Paragraphing Practice

TOPIC: Age difference in marriage

Class / Level: Pre-intermediate

Students: Adults / Young adults

Date and Time of lesson:

Length of lesson: 60 minutes

Number of students: 12

Lesson aim: To practise paragraphing.

New language: groom, vicar, registry office

Assumptions: Students have done some previous work on paragraphing but are not yet competent in paragraphing their writing.

Step 1: When is a good age to marry? Why?

Step 2: What sort of age difference is good? Why? Why not? Would you marry someone much older / younger? Why/Why not?

Step 3: Does it matter if the bride is older than the groom? Why?/Why not? What sort of difference do you think is too much?

Step 4: Show pictures of attractive older men (Harrison Ford etc) and discuss marriage to an older man.

Step 5: Show pictures of attractive older women (Jane Fonda etc) and discuss.

Step 6: Write the word marriage in the centre of the board and brainstorm words associated with it in a circle around it. Where appropriate teach groom, vicar, registry office.

Step 7: Play a recording of the report. Tell the students to listen out for any ages mentioned.

Step 8: Play the recording again. Tell the students to listen for names. Step 9: Play the recording again. Tell the students to listen for the reasons why the vicar refused to marry them.

Step 10: Discuss whether the vicar was right or wrong.

Step 11: Hand out the newspaper report in one paragraph. Tell the students to read it through and decide on the paragraphing individually.

Step 12: Tell the students to work in pairs and compare their paragraphs. Agree on one arrangement.

Step 13: Tell each pair to join another pair and compare their paragraphing.

Step 14: Ask for feedback from students on paragraphing. Discussion on best arrangement and why. Point out the topic sentences ie the first sentence of each paragraph.

Here is the passage in paragraphs.

Bride told she’s too old for the groom

Two people have been refused permission to marry in a church. The bride to be and her future husband were looking forward to a wedding with bridesmaids and pageboys. However, days after talking to the vicar about their wedding, the couple, who have lived together for seven years, received a letter saying that the wedding was off because the bride was twice the age of the groom.

The couple were shocked by the news. Ellen Peters, 54, and Peter Osbourne, 27, were told by the Reverend Anne Machins that she thought the marriage was ill-advised and that she was unable to marry the couple. They are now unable to have a church wedding. The couple, who are very angry, will have a registry office ceremony instead.

The two of them are very angry. Ms Peters, a divorced accountant with two sons, said, “I am absolutely shattered!” Mr Osbourne, a teacher said, “I am with the woman I love and she loves me. Age has nothing to do with it.” However, the minister said that she had the authority to refuse any wedding. She said, “I think I’m quite liberal but something was not quite right. When he is 60, she will be 86 and she might be a little old lady in a home. If it all went wrong, people would ask why the church did it.”