Technical English Measurements and Superlatives Lesson

Aims: Numbers, units of measurement, superlatives

(Optional) Metric and imperial measurements

Skills: Speaking, reading, listening

Resources: 1 copy of Worksheet 1, cut up so that there is one object described on each piece of paper and folded or cut along the dotted line so that students can’t see what the answer is until you tell them to look. You will need to choose which texts to use depending on the level and interests of your students. The texts near the end, for example, are more difficult to guess as they are not famous objects and students need to use superlatives to guess.

1 copy of Worksheet 2 per student

A tape measure

(Optional) Some bathroom scales and/ or a measuring jug, an imperial/ metric conversion chart, a calculator

Time: Approx 45 minutes (not including optional tasks)

Stage 1
Warmer- Measurements guessing game “I’ll name that length in one”  12 minutes
  1. If you have a chat at the beginning of the lesson, move onto to asking for the dimensions of something they mention, e.g. “How high is the mountain you went skiing on?” or “How long is your car?”
  2. Move onto to asking all the students to guess the dimensions of something in the room, e.g. the size of the TV screen. Ask students how confident they are about their estimations.
  3. Introduce the game. This is based on the old British TV show “Name that tune” where contestants bid for how few notes they will be able to hear and still identify a tune. In this (“I’ll name that length…”) Technical English version students bid with more and more accurate estimates for lengths, widths, heights from the floor, areas, and maybe cubic capacities and weights. For example, with the length of the table the first student says “110 centimetres plus or minus 20 centimetres”. An even more confident student can then ‘bid’ with “115 centimetres plus or minus 15 centimetres”, the next with “112 centimetres plus or minus 12 centimetres” etc. When the bidding stops or gets more accurate than you can measure (probably anything less than +/- 0.5 mm is impossible) make the measurement.
  4. If the last person to bid has the correct measurement to within the range they gave (e.g. 121 cm for the last bid above) they get one point. If it is outside that range (e.g. 99 cm) everyone else gets one point. Continue with as many different measurements as you can.
  5. If your students need to know imperial measurements as well, move onto using these.
Stage 2
Reading- guessing objects by their dimensions  7 minutes
  1. Move on from the warmer by describing what you think the dimensions of one of the objects in the classroom might be without naming it, e.g. “I would say it’s about 1 meter 70 from corner to corner” etc. for the whiteboard. If they can’t guess just from the dimensions, give extra clues like the material it is made from, its shape and its colour.
  2. Tell students they are going to read the dimensions of a famous object and try to guess what it is.
  3. Divide the class into groups of 2s or 3s. Give out one section from Worksheet 1 to each group, making sure they can’t see the answer. Tell them not to shout out their answers so the other groups can hear but to quietly write it down in the space provided.
  4. When they have all written down their guesses, let them see the answers- still making sure they don’t say the answer out loud.
Stage 3
Speaking and listening  15 minutes
  1. Tell students that they are now going to test the other groups on the object they have by reading out a sentence at a time as per the instructions on their sheet. They don’t need to start with the first line on the sheet but can choose the most difficult one first.
  2. After a group reads out one line of their description to the class each of the other groups can try to guess what the object being described is. If there are no correct guesses the team describing scores one point and the next group reads out one line of their description etc. Continue round and round the groups until all the objects have been guessed. If the other groups haven’t guessed when all of the lines on the worksheet have been read out (which sometimes happens), the group with that sheet has to make up more clues (e.g. It’s in Paris).
Stage 4
Grammar practice- superlatives  10 minutes
  1. After checking if the class have any questions about the language you have used so far, ask them to turn over their Worksheet 1 sheets so that they can’t see them and give them each a copy of Worksheet 2 to complete.
  2. When they have tried to complete all of Worksheet 2, let them look back at their part of Worksheet 1 to see if it helps them. Then go through the answers as a class.

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PDF version of lesson plan for easy printing:TechnicalEnglishMeasureLP

Worksheets:

Technical English measurements and superlatives Worksheet 1

Technical measurements superlatives Worksheet 2

One Response to Technical English Measurements and Superlatives Lesson

  1. KS says:

    Thank you! As someone very new to teaching technical English this is really helpful.

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