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The Banana Is Yellow

A Warmer

Connect the words and the correct pictures. Follow the example.







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B Presentation I

It is a banana.

It’s a banana.

The banana is yellow.

It is a house.

It’s a house.

The house is big.

Complete these sentences:

When we talk about something for the first time, we use _____.

• It’s a house.
• It’s a banana.

When we talk about something for the second time, we use _____.

• The house is big.

• The banana is yellow.

When we put “it” and “is” together, we use __________.

• It is a house >> It’s a house.

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C Presentation II

Now look at these sentences:

They are houses.

They’re houses.

The houses are big.

When we talk about more than one thing in English, we use ___.

• One house >> Three houses

• One banana >> Six bananas

D Exercise

Use “is” or “are” in the following sentences.

1. My brothers ____ Steve and Graham.

2. The Spanish student ____ Miguel.
3. The apples ____ red and the peach ____ yellow.
4. The big house ____ my house!
5. My father ____ a bank manager and my mother ____ a doctor.
6. The flag of Argentina ____ blue and white.
7. The Simpsons ____ yellow!
8. My sisters, Julia and Rachel, ____ students in New York.

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E Presentation III

Look at these sentences:

It is an apple.

It’s an apple.

The apple is red.

When we talk about something that begins with a vowel (a, e, i, o,

u) in English, we use ___.

• an apple BUT a banana

• an ice cream BUT a dog
• an umbrella BUT a television

A or An?

Look at these words. Do you use “a” or “an”?

Egg _______
Cat _______
Afternoon _______
Computer _______
Elephant _______
Flower _______
Eye _______
Table _______
Ear _______
Animal _______

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F Speaking

Read the conversations between Karl and Jenna.

Karl: What is it?

Jenna: It’s a banana. The banana is yellow.

Jenna: What are they?

Karl: They are cars. The cars are blue.

Look at the cards from your teacher. Have similar conversations.

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Teacher Notes
Verb “to be”, singular/plural verb
Target Language:
conjugation, basic adjectives.
Duration: 50 minutes

1 Structure and Timing (all times approximate)

A. Warmer (5 minutes)
B. Presentation I (10 minutes)
C. Presentation II (5 minutes)
D. Exercise (10 minutes)
E. Presentation III (10 minutes)
F. Speaking (10 minutes)

Total: 50 minutes.

2 Procedure

A. Warmer

As the first lesson of a Beginner course, there is a lot of “Presentation” of language

but nothing that should be too much for adult or younger learners.

You can work through the material here at your own pace (as you should for all lesson
plans) but there should be enough here for a full 50/60-minute lesson.

The aim of the lesson is to get beginner students comfortable with asking what
something is, answering the same question and using both a/the correctly when
referring to something for a first and second time. They will also understand the
difference between a/an and use basic adjectives.

The vocabulary chosen for this opening Warmer shouldn’t present too many problems,
even for beginners. Depending on the strength of your students, you can do this as a
whole-class activity or put your students into groups or pairs to complete.

B. Presentation I

For the presentation sections of this lesson, you can choose either to use the lesson
plan printouts or replicate the same material on a whiteboard/OHP. Ask students to
repeat each sentence until they are comfortable saying them.

Even at this stage, phonetics and pronunciation shouldn’t take a back seat. The weak
form of “a” should be used and the use of this unstressed schwa vowel here will get
your students into good, early habits.

Walk your class through the rules about the use of “a” and “the”.

You will have your own rules for your own students about explaining things to them in
their own language. I want to say a word here about the use of above-Beginner level
English in the student pages of Beginner level lesson plans. It is of vital importance
that students are surrounded by the target language set above their level. Logically
speaking, it’s the only way they’ll improve, whether that’s English they hear or English

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they see in a lesson context, such as here. The more curious of your students will look
at what is written and gain enormously from it. You, as teacher, can make it clear that
they don’t need to understand every word of what is written, as you will be giving
clear instructions anyway. This doesn’t mean, however, that what they see on these
pages is useless and certainly not damaging. Teachers have a responsibility to set the
level of language so it is right for their students, but this shouldn’t grow into fear or
paranoia about having them see language above, even well above, their level. As long
as students take it for what it is (i.e. “not what we’re studying today”), then it is only

You can use further examples in the classroom or on flashcards to practice the
constructions that the students have learned in this section.

C. Presentation II

This second presentation can be done in a similar whole-class fashion and the target
language is the basics of the plural in English.

Here is another example where pronunciation will play an important role, where
students may well need guidance in their correct pronunciation of the plural in both
“houses” and “bananas”. Make sure your students are using the correct /z/ phoneme
and not a more hissy /s/ sound.

D. Exercise

If you feel your class will gain more from doing the exercise in pairs or small groups,
you can ask them to do so, but it’s a good idea to do the first couple together as a
class so students are clear in what they have to do.

After you have corrected this exercise, you might like to do some reading out loud of
the sentences. It’s always important that students are familiar with the material they
are being asked to read aloud and the reading out of an exercise they have already
seen and corrected is an example of this.

E. Presentation III

The final presentation of the lesson involves the difference between “a” and “an”. In
many languages, the subtle differences in both definite and indefinite articles usually
come about due to differences in gender and/or number so the lack of gender
agreement in English can be surprising to students at this beginner level.

On this subject, you might like to elicit from your students why we use “an” before
“apple” but “a” before “banana”.

As with the other presentations, read the sentences for your students and have them
repeat them back to you, ensuring correct use of weak forms. It may seem a waste of
time to focus on weak forms at this stage, but every teacher will tell you that instilling
a good habit is a far easier task than turning around a bad habit!

The a/an exercise can be done by students in pairs or small groups.

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F. Speaking

You can ask a couple of the stronger students to read out the roles of Karl and Jenna
and when students are clear in what they are to do, distribute the cards (found after
these Teacher Notes) and set up the activity. Further flashcards can be added and
pairs can be mixed to prolong the speaking activity.

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Cards For Final Speaking Section

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