TESOL Lesson: Perfect Modals – Using a Song To Review Grammar

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Grammar TESOL lesson plan - Modals lesson planType of lesson: Listening comprehension using a song to review a grammar topic.

Aims:
To review the use of perfect modals (must have + past participle) to speculate about past events, i.e., guess what happened.
To practice pronunciation of past participles and simple past regular verbs (-ed) /t/ or /d/ and the weak forms of ´must´ and ´have´.
To integrate listening comprehension to speaking, reading and writing skills.

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Level: Upper Intermediate

Assumptions: Students should be familiar with the majority of the vocabulary presented in the song. They are familiar with the use of perfect modal verbs and past participle forms. They know the rules of pronunciation for the ´ed´ but they still have trouble pronouncing them correctly. They know how to write descriptive and narrative paragraphs.

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Anticipated problem and solutions: Students may find difficulty with some vocabulary. The few words that are unfamiliar will be explained before they listen to the song. They may still have problems pronouncing ´ed´ regular verbs. The pronunciation rule of voicing will be reviewed.

Time: Approx. 90 minutes

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Material: Handouts with activities, the CD with the song ´The day before you came’, sung by Abba.

Note: The lyrics below show the repetitive grammatical pattern that is the focus of the lesson: perfect modals expressing speculation of past events. Most of the past participles are irregular. However, the ones ending in ´ed´ will be the focus of the pronunciation section of this lesson.

I must have left my house at eight because I always do
My train I’m certain left the station just when it was due
I must have read the morning paper going into town
And having gotten through the editorial no doubt I must have frowned
I must have made my desk around a quarter after nine
With letters to be read and heaps of papers waiting to be signed
I must have gone to lunch
at half past twelve or so The usual place the usual bunch
And still on top of this I’m pretty sure it must have rained
The day before you came
I must have lit my seventh cigarette at half past two
And at the time I never even noticed I was blue
I must have kept on dragging through the business of the day
Without really knowing anything I hid a part of me away
At five I must have left there’s no exception to the rule
A matter of routine I’ve done it ever since I finished school
The train back home again
Undoubtedly I must have read the evening paper then
Oh yes I’m sure my life was well within its usual frame
The day before you came
I must have opened my front door at eight o’clock or so
And stopped along the way to buy some Chinese food to go
I’m sure I had my dinner watching something on TV
There’s not I think a single episode of Dallas that I didn’t see
I must have gone to bed around a quarter after ten
I need a lot of sleep and so I like to be in bed by then
I must have read a while
The latest one by Marilyn French or something in that style
It’s funny but I had no sense of living without aim
The day before you came
And turning out the light
I must have yawned and cuddled up for yet another night
And rattling on the roof I must have heard the sound of rain
The day before you came

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PRESENTATION STAGE:

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1- Creating interest in the topic of speculating about past events
Structure: must have+ past participle.
Skill: speaking and listening
Interactive patterns: T-S; group work – Timing: 10 minutes

T hands out a card with different actions and objects, and explains to the students that they have to guess or speculate about what she must have done on the weekend by looking at the clues in the cards. Students in pairs make their guesses, and then share their opinion with the class.
Expected performance: You must have seen a movie because there is a movie ticket in the picture. But you must have gone alone as there is only one ticket.

Feedback:

T listens to all the students´ ideas and confirms who was right. Then, she encourages students to talk about the type of weekend she had: Was it boring? Was it interesting? What about theirs? After a brief discussion, they have to choose the most exciting and most boring weekend. This is to present the theme of the song, which is related to routines and boredom.

2- Revision of the function and structure of the target language
Skill: listening and speaking though elicitation
Interactive patterns: T-S – Timing: 5 minutes

T writes some of the examples of the target language on the board, and asks students to analyze the main structure of the verb phrase. T elicits the parts of speech that form the perfect modal phrase (modal ´must´+ auxiliary ´have´+ verb in past participle form), as well as the function, i.e., the intention of the speaker: speculating about past events, guessing what must have happened. T systematizes all this on the board, and explains that today they are going to listen to a song sung by Abba, which is called ´The day before you came´. T asks if they know the song or anything about Abba.

3- Pre-teaching vocabulary
Skill: reading and speaking through guessing the meaning of the words
Interactive patterns: T-S; pair work – Timing: 5 minutes

T explains that before they listen to the song, they will learn the meaning of some words. She writes the following words on the board: editorial, frown, drag, heaps, cuddle, and yawn. She hands outs cards with sentences illustrating the meaning. In pairs, the students have to decide which sentence describes each word on the board, and present their ideas to the class.

The words will match the following sentences:

editorial: I love reading the section in the newspaper that expresses the opinion of the publisher.
To frown: Marion contracted her brows when she heard the bad news. She clearly showed her anger.
To drag: She has been smoking like a chimney all day. (This is meaning of drag in the song)
heaps: The lawyer had tons of documents to read before the trial.
To cuddle: The kid slept cozily with his teddy bear.
To yawn: He opened his mouth widely and showed how tired he was.

4- Vocabulary reinforcement
Skill: Speaking- Speculating on the meaning of the song
Interactive patterns: group work– Timing: 10 minutes

T explains that before they listen to the song, she would like them to speculate on the theme of the song by deciding what the words in the previous exercise have to do with it, how they think the singer feels like. If they think it is a happy or a sad song.

PRACTICE STAGE: Listening comprehension

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1- Listening for the gist (skimming) and discussion
Interactive pattern: T-S; S – Timing: 3-5 minutes

T explains that they will listen to the song once and that they have to decide if this is a happy or a sad song. (Other questions to guide them could be: Is it about love? Is it about loneliness?) They have to give reasons for their choices. If they say it is a sad song, they have to say why they think so. Is it the music, the singer, the lyrics that show signs of sadness?

2- Listening for specific information- Choose the right word
Interactive patterns: S; T-S – Timing: 5 minutes

T hands out part of the lyrics. In this section the students will listen to this first chunk and have to choose one of the words in between brackets. T plays the song twice if necessary.
Feedback: T checks the correct answers. T makes a list of the students´ choices and gets them to pronounce the words. T explains the meaning of the words they do not know, if necessary.

I must have (left/kept) my house at eight because I always do
My train I’m certain left the station just when it was due
I must have (led/read) the morning paper going into town
And having gotten through the editorial no doubt I must have (drowned /frowned)
I must have (made/named) my desk around a quarter after nine
With letters to be read and heaps of papers waiting to be signed
I must have (gone/conned) to lunch
at half past twelve or so The usual place the usual bunch
And still on top of this I’m pretty sure it must have (drained/ rained)
The day before you came

Answer key: left-read-frowned-made-gone-rained

3- Listening for specific information- Match the parts
Interactive patterns: S; T-S – Timing: 5 minutes

T explains to the students that they will listen to the 2nd part of the song and that they will have to match the beginning of the lines to the second part.

I must have lit …………………………….. my front door at eight o’clock or so
I must have kept ……………………………… the evening paper then
I must have left …………………………… my seventh cigarette at half past two
I must have read …………………………. there’s no exception to the rule
I must have opened ………………………….. on dragging through the business of the day

Answer key: I must have lit my seventh cigarette at half past two; I must have kept on dragging through the business of the day; I must have left there´s no exception to the rule; I must have read the evening paper then; I must have opened my front door at eight o´clock or so.

4- Listening for specific information- Put the lines in order
Interactive patterns: S; T-S – Timing: 5 minutes

T explains to the students that they will listen to the last part of the song and that they will have to put the lines in order.

a. And turning out the light
b. The latest one by Marilyn French or something in that style
c. I must have read a while
d. I need a lot of sleep and so I like to be in bed by then
e. I must have yawned and cuddled up for yet another night
f. And rattling on the roof I must have heard the sound of rain
g. The day before you came
h. It’s funny but I had no sense of living without aim
i. The day before you came
j. I must have gone to bed around a quarter after ten

1.____ 2._____ 3._____ 4._____ 5._____ 6._____ 7.______ 8.____ 9._____ 10._____

Answer key: 1: j; 2: d; 3: c; 4: b; 5: h; 6: g; 7: a; 8: e; 9: f; 10: i

5- Listening for specific information- Pronunciation of ´ed´ and weak forms of modal ´must´ and auxiliary ´have´.
Interactive patterns: S; T-S Timing: 5-7 minutes

T asks the students to read the lyrics and underline all the regular verbs they can find (simple past and past participle forms). Then, T plays the whole song again, and students will have to listen for those verbs and put them in the right column according to the pronunciation of the suffix ´ed´ as in the example.

/d/ /t/
frowned noticed
signed finished
rained stopped
opened
yawned
cuddled

Students repeat the words in each column. T reviews the rule of voicing: ´ed´ verbs ending in a voiced sound are pronounced with a final /d/, and ´ed´ verbs ending in a voiceless sound are pronounced with a final /t/.

T reviews the weak forms of ´must´ and ´have´ and explains that as weak words they are not stressed. The stress lies on the main verb, the past participle. Students underline all the examples containing must have in the lyrics. Once the list is ready, T explains that in rapid speech the sound /h/ is left out so the two words together sounds like mustav.

Students drill all the examples in the song.

I mustave left
I mustave read
I mustave frowned
I mustave made
I mustave gone
It mustave rained
I mustave lit
I mustave kept
I mustave left
I mustave read
I mustave opened
I mustave gone
I mustave read
I mustave yawned
I mustave heard

6-Reading comprehension -reading for specific information (scanning)
Interactive pattern: S – Timing: 10 minutes

T asks the students to read the lyrics silently, and choose the sentence that they think best describes the meaning of the song.

1- This song is narrating a boring day before her love came.
2- This song carries the sadness of going through life the day before one meets their true love.
3- Do you have a different point of view? What is it? Write down some of your thoughts to prepare for a discussion with the class.

PRODUCTION STAGE

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1- Speaking: Discussion
Interactive pattern: S-S – Timing: 15 minutes

T asks the students to discuss the following points with their partner:

a. Exchange your opinion on the questions in the previous activity.
b. How can we tell the singer was not happy with her life?
c. Who is she speaking to? Herself? Her best friend? Her therapist?
d. Did her love ever come? Or is she still waiting for him?
e. Do you think the singer´s life has changed, or is she still doing all those things she describes in the song?

2- Writing
Interactive pattern: S – Timing: 15 minutes

T asks the students to write about the story in the song in their own words. They should include what they think happened, why they think that happened and what they think is the end of this story.

Students share their ideas with the group. A discussion comparing ideas may follow.

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