"Honesty” Lesson Plan LC with (Oral & Written) Worksheets

Your English" 18 and 19 (language learning podcasts on iTunes) feature the listening comprehension exercise “Honesty” with oral/written worksheets. This LC in two parts is an excellent introduction to a discussion about all the dishonesty we hear about today in the media: false claims made during the US presidential campaign and Lance Armstrong’s refusal during many years to admit to doping until he finally stopped lying are just two among ever so many. Assignment and debate questions included.

Marianne Raynaud

“Honesty” versus “lying” is a big issue in the news today. There are so many times when people are downright dishonest, and they expect us to believe whatever they say. Examples can be found in electoral campaigns, speeches of lawmakers, disclosures of flagrant doping in sports, etc. New media has an alarming tendency to transform the truth to suit their needs, favor alternative facts, and create confusion over conspiracy theories. The theme of ethics in today’s world is an excellent and timeless topic of discussion.

I suggest that teachers make use of the two podcasts from the "Your English” Series (Nos. 18 and 19) as an introduction to this discussion. There is a written worksheet with a gap-fill and also two pages for oral pairwork that will encourage everyone in the class to speak using the structures included in the listening comprehension.

Teachers who have already worked with “The Iceberg Project” will recognize the pedagogical strategy that is recommended here. Others will learn a technique that will get the whole class orally active at the same time. These written materials from the book QualityTime-ESL: The Digital Resource Book (DVD & Downloadable Versions 2.0 are offered free of charge on this page in the hope that teachers will make good use of them for lively discussions. They are in PDF format. In the digital book, you will find the DOC files that you can customize to suit your needs. For instance, you can add vocabulary in the students’ native tongue or modify the debate questions in a matter of minutes.

New version of listening comprehension “Honesty”

We have divided the original narrative into two parts with an introduction and a listen-and-repeat section for each section. There are also "opinion" questions in the recording that students can take down in dictation and prepare orally or silently after completing each part.

These exercises are appropriate for all levels from A2 to C1—thus good for mixed level classes. The oral files can be used in labs, in class (on smartphones or other mobile devices) or as "oral" homework wherever students have access to to the Internet.

Two podcasts from "Your English" on "Honesty"

So now you can use these two podcasts:

  • Your English No.18 for "Honesty Part 1" Recording:
    MP3 - 9.1 Mb
    Your English 18 Honesty Part 1
  • Your English No.19 for "Honesty Part 2" Recording:
    MP3 - 8.5 Mb
    Your English 19 Honesty Part 2

Documents in PDF:

  • "Honesty" - entire text with fill-ins:
    PDF - 82.8 kb
    Honesty LC Complete-Fill Ins&Vocab
  • "Honesty" - entire text with fill-ins and vocabulary explained in English:
    PDF - 113.7 kb
    Honesty LC Complete-Fill Ins&Vocab
  • "Honesty" - entire text - Key
    PDF - 52.4 kb
    Honesty LC Complete-Key
  • You can download the audio files here or go to iTunes, type my name "Marianne Raynaud," and get the whole series of "Your English."

There is a new format for the worksheet/key

As many teachers have to deal with large classes with 20 or more students, I thought it might be good to have them work on the listening comprehension in pairs using a worksheet for oral practice—after working with the recorded version once or twice on their own. This active way of working on listening comprehension "orally" differs from the use of a gap-fill grid.

One recto-verso paper for part one

After playing the recording of part one to the class (or reading it aloud yourself), you hand out one recto-verso paper (worksheet number one below) to each pair of students. They take turns at being the "teacher," i.e., they read the text aloud (without letting their partner see it). They do the listen-and-repeat part having their partner repeat, and then they ask the sort of questions we teachers tend to put to the whole class.

PDF - 194.1 kb
Honesty - Part 1 L&R+Qs

"Easy" questions

On the paper, the questions to be asked by the “student-teacher” are printed with some words in parentheses that the “student” should use when answering. Again the “student-teachers” are instructed not to show the paper to their partners.

The teacher will walk around checking whether the students are speaking correctly, but I can assure you that they will all be active and they will enjoy this activity much more than having the teacher put the questions to the whole class and asking them to answer one after another.

A short list of debate questions

There is an additional page (below), which the teacher should not print out or give to the students. It has advice plus the short list of debate questions found at the end of the recording (Podcast 18) that the teacher can write on the board or project to the class. I strongly suggest that before discussing these questions in pairwork the students should change partners. These activities (reading, simple questions and then debate topics) should take about 30 minutes, after which the teacher may decide to open up the discussion to the whole class—in that case, please look at my suggestions on the "Questions for Debate" page.

PDF - 144.6 kb
Honesty - Part 1 Qs for Debate

Part 2 of "Honesty" on a different day & memory work

I think it is advisable to do "Honesty Part 2" on a different day. The students should first be asked to memorize part one and be ready to recite it to a partner at the next session. If they seem reluctant, tell them that this narrative is full of expressions that are on international tests and that they will be reciting it to a partner and not in front of the whole class. That should reassure and motivate them. I would like to point out that all the verbs in part one are in the simple present (giving opinions and information) and all the verbs in part two are in the simple past (telling what happened). So this narrative provides practice with useful structures and very important tenses.

The assignment

The assignment (below) now includes a question about WikiLeaks and another one about the banking crisis. The students need not write about Julian Assange or the world’s economy. These are just two of the options that can be chosen. This assignment can be given at the end of the first class or at the end of the second session depending on whether you want the students to prepare ahead of time for their discussions.

PDF - 142.9 kb
Honesty - Assignment - Essay Topics

One recto-verso paper for part two & debate questions

During the second class, you put the students in pairs. First, they recite part one to each other—very important. Second, they listen to the recording of part two (or you read it aloud yourself). Third, you give out the worksheet for part two (below), and they start the different exercises leading up the debate questions that you project or write on the board. It is best to ask the students to change partners for this second pair work activity.

PDF - 196.2 kb
Honesty - Part 2 L&R+Qs
PDF - 145.9 kb
Honesty - Part 2 Qs for Debate

Groups of three or four to "talk" about their essays

At the end of the second session instead of having a whole class discussion, this time you can ask the students to get up, form different groups of three or four, and (while they are standing) "talk" about what they wrote in their assigned essays. But they must leave their papers on their desks to avoid any reading.

Reading and correcting their partner’s essay

To finish the class, you can have them read their partner’s essay and try to locate mistakes. Of course, the authors themselves errors should correct them. The students can raise their hands, and speak with you individually as you walk around the classroom. Tell them that they shouldn’t hesitate to ask you if they have any doubts. Chances are you will have fewer mistakes to correct when they have typed out the final versions of their essays.

The assignment

The assignment after the second session should be to learn that second part by heart and to write the essay—if you did not have them do it after the first session.

Great success with this theme

I have always had great success with this theme of "honesty," which today seems just as valid and up-to-date as in the past. With the lesson plan mentioned above, all the students will be participating actively and will wind up expressing their ideas far more than when the teacher asks them to express their personal opinion in front of everyone else.

I’d love some feedback

I would enjoy getting some feedback from teachers using these podcasts and worksheets. Just write to Marianne Raynaud. You can also contact me if you have any questions.

All the files are available in MS Word/Doc

If you purchase my digital book (see below), you will get all these files in MS Word. Then you’ll be able to customize them, i.e., add vocabulary in your students’ native language, additional explanations or instructions like the due date of the essay assignment. Teachers who buy the book say they are overwhelmed by the number of excellent materials. In fact, there are hundreds of activities (with audio and video).

Effective teaching materials

If you are looking for effective teaching materials, read about QualityTime-ESL: The Digital Resource Book 2.0 with more than 1,500 files (MS Word, MP3, PPT and video).

For more information, go to the store to order. Money back guarantee.

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