Irrational Exuberance!

Lesson Plan: My Winter Vacation

January 16, 2008. Filed under englishjetlesson-plan

I am a teacher.

In theory I am only an assistant teacher, but I routinely end up in classrooms without any assistance or even supervision from the teacher who is technically leading the lesson, so I am taking the title for myself.

I spend a lot of time working on materials for my lessons, and have been intending to do a series of entries displaying them and discussing the lessons that they are used in. Perhaps they will be an asset for future ALTs in Japan who are confused about what the hell their job is: I know I was just that a few months ago.

Today's featured lesson is one I put together for a first year middle school class for my first class with them after Winter vacation.

Disclaimer: Those seeking refined artistry need not continue.

A picture of my lesson materials for my winter lesson

The format of the lesson is fairly simple. I told the story of my travel over the preceeding break, focusing heavily on the dates when I was doing certain actions (made slightly awkward because they haven't learned past tense yet, but sometimes you have to make do).

Then they took the quiz, the worksheet to the far left, which has a couple of questions about specific activities I had, a timeline for them to put into order, and two shockingly poorly drawn pictures for them to describe using their newest grammar point ("What is he doing?" "He is going to Kyoto!").

Then the middle two worksheets are given to a pair of students (one student get sheet A, the other gets sheet B). They read a simple story about their family and their vacation, and then they have to ask each other questions and answer the questions using their story and some additional poorly drawn pictures.

The last activity has four problems and ten pieces of advice, and the students have to figure out what advice relate to each problem.


In all this lesson went over pretty well. It strains a 50 minute period, and there is likely not enough time to complete the final advice worksheet, but it could be assigned for homework, or finished for additional practice during a later class.

Like pretty much every lesson that isn't based directly on the book, there is some extraneous content that the students haven't learned yet. Some teachers will look at deviating from the textbook with great distaste. Others will roll with it.

The joys of being an ALT are many.