Friday, October 29, 2010

Would X Used to

In order to practice the use of WOULD and USED TO, I showed my students the picture of a tree.

Students in groups were supposed to create a short story about that tree. They complained at first, claiming they couldn´t think of anything, but then, their creativity started flowing. When they finished, they read their story to their peers. They enjoyed the activity very much because they realized how creative and touching their stories turned out to be. 

"When I was a child, I used to go to my aunt´s farm. It was very cool, I have good memories about this. I used to swim in the lake and spend hours climbing on the trees. In the end of the day, I used to watch the sunset and in the nights, I usually used to watch stars crash in the lake. I hope I will return there someday and check if the stars still shine in the same way". (2/2010 - Filipe, Kely and Sinara)

"When I was young, I used to go to my grandparents´ farm and there, I used to play outside in the garden. My favorite place to play was under the trees, especially during the summer, when the sun was amazing. The sunset was really wonderful. When I climbed the tree, I used to watch that sunset, it was a very beautiful landscape. I used to have great moments on the farm". (2/2010 - Antônio, Edilson and Monique)

"In the beginning, when the pangea still existed, we used to have many trees and many animals and vegetation. The sun used to shine bright and the climate used to be stable. After the humans arrived, the Earth changed radically and the nature was extremelly modified. The trees were replaced for concrete and builds and the sun didn´t shine anymore because all pollution". (2/2010 - Camilla, Marina and Stephany)

In the end, I showed them the animation based on the book and drawings by Shel Silverstein "The giving tree". They loved it.


  1. Dear Cleide,
    This story speaks to me tremendously. I used to have a set of prompts to tell it. My 6 year olds loved it. In fact, I'll use it with one of my groups next week. Great post, I find it extremely inspirational! Miss you, long time no see.

  2. Dear Cleide,
    I just love this story. I used to tell it to my students a lot. Why did I stop? I'll use it next week. Great post. I find it to be very inspirational. Have you considered have students vote for the best story and illustrate it for them? They would frick out. And you too0000.Make an animation, or something...

  3. Dear Cleide,

    Thank you very much for this wonderful if sad story, and the activities. Though I teach adults, I think it will work well for them, too. It is very much about memories and poetry.

    Quite recently while surfing the Internet for grammar materials on 'used to' and 'would', I came across a good website which is all about what people used to think or believe in their childhood. Check for yourself I haven't used it yet but I made a selection of some interesting beliefs (some really funny)and going to share them with my students. I think it is a good starting point for speaking, practising grammar in a meaningful way and having a good laugh :-)What do you think?

    Good luck and best wishes

  4. Lovely website!!! It´s a great idea for some conversation practice. Thanks dear. Keep commenting!