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Shopping Lesson Plan: 

Information Gap, Survey, Simulation, and Vocabulary Worksheets

 by Chris Gunn


Time: Up to 4 hours depending on how much the teacher wishes to use.

Materials: To give to the students.


Introductory Vocabulary Exercises.


Information Gap


Conversation and Class Survey


Comparative Grammar Practice and Shopping Role-play


5 Pages of Vocabulary and Expressions Worksheets 


Materials: For the teacher.


Product Information Sheets



Part 1: Introduction to the Unit Vocabulary

If time permits, write the unit vocabulary expressions on the board before the class begins. This will help save time as there is a lot to cover in this unit. When the class begins, handout the introductory vocabulary worksheet (after you've gone over your usual review and teacher talk). 


Look at the groupings of words and ask students to come up with a heading for each group. This is technique is outlined in Thomas Lavelle's article: List-Group-Label for Speaking and Writing Development. Go over the groupings one at a time so that you can cover any vocabulary that students are unfamiliar with. 


Next, go over the part of the bill talking about discounts, tax, and tips. Ask a few questions about tax and tips to the students. Who do you usually give a tip to? Do you tip in your country? Has anybody ever received a tip? . . . .


Finally, go over cheap, expensive, and reasonable. Ask a few students how much they paid for articles of clothing and then ask other class members if they think those prices were cheap, reasonable, or expensive. 


Part 2: Information Gap

This part is pretty much self-explanatory. Pair students up and give them either an A or B information gap sheet. They have to go through the conversation and fill in the missing information. It is probably best if the teacher brings a student to the front and models the conversation. 


Note: the 'Conversation Strategy' for this unit is confirming. Make sure students confirm the information that they hear. In this activity, confirming is done using the expression 'so that's'. Other expressions that can be used are: Did you say . . .? You said . . ., right?


Part 3: Class Survey and Social Strategy

In this section, students can practice complimenting each other. To start the activity off the teacher can walk around the class and compliment some of the students. After the teacher compliments the students, the teacher can point out how the students looked when they were complimented (pleased, happy). Now the teacher can write some standard compliments on the board and discuss them with the students. 


Complimenting properly is a form of pragmatic competence. In this unit we call it a 'Social Strategy' because it highlights language that helps students successfully interact with people in English. The purpose is more to establish a relation than to convey information. Conversation strategies, on the other hand, are meant to help students convey information precisely. 


Now, go over the conversation and have the students practice it in pairs, using the substitutions. You can also point out the pronunciation tip for past tense. 


Finally, students will be given a survey. This activity is a simple but effective walk-and-talk. Students take their survey sheet and walk around the room. When they meet another student, they compliment that other student on some article of clothing. And then they ask where the item was bought, how much was paid for it, and other questions about the article. 


Part 4: Grammar Focus and Comparatives - Shopping Role-play

In this section, the students will do some comparison shopping. The grammar focus for the unit is comparatives. Most units on comparatives highlight 'adjective+er than' or 'more adjective than'. This unit highlights those patterns plus 'not as adjective as'. 


Handout the grammar and shopping role-play worksheets. Demonstrate the grammar on the board and then show some examples using the class. You can use examples of height, hair length, price of clothing, or whatever you happen to think of. 


Next, look at the examples of the Cool Walkers and Slimm Jimms. Using the information on the cards, make comparisons between the two pairs of shoes. The the students will work in pairs and make comparisons of other products. The teacher can circulate around the room and help students write their comparisons. The teacher may also have to explain some vocabulary. 


Now, it's time to do the role-play. Handout the product details to the students. Each student should get some details about one product. The student should get one set of pictures (two products), which they can show their 'customers'. And they should get one set of product details, which the teacher will take away once the students fill in the details on their role-play worksheet.


After the student's are finished filling out their store information, the teacher can give them a list of items to buy. If their are more than 8 students in the class, then the students should buy the complete shopping list. If their are only seven students, then the teacher can either join the role-play or just make a shopping list of seven items. If there are fewer students, the teacher can remove more items from the list as necessary. 


The students will have a budget depending on how big the shopping list is. If you use the complete shopping list the budget should be $750.00. If you use a partial list you can add to the budget in the fallowing manner: cameras ($200), sunglasses ($50), hiking boots ($100), jackets ($100), pants ($50), sleeping bags ($100), tent ($100), and tickets ($50). You should divide up between how much cash they have, how much they can write in checks, and how much they can put on their credit cards. 


Finally, students have to purchase the items on their shopping lists from other students. They should use the conversation as a guide. As they purchase the items, the students should fill out the table. 


Part 5: Workbook Exercises. 

As a vocabulary review (or preview if you wish), we've included 5 pages of vocabulary worksheets. Note: one activity is still unfinished. You can either omit it or make it yourself.