Introducing Used To: How Peeps Are Made
Introduce used to and didn’t use to to your pre-intermediate students with a lovely story about an immigrant who created an American classic
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In this 90-minute lesson for pre-intermediate (A2) groups and individuals, students are introduced to used to with a story about something and sweet – candy! The story is an American classic. Immigrant moves to America and takes his family’s business to soaring new heights. A confectioner, an inventor, and the man who industrialized the American Easter favorite Peeps, Sam Born is a man to know.
The lesson comes with a warm up activity in which students identify some sugary treats, a vocabulary exercise to help facilitate the subsequent reading comprehension exercise, a guided grammar walkthrough section breaking down the logic of “used to” and “didn’t use to” and finally a speaking activity in which students express changes between the past and the present in various context using “used to” and “didn’t use to”.
In making this, I tried hard to make the “used to” lesson I was always looking for. It is not a terribly complicated structure to teach or to learn, but I never found much in the way of interesting subjects or explanatory notes. This is the logic of the way I always taught “used to” inside a complete lesson plan geared towards that logic. “Used to” is such a cool structure in English and gives us a real shortcut to express particular types of changes.
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