had this “chance” of worrying about how to overcome the problem with the number of the students in the class. Actually I have planned to do a group work activity in one of my Upper Intermediate level groups. The class generally consists of 8 students. However, only 3 of them were present at the class (the others had examinations at their universities). Besides the general materials that we usually cover, I had planned to have a reading activity with a post-activity in groups (4 students in each group). The text was about the use of cell phones and computers at an early age. After reading the text one of the groups was to bring arguments for the issue and the other was to bring arguments against it.
However, as I had odd number of students, it was impossible to have two “sides” in the discussion. I had to make changes and decided to give a chance to the students to monitor the class themselves a little bit. I told the students that two of them were going to bring arguments for and against the issue, whereas the other one was responsible for writing the ideas on the whiteboard and trying to suggest more of his opinions and promoting some discussion. I was just an “audience”, (which was quite pleasant).
I may say this improvisation worked quite well.
I would like to see some of your comments suggesting other solutions to this problem.