A Day in the Life of…

Method:

1. T writes two times on the board, one at the top and the other at the bottom, e.g. 00:00 (midnight) at the top and 00:00 (midnight) at the bottom. T asks SS to name 8-10 different times between these times, and writes them on the board in time order, e.g.

2. T elicits from the whole group 3-4 different people from a particular topic, e.g. if the topic is Music the people could be:

3. T asks SS to imagine and discuss what one of the people:

  • usually does at these times (practising present simple)
  • did yesterday at these times (practising past simple, past continuous, past perfect, etc.)
  • will do tomorrow at these times (practising future simple, future continuous, future with going to, etc.)

SS work with their group or partner to produce 8-10 sentences about the person’s activity at each time. SS could write in either 3rd person (he… / she…) or 1st person (I…). SS should try, where possible, to make each action relevant to the character and the topic. T monitors, checks, and corrects.

For example:

SS should pay attention to word order in the sentence, e.g. SVOPT – subject-verb-object-place-time. (See also: You Are The Course Book – Syllabus, p.76.)

4. After each time, T leads group feedback. SS read out their work, or different SS write sentences on the board to fill up all the time slots and make a group text. In either case, T elicits corrections to errors and improvements to each sentence from the whole group.

5. If time and goodwill permit, SS could repeat the activity with a different person from the list.

6. SS could use their work to form the basis of a role play about the person involved, or work in pairs to create an interview, with one SS being the person and the other an interviewer, e.g. on a chat show. Or, SS could use their work as the basis for a longer project (see below).

Tips:

  • This is a nice activity for combining verb forms revision and creative writing in a group setting.
  • To make it more challenging, T could stipulate that SS have to write compound sentences (with at least two clauses); or, two (or more) compound sentences for each time slot.
  • Variation: instead of writing different actions in the three different times, SS could write the ‘usually’ set of sentences then convert them into past and then future, e.g.

Usually: Father Christmas usually has breakfast with his wife Mary at 8.10am.

Yesterday: Father Christmas had breakfast with his wife Mary at 8.10am yesterday.

Tomorrow: Father Christmas will have breakfast with his wife Mary at 8.10am tomorrow.

  • T could use this activity to help SS to practise telling the time.
  • As with many of the other YATCB activities, the timing of this session is flexible. SS may have time to work on only one of the times, or two, or all three. It will partly depend on their ability – the speed at which they can produce – and the time that is available in the process that they are doing. Also, the more time slots the SS suggest at the beginning, the more sentences they will have to write, so the longer the activity will last. Of course, the reverse also applies! On the other hand, T could allow SS to work on this project during several sessions on different days to produce a longer piece of multimedia work, e.g. a diary or pages from a biography, with illustrations using pictures found online or in a magazine/newspaper, or their own drawings and/or photographs.
  • Or, SS could write up one or more of their descriptions of A Day in the Life of… (past, present, and/or future) for homework.

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