Grammar lessons used to freak me out, literally FREAK me out. Grammar lessons seemed to be the least creative and most rule based lessons we teach. Not so in the end. Teaching Grammar forced me to look more creatively at how best to meet my learners needs and my own. I want to share a successful lesson of mine where the target language was wishes and regrets. I taught it within a song.
I began my warm up with a series of black and white photos in a power point presentation. I had my students discuss in pairs for about a minute the possible story these pictures told. Without confirming any guesses yet we listened to the song, “A lot of things different” by Kenny Chesney. After the intial listening I was able to elicit the singers feelings, his regrets, his wishes and confirm their guesses. They really responded well to a lesson with music. This was then followed by a second listening and a controlled gap fill activity. They were able to check their answers in pairs again before we discussed them as a class.
The next thing I did was to manipulate the grammar phrases. I changed I wish to it’s a pity and so on. I asked them if there was any difference in meaning. They picked up right away that there was not. At this point there was a quick revision on phonology.
The students were then given photographs of various famous people or difficult situations. For ex: a before and after picture of Michael Jackson or that of two girls whose car was stuck in the mud. Students were asked to write up some wishes or regrets for the photos they were given. We had great fun posting this on the whiteboard and sharing some laughs.
Finally on the freer activity the students were given some old country western song titles. They worked again in pairs and wrote their own sad regretful songs.
This lesson was my first fully constructed lesson I did on my own with my own material. It was great fun and this particular lesson was geared towards intermediate to upper intermediate students. It totally changed my view on how to present grammar.