How we start a new unit (For P.5)

8 Sep

I don’t know how others do it in their schools, but we used to plan our own lessons and make our own teaching materials. Needless to say, it’s time-consuming and inefficient to do everything on your own. From this year onwards, my colleague, Maria, and I decided to do all these together and share them with others. We would also like to encourage our colleagues to do the same. (We are glad that some of our colleagues are willing to do so, so we can take turns to plan lessons and share good practice. )

Text book used: LEle 5A(*We didn’t follow the lesson plan in the textbook as the suggested lesson plan starts the lesson by teaching adverbs. It doesn’t make much sense to us.)

Unit 1: Good Behavior

Pre-reading stage:

Activity 1: Discuss good manners and bad manners (whole class)

–         What should you do/ What shouldn’t you do in the classroom?

–         Put the examples under good manners and bad manners

Activity 2: Guess which one is good manner/bad manner (Group work)

(We pick all the good/bad manners mentioned in the textbook and printed them on cards.E.g. Point with our fingers or feet, Touch someone’s head, Take off our shoes when we visit someone’s house, Take off our shoes when we visit someone’s house, Eat rice with chopsticks or spoons, Use our left hand to eat etc.)

In groups of 4, each group will receive one ‘manner card’. They have to decide, in HK, whether these manners are good or bad or neutral. And put them to the right colum on the blackboard. Students are asked to explain why the manners are good/bad/neutral.

After that, they are told that some bad manners in HK are considered good manners in other countries (or vice versa).

‘Countries cards’ (e.g. Japan, India, HK, England etc)  are put on the board. Elicit answers (e.g eating noisily is considered to be a bad manner in HK, however it is  a good one in Japan) from students. Match all the manners with the corresponding countries.

Introduce the word ‘Asian Countries’ and ‘Western Countries’, then distinguish whether the above countries are Asian or Western. Students are asked to give more examples of Asian /Western countries.

Students are asked to put all the manners into the three columns:

1. Body Language      2. Visiting Friends      3. Table manners

(Some may not know what ‘table manners’ are, but when others put the corresponding manners in the right colum, they can guess its meanings.)

While-reading stage:

Refer to the pictures on p.2 and 3 (textbook) , put the headings (Body Language, Visiting Friends, Table manners) to the blank s in the textbook and ask students to briefly explain why each is put in that way.

Silent reading (individual) to get the main idea

Activity 1: Fill in the blanks (Pair work)

After reading the whole text, we give students a worksheet with blanks to fill in. The worksheet is actually the whole text in the textbook. Those blanks are simple words that they should have known or words that they can guess from the pictures /heading of the text.

e.g. We should be careful about body language. We should not point with our ____________ or ____________ in India or Thailand. People there think it is rude. In many Asian countries, the head is important. We should never ____________ someone’s head in Malaysia or Thailand. It is very impolite.

 The first two blanks are ‘fingers’ and ‘feet’. They should get the answers as they have seen the manner cards before + from the hint ‘body language’ + from silent reading before.

Activity 2: Syllables and vocabulary (Indivdual)

We choose 13 vocabulary (all together 33 syllables*since I have 33 students in my class) that students need to know in order to comprehend the text better. Word cards are made like this and each student will be given one card(syllable)

Each student will get one syllable of the vocabulary in the passage. Teacher reads each syllable + word and student having that particular syllable comes out and form the word on the blackboard.

After that, students are asked to underline the vocabulary in their textbooks. Work with a partner, they read that sentence in the book again and guess its definition.

Then they have to match the words with its definition (worksheet) For example:

More teaching points:

–         meaning of ‘does not matter’ line 21

–         formation of words : Asia (n) ->  Asian (adj) , West (n) -> Western (adj) / Asian, Japanese, English (Nouns)

–         text type of this article ? (It’s a magazine article) How do you know? (pictures, people monthly, September issue)

–         Finish Comprehension of the text on p.4

Post-reading stage:

Adverbs in the text

– Revise ‘parts of speech’

– Indentify nouns, verbs (verb-to-be, action verb), adjectives, adverbs in the sentences.

e.g. Mary is happy. / Mary sings. / Mary sings happily. (Adjectives describe nouns. Adverbs describe verbs)

– Give students more sentences to indentify the parts of speech.

– How to form adverbs? (asks students to give examples of adverbs and figure out the rules of forming adverbs)

e.g. + ly (quickly) / +ily (messily) / Unchanged (late) / changed (good->well)

– Where do we put the adverbs? (Usually after verbs, not a must. asks students to make sentences.)

– Finish textbook p.6,7 (exercise on adverbs)

– Speaking activity on p. 8 

We won’t follow the instruction on p.8

In pair: student A pretends to be rude. Student B then says, “You shouldn’t speak rudely to the waiter.” Then Take turn to act out and read the sentence.

Pick students to come and perform in class.


It takes quite some time to follow the plan, but I think students are engaged as they all have different tasks and activity to do. Today I’ve just finished the ‘syllables + vocabulary” activity and asked them to underline them on their textbook. Since time is so limited, I let them do the matching worksheet at home and discuss it tmw. I’ll pick some difficult vocabulary and ask them how they find out the meaning with the help of the text (without using the dictionary).

Plus this year I’ll try to randamly pick 2 students to come out after each lesson to share what they have learnt. It’s nice to know what they thought they have learnt in each lesson (may have something unexpected XD)


3 Responses to “How we start a new unit (For P.5)”

  1. Chow 2010 年 09 月 14 日 at 2:40 AM #

    Appreciate very much your efforts on planning the lesson with colleagues. The lesson plan involves full range of language learning materials, from “syllables and vocabulary” to “parts of speech”. To tackle the difficulties becasue of time constraints. Besides, acting out the dialogue in pairs/group, teacher may consider to get the girls to write out their thinking/feelings (in draft/note form) while they read or listen to their classmates. The point is to maximize their use of English in different ways.

    Great to note that our girls will be going through meaningful learning experiences under instructions.

    Please keep on!


  2. paulsze 2010 年 09 月 18 日 at 1:01 PM #

    It’s like a model lesson plan. I can use it with my student teachers. More importantly, I can impress on them that even experienced teachers need to plan.

    In many other schools, teachers just follow the coursebook closely.

    Great work you’re doing, Janet. i’m proud of you.

    – Paul Sze

    • missjanetlaw 2010 年 09 月 18 日 at 11:58 PM #

      Thanks Paul. We’ll keep trying 🙂

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