Comparatives and Superlatives: Grammar Lesson Plan Using Storytelling

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Comparatives and superlatives lesson plan - grammar lesson planType of Lesson: Grammar using storytelling- Task-based lesson based on the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

Level: Low Intermediate, 10-11 years

Time: Approx. 90 minutes

Aims: To introduce the students to the vocabulary used to describe emotions; to review the concept of the comparative (-er) and present the superlative (-est);to give students an opportunity to practice listening for specific information; to give students an opportunity to practice speaking and writing using the comparative and superlative.

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Students are familiar with the story of Snow White in their own language; students have been exposed to adjectives and the concept of comparatives, but have not yet been introduced to the superlative; students have been exposed to the concept of a syllable and have practiced counting syllables.

Anticipated Problems and Solutions:
Students who already know the story of Snow White may get bored. In order to maintain the interest of all students, the teacher should read the story in a compelling, dramatic fashion. This will also help students who do not completely understand the story. The teacher should also involve students in the repetitive phrases of the story (“Mirror, mirror on the wall…”) and should act out each of the emotions of the dwarves himself. Students may bring up exceptions to the syllable-rule for most/-est. The teacher should approach exceptions on a case-by-case basis and should stress that there are some exceptions that have to be memorized.

Aids: blackboard, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves story, handout, optional: “talking mirror” (a colourful painted picture frame to use as a prop)

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Read: How to Use the Communicative Approach


Aims: To introduce the title of the story; to review vocabulary for emotions and to pre-teach new vocabulary for emotions.

Interactive Pattern: T-S, individual work, pair work

Time: 15 min.

Aids: blackboard

Pre-task One: Brainstorming Task

The teacher should introduce the title of the story and ask the class if they know what Snow White’s name means. Review colour adjectives and brainstorm other adjectives that the class knows. Explain that in the class, the children will be learning more adjectives related to emotions that people might experience. They will also learn how to compare. Brainstorm some emotions with the class and write the words on the board. Have the children act out some of the emotions.

Activity One:

Working in pairs, the students will mime one of the emotions to their partner and their partner must guess which emotion they are acting out. Both kinesthetic learners and interpersonal learners will benefit from this activity.

Feedback: While the students work in pairs, the teacher will circulate to help students with the adjectives they do not understand.

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Aims: To give students an opportunity to practice listening for descriptions (detailed listening) in the story Snow White; to tell students the story of Snow White in a dramatic, engaging and fun way; to give students an opportunity to practice describing a person.

Interactive Pattern: T-S, S-S, individual work
Time: 20 min.
Aids: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves story, handout

The teacher will distribute the first handout.

Main Task
The teacher will read the story in a very dramatic fashion, making different voices for each of the characters. He will also include the class by having them say the phrase “Mirror mirror on the wall…” out loud. He will explain that as the students listen to the story, they must draw the dwarves based on their description in the story. Both visual, kinesthetic and intrapersonal learners will benefit from this activity.

Planning and Report
The students will describe their drawings to their partner, helping them fill in the descriptions that their partner missed. The teacher will check their answers with the whole class, asking students how they drew each of the dwarves and what they are like.

Language Focus:
Aims: To introduce the grammatical concepts of the superlative and review the comparative; to review syllable counting; to link the number of syllables with use of most/-est

Interactive Pattern: T-S
Time: 20 min.
Aids: none

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Language Focus One: Superlatives and Comparatives

The teacher thanks the students for their great descriptions of the dwarves. To introduce the topic of superlatives and comparatives, the teacher asks the students which characters in the story were pretty. The teacher listens for the answers and writes down the names on the board. Then, the teacher will ask the students who the prettiest character was. If the students have forgotten, the teacher can remind them of the phrase that they repeated together: “Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the prettiest of them all?” The teacher should also point out that snow white was prettier than the queen. If need be, the teacher can ask the students about different adjectives until most students understand the concept of the superlative and comparative. For example, which characters were sleepy or angry?

Language Focus Two: Syllable Counting Review

The teacher will demonstrate ways to compare more than two people or two things—using more and most. He will demonstrate through examples in the context of the story that more and most are used for words that have more than two syllables.

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Aims: To give students an opportunity to practice using the superlative and comparative, to give students an opportunity to practice counting syllables to determine if words should take –est or most; to give students an opportunity to write about and describe an invented character of their own imagination

Interactive Pattern: T-S, individual work

35-40 min.

Aids: list of adjectives on the blackboard; optional: “talking mirror” to use in task one

Task One:
Mirror Mirror…

Using the phrase “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the ______est of them all?” The teacher will ask the students to identify who among them has the specific quality. For example, if the teacher asks, “Who is the tallest of them all?” all of the students who think they are the tallest will come to the front. The class will vote on who they think is the tallest. This is a good activity for kinesthetic learners.

Task Two:
Syllable Counting Practice

Using the adjectives on the blackboard, the teacher will ask the students to clap out the number of syllables to determine if they should use more/most or –er/-est. The students will work on their own to list the two types of words. This is a good activity for musical-rhythmic learners. Logical/mathematical learners will also benefit from classifying the word types.

Task Three:
Invent a dwarf

The students will choose an adjective that they have learned and create a dwarf based around that adjective. The teacher will use an example like ticklish dwarf. Whenever someone comes close to him, he is always afraid of being tickled. He doesn’t like feathers. He wears metal armor so that he is not tickled by his shirt. The funnier the invented dwarf the better! The students will write their description of an invented dwarf in their notebooks. This activity works best for verbal-linguistic learners. Time permitting; students can come to the front of the class to act out their dwarves, while their classmates guess the names.

Free TESOL Tutorial on Using Storytelling:

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