Quotations are an invaluable resource for the language classroom. As texts, they are short, autonomous in meaning, thought provoking, memorable and easy to obtain. We can make use of sites such as The Quotations Page as a quotation corpora.
- Language level: Pre-intermediate; Intermediate (A2; B1)
- Learner type: Teens; Adults
- Time: 30 minutes
- Activity: Writing sentences
- Topic: Quotations
- Language: Second conditional
- Materials: Worksheet
Lesson plan outline
Quotations used for this lesson plan:
- “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.”
- “If everyone on earth just stopped breathing for an hour, the greenhouse effect would no longer be a problem.”
- “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.”
- “If there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers.”
- “If I had no sense of humour, I would long ago have committed suicide.”
- “If women didn’t exist, all the money in the world would have no meaning.”
- “If God lived on earth, people would break his windows.”
- “If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead.”
- If possible, introduce the idea of quotations culture by showing students a quotations book or an image (this one for example). Ask students if they like to use quotations and if they can recall any from memory. You could share the following:
- Tell students that you have 8 incomplete quotations for them. Give out copies of the Incomplete quotations worksheet (see excerpt below – full worksheet included in PDF download) and ask students to attempt to complete them in any way that they like and write ideas in the spaces provided. Circulate and offer grammatical help as and when required.
- Let students share and compare what they have written. Continue to elicit or offer grammatical support whenever required.
- Quickly stick the 8 real quotation endings randomly around the classroom walls (provided in the PDF download).
- Ask students to go around the classroom and match the incomplete quotations with the real endings, which they should write on their sheets in the spaces provided.
- Go over the answers, drill pronunciation, and find out whether or not your students agree with the sentiments expressed in the quotations.
“I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself.” Marlene Dietrich
- Ask students to illustrate the quotations. Later, use the drawings to reactivate and revise the language.
- For homework, ask students to find out about the people behind the quotations.
- Put some of your students’ favourite quotations up around the classroom walls, accompanied by pictures of those behind them.
- Introduce students to the website that these quotations were taken from and demonstrate how they can find their own examples: http://www.quotationspage.com/