Lesson Plan to accompany
Developing Teachers Newsletter - May 2000
This is an intermediate level lesson plan
- the text is at the end.
This material fits in very nicely with: English
File Upper Intermediate, Self-Study Book, p54 - Sharon Buch
(OUP) - an article about Sainsbury's employing the older worker.
Business English Pairwork 2, No. 4 - Flinders & Sweeney (Penguin)
- a discussion springboard about age & employment.
Here's an outline procedure:
1. Intro - Sainsbury's - type of jobs you
would find in a supermarket - stds could rank them in order
of interest/importance etc.
2. Headline (& picture?)- predict - teach
'trolley' & expressions 'to be driven off your trolley'(&
poss. a couple of other like expressions).
3. Skim read to verify predictions i.e. stds
are given a time limit of 1/2 minutes to read quickly to see
if their ideas were right >> pairs compare >> feedback
4. Comprehension task - some questions to
check understanding of the text >> pairs compare >> feedback.
You could ask the stds to write 6 questions about the text
& then swap them with their neighbour to answer - a std generated
5. Vocabulary - a meaning from context task
i.e. get stds to work out the meaning of the words/expressions
from the context in the text.
Examples of vocab to pick up on:
'fit as a fiddle' ('gammy knee' - will probably need dealing
with but not high frequency)
'to go on working til I drop'
'Customers are very fond of Mr Dowd'
'He is always cheerful'
('Sheltered accommodation' - difficult to understand from
('Driving around all the passes' - again the stds will ask
about it but there are no clues unless the stds know about
the Lake District.)
6.Language focus - direct/indirect speech
- stds identify where both occur throughout & then discuss
why the writer uses one & not the other.
It is also a very clear text review the present simple, present
perfect, past simple & past continuous tenses. Ask the stds
to find examples of these tenses in the text & then, in pairs,
they work out how they are used differently.
Follow up activities
7.Interview with Jim Dowd
8.Discussion on ageism & employing older people
9.Writing - letter to the editor/letter to the supermarket
'I'm 93, but quitting
job would drive me off my trolley'
Jim Dowd. 93. Perhaps the oldest working man in Britain,
was taking a rest yesterday from his six day week as
a trolley supervisor at Sainsbury's. Mr Dowd, a retired
motor fitter, said he might put his feet up and watch
television, "but it's usually very boring and I prefer
At Sainsbury's Finchley Road branch, north London,
he pushes trolleys from bays in the car park to the
store for customers. He works a 33-hour week Monday
to Saturday, and said be was fit as a fiddle, apart
from a slightly gammy knee. "I intend to go on working
until I drop. "There is nothing else to do, and I love
He joined the company eight years ago, having returned
to work at 69 because he was bored and missed his job
repairing cars. Sainsbury's allowed him to cut the tape
when the store opened several years ago because he was
so popular with customers.
The manager, Jim Rutledge, has offered him a job in
the store but Mr Dowd said: "I have refused it. The
only job I want inside is his, and he won't let me have
it." Mr Rutledge said: "Customers are very fond of Mr
Dowd, although they sometimes ask how long he can go
He is always cheerful, and we value his contribution."
He travels to work by bus from his sheltered accommodation
in Hampstead. His wife died five years ago.
He spends most of his six weeks of holiday in the Lake
District, driving 300 miles to farm near Cockermouth.
He does not go walking but admires the lakes "by driving
round all the passes".
Taken from the Guardian Newspaper, April 3rd 2000,
to the May 2000 Newsletter