A lesson plan developed by Mandeep Locham

Mandeep Locham is a Language teacher based in Barcelona. Her professional interests include vocabulary research and strategy training. When she’s not thinking about words she likes to do yoga and take photographs (not at the same time).


About the Project

CSLB-logo-web (1) (2)This is one of series of ELT resources developed by members of Serveis Lingüístics de Barcelona in collaboration with Designer Lessons. We are a cooperative of language teachers and related professionals who get together to lend and share materials, equipment and training in order to better ourselves professionally and economically. We also aim to distribute and market our work collectively. You can learn a little more about us and our objectives here.


About the lesson: 

A group class that could also easily be adapted for a one to one which practises using the language of giving advice, continues with a reading and ends with an informal letter writing activity. It is adaptable for pre-intermediate to upper intermediate levels.


Length: 1hr 30mins

This class begins with a general discussion on what advice would be useful to give to a typical 16 year old before continuing with a reading that looks at the advice a famous author gave himself. The last part of the class gives the students an opportunity to personalize the activity and write to themselves. The student handout for this lesson can be downloaded and printed here: Dear My Sixteen-Year-Old Self


Stage 1

Ask the students to write down three pieces of advice they would give to a 16 year old. Monitor and correct individual answers. Then put students in small groups and ask them to compare answers. Get class feedback. Now in the same groups ask the students to discuss if they would change any of the advice if it had been for themselves.


Stage 2

Introduce the central idea behind the book. Ask the discussion questions listed in the handout. What would you put in a letter to yourself etc. Ask and answer these questions as a group perhaps sharing your personal experience!


Stage 3

Ask students if they know who Stephen King is. If they do, can they tell you what type of books he writes and if they have read any of his work or seen any of his movie adaptations. Explain they will read a letter he wrote to himself. Can they predict what he says? Ask them to make a note of any new vocabulary. Pre-teach Junkie and heed.

After answering any vocabulary questions ask the group what they thought of the advice and do they think a 16-year-old Stephen would have listened to himself!


Stage 4

Ask students to write a letter to either themselves or a generic 16 year old. Set a time limit/word limit. Monitor and correct. Give general class feedback in the form of an error correction to be done at the end of the class or for homework. Don’t forget to point out good/creative language too!


King, S (2011). Dear me. in (Ed.) J, Galliano. Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self. Retrieved from http://www.infobasepublishing.comhttp://www.dearme.org/excerpt/SK/?rame=true&width=750&height=100%

Image by Tim Green, Letters [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) ], via Flickr Commons. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/7XvgKV