The aim of this lesson is to revise/extend students’ knowledge about subject-verb agreement and practice using it in the context of talking about the use of smartphones. I designed specifically with my B2/C1 students in mind. To teach it you are going to need this worksheet and this presentation. The activities take app. 45 minutes.
Students work in pairs. Distribute two worksheets per pair. Tell your students they have $1000 which they can bet in this task. They need to decide which form of the verb is correct in each sentence (singular or plural). The more sure they are their answer is right, the more $ they should bet. Allow app. 5-7 minutes for this task. Thank you to my colleague Gosia for walking me through the grammar auction type activities.
Check your students’ answers using the presentation (slides 2-21). Allow some time to form the rules / identify the subject / discuss the concept of collective nouns etc.
Introduce the topic of using smartphones. find out how often / where / why your students use their phones. Ask them whether they have noticed any influence the phones have on their health. Cheers to my colleague Ula for introducing me to this great article on which the subsequent part of the activity is based
Show your students slide 22. Ask them to talk with their partner about the possible problems illustrated in the photo.
Move to slide 23 and see whether your students are close to identifying various issues the photo shows.
Reveal slide 23 and discuss the findings with your students. Do they agree? Have they experienced any of these problems? Do the know of any solutions?
Move through slides 25-29 and encourage your students to come up with appropriate verbs to fill in the gaps. They should pay attention to both meaning and form (singular/plural). Possible verbs here include: complain of, suffer, from, report, observe.
A possible follow-up / homework activity involve students researching another issue they find interesting and presenting their findings in the form similar to slides 25-29. Alternatively, encourage your students to come up with funny/absurd data concerning an issue of their choice.
This class was designed with my adults students in mind. They are in the process of preparing for their CAE exam but still struggle with a lot of grammar issues. Instead of breezing through some coursebook activities (there were 2 in total) I chose to give them a chance to refresh their knowledge and figure out the rules for themselves. They really enjoyed the betting part of the class and fund the smartphone topic quite relevant and interesting. As for the homework assignment, some of my students chose to focus on actual issues they researched while others summarised data concerning such phenomena as pumpkin spice latte consumption in Poland 🙂