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This lesson is part of a series of one-hour lessons that will help students improve their prosody skills. Prosody, in short, is word stress, timing, and intonation. For an introduction to the series, click here.
Name: Word Bubbles
Time: 1 hour
Prep Time: None
Materials: These Worksheets
Primary Objective: Improve word stress skills
Other Benefits: Discuss sports
Introduce the concept (5 minutes) On the board, write three sentences with circles above each word. Bigger circles mean more stress. Read them with the students.
(Note: It’s difficult to change the font in this blog, so in place of circles, you’ll see letters here. S=Small, M=Medium, B=Big. On the worksheets, you’ll see circles (bubbles) instead.)
S B M S
I love football.
S B M S
She’s so stupid.
M S S M M
I don’t think that’s true.
Practice as a class (25 minutes) Pass out the first page of these worksheets. Students should listen to you read the sentences and make circles above the syllables depending on how much stress the syllable needs. More stress means a bigger circle.
Then, pass out another worksheet with suggested answers and practice reading the sentences together.
Practice in Pairs (20 minutes) Pass out the third worksheet to half the class with similar but slightly different sentences.
Pass out the fourth worksheet to the other half of the class.
Students should complete the worksheet in pairs, with one student reading and the other making circles above their words.
Then they should practice reading them in pairs.
Finally, practice reading them as a class.
On their own (10 Minutes) Now, ask students to write a couple sentences on their own and make their own circles above the words. They should practice reading these in pairs as well.
Extension: Instead of just writing a few sentences, students might write whole dialogues and note the word stress throughout.
Ideas for Homework: Tell the students to choose a song they enjoy, find the lyrics, and create stress markings for them.
This is part of a series of lesson plans on word stress, timing, and intonation. Click here to read a short introduction.
Name: Ten Sentences
Time: 1 hour
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Materials: Personality Adjectives (Click to download or see below)
Primary Objective: Improve Word Stress Skills
Other Benefits: Practice Personality Adjectives
Print and present the Personality Adjectives with personality adjectives. (Or write everything on the board.) Have the students fill it in as best they can.
Now, read the sentences out loud for the students. They should listen and repeat. Pay careful attention to make sure that they are stressing the correct words. If you’d prefer, you can play this track for them instead.
Now, students should look at their sheets and underline the stressed words.
Next, read the sentences out loud and have the students repeat them again.
Walk around and give specialized help as the students practice reading in pairs.
Finally, have the students listen and repeat one more time as a class
Review the meanings of the personality adjectives. Ask the students to choose four words and write new sentences with them. They should underline the stressed words in their sentences.
Ideas for Homework
Ask the students to find examples of some of the personality adjectives in real English materials. (They can search for them on the internet.) During the next class, they can present the sentences.
Lazy, Happy, Funny, Interesting, Quiet, Witty, Sweet, Demanding, Hardworking, Carefree
Fill In The Blanks
I envy her. She’s always smiling. She’s a really ______________________ person.
Isn’t she an ______________________ professor? I just love listening to her lectures.
She’s always writing songs for me. When I first met her, I thought she was just a ______________________ girl, but now that I know her, I think she’s super ______________________.
I like my boss, but he’s too ______________________. If we don’t relax sometimes, we’ll go crazy!
Sometimes I wish I could be more ______________________, like my brother. Nothing bothers him.
If you want to be successful, the most important thing is to be ______________________.
Why are you always so ______________________?! Clean your room! Do your homework! Do anything!
Why is Jake my best friend? You know, he makes me laugh. He’s ______________________. That’s really important to me.
I wish I were more ______________________. I never think of good things to say until hours later.
I envy her. She’s always smiling. She’s a really happy person.
Isn’t she an interesting professor? I just love listening to her lectures.
She’s always writing songs for me. When I first met her, I thought she was just a quiet girl, but now that I know her, I think she’s super sweet.
I like my boss, but he’s too demanding. If we don’t relax sometimes, we’ll go crazy!
Sometimes I wish I could be more carefree, like my brother. Nothing bothers him.
If you want to be successful, the most important thing is to be hardworking.
Why are you always so lazy?! Clean your room! Do your homework! Do anything!
Why is Jake my best friend? You know, he makes me laugh. He’s funny. That’s really important to me.
I wish I were more witty. I never think of good things to say until hours later.