Numbers, commas and points – lesson plan

 Level: From A2 – B2 (number fluency does not seem to relate to other level indicators)

Timing: Approximately one hour

Aims: to distinguish between numbers ending in teen and ty

to recognise the UK/US use of commas and points in numbers

to be able to `spell` web and email addresses over the phone

Tasks: practice saying teen and ty endings e.g. 15, 50

read a variety of comma delimited and decimal numbers aloud (self selection)

hear and say similar numbers

spell web addresses and email addresses

Preparation: add personal/relevant email addresses to the web address/email sheet then print and cut up: numbers sheet, hear say sheets and web address/email address sheet

Instructions for the teacher in the order of the activities:

Lead-in (5 minutes)

Students work in small groups. Write 0 (the figure zero) on the board and ask the groups to list all the names and contexts they know for the figure. Groups suggest names and contexts, comparing answers.

Activity 1. teen and ty (whole class activity) (10 minutes)

Write 15 on the board, elicit the name of the number, repeat with 17 and 13. Model pronunciation if necessary. Students chorus as you point to each number on the board.

Leave the ‘teens’ on the board and ‘add’ 40, 90, 60 eliciting as before. Model and chorus if necessary.

Indicate numbers, elicit a response, alternate between teen and ty.

Add’ 14, 16, 18, 19, 20, 30, 50 and 70 to the board, point at numbers on the board, elicit responses.

Pairs: Students select and write any five numbers from the board on a piece of paper secretly. They then tell their partner their numbers, their partner writes down what they hear, roles are reversed and at the end they compare what each has written. Monitor the speaker(s), assist as necessary (three’s – one speaks and two listen)

Activity 2 decimal points and thousand commas (15 minutes)

Write ‘one thousand’, ‘zero decimal zero seven,’ and two thousand five hundred and fifty three decimal zero zero three down the board.

Then write the figures 1,000 0.07 2,553.003 alongside the words

Emphasise the position of the comma and the decimal point .

Write in words and figures 3,000,000 200,000 50,000 1,600 on the board.

Place the individual numbers in a mixed heap, each student picks a number, shows the others and reads it aloud, write the number, as said, on the board. Encourage peer correction, some of the numbers may be new to them.

Activity 3 Hear Say (10 minutes)

Hand out the hear say cards, attached is a set for five people.

Say Start, prompt the person with card a to say 10,600 and the person with card b will then reply with the next number.

Swap cards and repeat as a timed exercise, swap the cards and tell the students that the best time for this exercise was 5 seconds faster than they managed – if they want to try again, swap the cards once more and try again.

Activity 4 (15 minutes)

Write: A a @ & / \ # : ( ) % £ $ €! ? . – and _ on the board, elicit the names of each.

A a – teach the terms upper and lower case, mention that web addresses are ‘case sensitive and some passwords are ‘case sensitive’. [ I have never met a case sensitive email address.]

Teach the remaining symbols, @ at, & ampersand, / forward slash (or sometimes slash), \ back slash, # hash : colon ( open bracket 0 close bracket % percentage, £ pound, $ dollar € Euro ! exclamation mark, ? question mark, . point, dot or full stop – hyphen or dash _ under score

Consolidate by dictation.

Place a pile of web and email addresses on the desk between the students ask them to pick one and read it out, then return it to the pile. Write exactly what they say, letter by letter on the board. Students self and peer correct.

Cooler: (5 minutes)

UK convention for football scores: largest number of goals first, regardless of which team plays at home. Arsenal win 5 nil away at Spurs. Arsenal win 1 nil at home to Liverpool. United and City draw nil, nil. Soke and Blackburn draw 2 all.

Answer Key:

Lead-in – Zero (general use, mathematics)

‘oh’ (telephone numbers, James Bond)

nought (decimal numbers 0.4)

nil (football)

love (tennis)

Activity 2 alternative

As a whole group variation: Students note down 5 numbers, students record what each of them says.

Stand behind each speaking student and note any number read out incorrectly.

Students write their own numbers on the board, students compare what they thought they heard with what their fellows thought they said. Write any corrections alongside a student’s numbers i.e., if a student wrote 15 but said 50 write 50 alongside 15 on the board.

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