From another perspective: Teaching conditionals through interactive storytelling


Anyone who has ever been in one of my lessons knows how much I love using stories and anecdotes to introduce new language. Stories are the fabric of communication that can hold the attention of a room and allow access to worlds which from the average locked-down bedroom seem out of reach. With an idea for an interactive story to teach the second conditional, I decided to check out Genial.ly to see if it lived up to the promise of “creating interactive content that makes your audience fall in love”.

Genial.ly seems to be an excellent resource especially for making escape room activities which are all the rage at the moment. I’ve had a little play and while I’ve still got a lot to learn, I’m quite happy with how it can be used to add curiosity to online lessons. It also seems to be the perfect fit for asynchronous lessons, giving students the possibility to work at their own pace at assigned work.

Today there was another Lesson Jam, an excellent CPD opportunity to meet teachers from all over the world and share ideas for lessons or activities. It’s a truly brilliant and inspiring way to spend an hour and I highly recommend coming along for a jam session if you haven’t tried it out yet. My contribution was my genial.ly lesson, ‘From another perspective’ and after talking it through with other teachers who provided me with some excellent feedback, I’ve sharpened it up and am sharing it here with you now.

Overview of lesson

This lesson was designed to be used as a pre-cursor to the third conditional which I’m hoping to introduce based around what they produce this lesson. I’m using it with a group of post B1 teenagers and wanted to do something which would get them developing their critical thinking skills as well as thinking about the world around them, encouraging them to work on their empathy.

The idea is that they listen to a story, discussing key ideas which come out; break down the second conditional to practise using it for advice, and carry out interactive tasks along the way such as scavenger hunts and art challenges before discussing together what it means to be human and writing a ‘how to guide’ as a follow up activity. I have recorded myself telling the story to exploit further listening activities but I would STRONGLY recommend not using my audio and instead reading the story yourself as a live listening. The reason I say this is because the relationship between the storyteller and the listener is such a special one that I think you would do a far better job than I can do on an audio recording! Below are all the materials you need.

Click here for the genially presentation

Download the full lesson plan, script and ideas for potential follow up activities below:

As always if you try it out with your students, I’d love to hear about it so drop me a comment below.

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