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Mike’s TEFL poems

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  • mikeclark
    7 June, 2012 at 9:09
    • Total posts: 3

    Is this interesting to you guys as teachers and useful for your Int/Upper Int students?

    If you use it, feedback would be really appreciated.

    CONTENT: The ROW – a poem – pls. scroll down – and exercises for PRESENT PERFECT CONTNUOUS / PAST PERFECT + Past Simple; pronunciation of "aught" and "ought"; WISHING x 3; discussions on rowing & legality/morality of parents hitting their children

    Practice 1
    Work with a partner
    1.Partner A: ask partner B what he/she has been doing lately
    Partner B: answer the question
    Partner B: ask your partner what he/she has been doing
    Partner A: answer

    e.g. A: – What have you been doing lately?
    B: Not much. I’ve been staying in quite a lot.
    What have you been up to?
    A: – Oh, I’ve been going to that new wine bar.
    B: – What’s it like?
    A: – Really good. We went there Friday night and ……….

    Practice 2
    Work with a partner
    2.Partner A: ask B what he/she did last week-end
    Partner B: tell A what you did on Sunday evening
    Partner A: ask B what he/she had done before that
    Partner B: tell him / her

    e.g. A: – What did you do at the week-end?
    B: – On Sunday night we stayed in and watched a DVD.
    A: – Ahuh. And what about Saturday?
    B: – On Saturday afternoon the others went to The
    Emirates, but I stayed at home. Oh, in the
    morning I’d gone to the coffee shop and had had a Latte …

    Get into a group of three

    3. Ask each other these questions:
    a. Are you an argumentative person?
    b. Have you ever had a major row * with someone?
    c. If yes, who with?
    d. Where?
    e. What about?
    f. What was the outcome?

    • Row is pronounced “raou” and it means an argument
    Now read the poem on your own and answer the question
    4. What happened between Anne and Emily? Why? Check
    with your partner.


    Oh, there she was! At last she’d caught her caught
    (Em had been rushing in and out)
    That’s Emily, Anne’s only daughter
    Who’d left her Mum in little doubt
    That things would worsen, get more fraught
    If Em refused the truce she sought.
    The row had broken out (Sunday)
    Since when Anne’s feet had turned to clay.
    – What HAS been going on? she’d said
    When, uninvited, she’d gone in
    To Em’s own bedroom, which had been
    So organised….! That well-made bed!
    Then: – What on earth have you been doing?
    (Anne hadn’t foreseen the row ensuing.)

    Anne simply could not understand
    Why Em, so neat and tidy, clean
    Had left her room so messy and
    Would not explain where she had been.
    -It looks like you’ve been sleeping rough!
    -I wish you wouldn’t nag. Enough!
    Just drop it, Mum. I’ve ….. errr …. been through
    A real, tough time. I wish you knew
    How hard it’s been at school. They laugh
    And bully me. I hate this brace!
    I hate my school, this room, this place!
    – It’s just your friends. It’s not the staff.
    – My so-called friends, you mean. Em spat

    Then Mum had hit her. That was that.

    5. Reread the poem and answer the questions.

    a.Why hadn’t Anne been able to speak to Emily? (Em)
    b.What had happened on Sunday?
    c.Do you think it was wise of Anne to go into Em’s
    bedroom? Why?
    d.What two things had Anne said?
    e. Was this wise, in your opinion?
    f. What had changed?
    g.Why do think this had happened?
    h.What did Emily wish her mother understood?
    i.Why do you think Anne hit her daughter?

    Pronunciation: words in “augh” and “ough”
    6. In the poem, find one word which rhymes with “caught
    her” (in the poem)
    Find a word which rhymes with “sought” (in the poem)
    Find a word which rhymes with “shoe” (“shoe” isn’t in the
    Find a word which rhymes with “half” (“half” isn’t in the

    How are the words pronounced? Say them aloud to your partner.

    Practice 2: Wishing (1)
    Go back with your original partner.
    In the poem, Emily says: “I wish you wouldn’t nag”

    Grammar point
    Use “I wish you wouldn’t + verb (infinitive without to)” when someone’s behaviour is annoying you and you want them to change it!

    7. Brainstorm all the little habits that annoy you, making two
    e.g. people constantly clicking biro pens, biting their nails, fidgeting

    Act out a mini scenario, like the following:
    Partner A: Act out one annoying habit on the list
    Partner B: say: – I wish you wouldn’t keep clicking your
    pen! or
    – I wish you wouldn’t DO that!
    Partner A: respond – I’m sorry. I didn’t realize I was doing
    it or
    -OK. OK. I didn’t realize it was so annoying etc.

    Wishing (2)
    In the poem, Emily says to her Mum:
    – I wish you knew how hard it’s been at school.

    Grammar point
    Use I wish + Past Simple to express things you’d like to see happen or change in the present, even if they are unlikely.

    8. With your partner, talk about your wishes:
    I wish I could _________________ better.
    I wish I knew how to ___________________.
    I wish I had more ___________ to __________________.

    Wishing (3)
    9. Imagine what happened after Emily spat and her Mum hit
    With your partner write out a mini presentation for the rest
    of the class. You may include “I’m sorry. I wish I hadn’t
    said that / done that / spat etc.

    Grammar point
    Use I wish + had(n’t) + past participle (Past Perfect) to
    express regret that you did something you now feel you
    shouldn’t have done

    Discussion 4
    10. Read the statement and discuss the issues that follow
    In the UK it’s illegal for parents to hit their children.
    • What’s the legal situation in your country?
    • Do you agree with the law in the UK?
    • If yes, why?
    • If not, why not?

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