My Original Country!
A lesson devised to build upon the suggesting finished activity for Eigo Noto 2‘s “I want to go to Italy.” topic, in which students learn to express desires, and reasons for having them.
Rather than choosing an existing country to visit—as suggested by the textbook—students work in groups to imagine a new country, name it, design its flag and map, and reasons for visiting their country in the process.
Focus of the lesson is on the grammar points “I want to go to ~ .”, and “Why?”, but students may come up with a variety of sentences to describe why they’d like to visit their original country using grammar they’ve learnt up until this point.
- Perform an example presentation of your previously prepared ‘Original Country’. Attached example includes Takoyakiland, with a map and reasons for visiting, but the sillier the better.
- Have students get into groups of four-ish (a number suitable so everyone’s as busy as possible at all times).
- Check students understand the various jobs they have to get done, and ensure they know that they don’t get to do the fun bits until the writey bits are done. Jobs include (country name/theme, reasons for going, a flag, a map, and division of government, i.e. who’s in the group, and what silly thing they all get to be Minister of.
- Let students run wild, and watch how many groups go straight for money/poo land.
Potential sentence models, based on things students have learned previously may include:
- I want to ____ ____ .
- I want ____ .
- I like ____ .
- I don’t like ____ .
- ____ is ____ .
- ____ has ____ .
- ____ has no ____ .
Students might not remember/have learnt all of these, so get the HRT to help translate their meanings.
Groups won’t necessarily get everything done in one lesson, but you may be able to squeeze another half lesson in before presentations. Depending on your HRTs, they may not mind having slower groups finish for homework.
At the very least, this lesson may be used to slightly alter the provided lesson designed to finish off the "I want to go to Italy." topic, by allowing students to come up with their own country for the activity rather than using an existing country. Students still work solo, but may design their own flag, come up with their own country name, and reasons for visiting their imagined country.
When providing example sentences for your students to base their reasons of, be sure to take into account what English they're familiar and comfortable with.
Some students will be happy to blunder their way through describing why Magic Land is so great, but you may need to help them in their somewhat ambitious endeavor in saying "Instead of riding the train everywhere, we get to ride unicorns and fly over rainbows!" into something like, "No trains, only unicorns!" or something equally understandable by a beginner English learner.