LESSON PLAN: ‘The Place We Live In’, Author: Maria Tzotzou

LESSON PLAN: ‘The place we live in’

*Recommending an alternative to unit 3 of the E’ class coursebook; it is thematically related to geography (cross-curricular link: geographical terms) and the lesson title is ‘The place we live in’.

A) Pre-writing Stage:

Step 1: To help Ls generate ideas for writing about the place they live in and initiate thinking, they are invited to reflect upon personal experience and join a whole class discussion about places in order to exchange ideas and jot down key words or topics. To this end, the pre-writing activity would include brainstorming about places by asking Ls to name several places they have visited and list descriptive words.

Step 2: After Ls have generated some ideas about places, the teacher sets the context about the writing activity itself by inviting Ls to imagine that they have recently made a new penfriend from England and they want to write a letter to inform him/her about the place they live in.

B) Planning Stage:

Step 3: Ls must decide what they will choose to write in the letter for their new penfriend in England. To this end, Ls are asked to work in groups to develop an initial plan for the letter they will compose. As they do so, they are asked to consider the purpose, audience, point of view, and format because these elements have implications for both the planning and the drafting of the written product. To consider the above elements, each group of Ls is provided with a prompt card with a different relevant question to think about and discuss as a whole class. For example, the four prompt cards and the expected answers could be:

Group A: “What is my purpose for writing this letter?”

(To describe and inform my new penfriend from England about the place I live in)

Group B: “Who is my intended audience/reader?”

(A new penfriend from England)

Group C: “Who is writing this letter/describing the place?”

(Personal point of view- the writer of this letter may take a first person).

Group D: “What kind of text is to be written?”

(An informal letter).

Step 4: To develop an initial plan for drafting, Ls are also encouraged to organize the information they have generated during pre-writing by using maps, diagrams, charts, etc in their groups.

C) Drafting Stage:

Step 5: At this point in the process, the emphasis would be on content and meaning rather than on mechanics and conventions. This is the time for the Ls to get down their ideas and thoughts, composing rough drafts based upon pre-writing and planning activities and considerations. As they compose their letter, Ls begin to determine what to include and exclude, and make initial decisions about how these ideas will be organized. More specifically this stage would include the following sub-stages:

5a. To produce a first, rough draft, Ls work in their groups to record their ideas rapidly in order to capture the essence of what they have to write to their penfriend-reader and begin to develop a personal style as their voices emerge.

5 b. To write subsequent drafts, Ls accomplish their letter by crossing out, adding, and rearranging ideas directly on the page.

5c. To reflect upon their own writing, Ls conference with self, peers and the teacher to get constructive feedback and support that may help them to shape their letters.  A set of questions or a checklist can be used to assist Ls and conference partners as they strive to help the writer make meaning clear.

D) Post-writing Stage:

Step 6: Ls are provided with their English penfriend’s letter who also talks about the place he/she lives in England to compare it with their own written works by pointing out and discussing any similarities or differences.

Step 7: Then they may share their written work with the whole class.


Maria D. Tzotzou holds a BA in English Language and Literature (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), an MA in ‘Computational Linguistics ‘(National and Kapodistrian University of Athens-National Technical University of Athens, a MEd in ‘Studies in Education’ (Hellenic Open University) and a MEd in TESOL ‘Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages'(Hellenic Open University). She has been a state EFL teacher (primary and tertiary education), teacher trainer and adult educator in EFL lifelong learning programs. Her research interests focus on ELT methodology, teacher training and distance lifelong learning.

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