Teaching "If" Clauses

Here is a nice way to teach some serious grammar on “if” clauses as per:
Si clause in present/result clause in future
Si clause in imperfect/result clause in conditional
Si clause in pluperfect/result clause in past conditional
I circled this sentence yesterday for 85 minutes and it didn’t get boring because of the nature of the questioning/content we were discussing:
“If you could travel back or forward in time, where would you go and when?”
Put up a grid with the words “past” and “future” and “where” with a column also available for writing the names of the students, as per:
FullSizeRender (1)
Go around much as we do with the Sabrina Greetings strategy. Ask the first kid and all subsequent kids the question. Drive that question home. Repeat it over and over and over. Stress the grammar (the forms of the verbs) that you are trying to teach when you speak.
Note the information gathered on each kid. Go deep with each fact. Sneak even more reps on the new information and then go to the next kid. Then play the ace – compare kid A with kid B.
In this activity it’s really all about the imperfect/conditional structure, which you can get hundreds of reps on, but I like to force the first and third verbal combinations into the lesson as much as I can, which isn’t much but the superstars like it.
This lesson is also very good for teaching and getting lots of repetitions on those pesky year structures, which I understand are especially gnarly in German.
If a student wants to change their answers, I allow that. I allow anything as long as we stay in French. I play a lot of yellow and orange and red cards in this strategy, as in anything I do where I want to stay in the language. Those cards are working.
(credit: Anne Matava for this strategy, which is offered as a warm up to a story that will be included in her new upcoming Vol. 3 set of story scripts.)

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2 thoughts on “Teaching "If" Clauses”

  1. Charts/tables during personal discussion are awesome support/scaffolding!
    Let’s put a communicative twist on this. The goal is to find out the personal information: To where and when do kids want to travel.

  2. …let’s put a communicative twist on this. The goal is to find out the personal information: To where and when do kids want to travel….
    Yes Eric, the chart is just a way to get in some PQA to set up Anne’s new story about super heroes and time travel. (Apparently, one of the kids in one of her classes in Maine has the ability, when someone has a problem in the past or future, to sense it in her hair.)

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