Level: This lesson can be adjusted for pre-intermediate, intermediate and upper-intermediate learners
Time: Approx. 30 minutes
Objective: Adjective review/extension, introduction to/review of comparatives and superlatives
Key skills: Speaking
Materials: One copy of the picture for each group of two or three students
1. Hand out the picture sheet. Explain the meaning of each brother’s name. Offer one or two adjectives to describe their character and appearance. Emphasize that each brother’s name reflects who they are, e.g. “Fantastic Frank is really fantastic! He is strong, intelligent …”, “Horrible Henry is really horrible! He is nasty, stupid …”
2. Allow students five or ten minutes to brainstorm other adjectives to describe each brother’s character and appearance. They can write these on the sheet or on a separate piece of paper.
Henry: nasty, mean, greedy, ugly, stupid, smelly, untidy, cruel, selfish…
Andy: boring, smart, organized, short, thin, tidy, reasonable….
Frank: tall, strong, generous, handsome, rich, strong, intelligent…
Encourage imaginative responses. Circulate and offer help and suggestions.
3. Feedback. Ask the students to give you all their suggestions. Write these on the board under each brother’s name.
4. You now have a large variety of adjectives with which to introduce or revise comparatives and/or superlatives.
5. Write on the board “Henry is _______ than Frank”. See if students can suggest an appropriate adjective to complete the gap. If they can’t, suggest one yourself and offer correct and incorrect alternatives until they understand the concept of comparative adjectives.
Check students use the correct spelling of the comparative. Explain that with longer words we add more rather than -er (e.g. more intelligent, more reasonable), with words ending in y we add -ier (e.g. ugly – uglier, tidy – tidier) and highlight the examples that take a double letter (fatter, thinner etc.)
6. Give students a few minutes to see how many other possibilities they can think of (e.g. Andy is shorter than Henry, Frank is more intelligent than Andy, Henry is uglier than Frank, etc.).
7. Ask for student feedback and write some examples on the board.
Follow up: This process can then be repeated with superlatives.