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Weekly Warmer


Conversation: Vacation Plans

Student Handout:

1. Look at the photos. Match the words with the photos.
1. playing volleyball ___, 2. snorkeling ____, 3. having dinner___ 4. relaxing on the beach ___

2. Look at the photos. Answer the questions in pairs or small groups.

Which of the things in 1. do you like doing when you are at the beach?
What other things do you like doing at the beach?

3a. Match the photos with the things in this list. b. Imagine you are having a holiday at the beach.
Plan one day of your holiday.
Write your plan here:






4. Read this.
When you want to say sorry because you did not do something, you can say:
I'm sorry.
Sorry about that
We often say why we did not do something. e.g. You didn't answer your phone when your friend phoned you before. Now you say,
"I'm sorry I didn't answer my phone. I was driving home so I turned it off."

5. Read this conversation. Allie is talking to her friend, Jack.

Allie: Hello?
Jack: Hi Allie. It's Jack.
Allie: Hi!
Jack: Are you okay? I phoned you two times today, but you didn't answer your phone.
Allie: Oh sorry. When?
Jack: I phoned you at ten o'clock this morning.
Allie: At ten o'clock I was swimming.
Jack: Then I phoned you again at three o'clock.
Allie: Umm, at three o'clock I was playing beach volleyball. My phone was in my bag so perhaps I           didn't hear it ring. Sorry about that.
Jack: That's okay. Anyway, do you want to have dinner at Pierre's?
Allie: The little cafe on the beach? Yes please!
Jack: Okay. I'm at the hotel. See you at 7 o'clock in the hotel lobby?
Allie: Okay, bye!
Jack: Bye!

6. Choose the best answers for these questions:
What are Allie and Jack doing? Where was Allie when Jack phoned her the first time?
  Allie and Jack are talking on the phone.
Allie and Jack are having dinner together.
Allie and Jack are sitting in class
  She was swimming.
She was playing volleyball.
She was having dinner.

How does Allie say sorry the first time? Where was Allie when Jack phoned her again?
  She says, "Sorry."
She says, "Oh sorry."
She says, "Sorry about that."
  She was swimming.
She was playing volleyball.
She was having dinner.

Where is Allie staying?
  At home.
At school.
In a hotel.

7. Read the conversation again in pairs.

This warmer looks at some language used to describe a vacation at the beach and provides some examples of the past continuous tense and saying sorry when you do not do something.

Level: Elementary

Language Aims: To work out the order of a dialogue. To learn the language of a particular real-life situation. To practice using stress and intonation correctly in a dialogue. To look at some language that can be used when saying sorry when you do not do something. To become more familiar with the past continuous tense.

Time: 45 minutes.

Preparation: Make enough copies of the worksheet so that each student will have a copy.


1. Students work in pairs or small groups and match the descriptions with the photos of things people do on a vacation at the beach.

2. Ask students to answer the questions about what they enjoy doing at the beach. Write up some of the activities mentioned on the whiteboard if you wish--this will help with 3b.

3. In a. students look at a short list of activities (showing what someone might be planning to do at the beach for one day.) They quickly match the activities listed with the photos from 1. This won't take long and students can do it in pairs or alone or you could quickly do it together as a class. For b. they work individually and compile their own list of activities for one day at the beach and then they compare their lists in pairs.

4. Read the language for saying sorry with the students. Talk about some times when you say this. (You may want to make it clear that the ways of saying sorry given here are for informal situations and NOT for when you have hurt someone deeply or do not know them well. Demonstrate the correct intonation and stress patterns for saying sorry.

5. Students read the conversation (this can be done silently or in pairs reading aloud or you can read it with a student or play a recording of it if you have taped it earlier.) You may like to focus now or at the end of the lesson on the examples of the past continuous used here.

6. Students now answer the multiple-choice questions about this phone conversation. Allie is on vacation and Jack is her friend. They talk about why she didn't answer her phone when he rang her earlier.

7. Have pairs rehearse the conversation. Circulate and assist with pronunciation and intonation queries. Then ask for volunteers to perform it in front of the class.

Extension: 1. You may like to ask students to work in pairs and role-play their own conversation similar to Allie and Jack's where one is asking the other why he or she didn't answer their phone and their partner is using their list of activities from 3b. to give their excuses.
2. Look in greater detail at the examples of the past continuous tense used in the conversation. Why were they used?



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