The students first fill in the fifty gaps in the text by looking for a word in each hexagon with the same number:
- The words are no longer than six letters (they can also be two, three, four or five letters long!)
- The words read in a clockwise or anti-clockwise fashion starting at any point in the hexagon. For example, the first word is “little” (a six-letter word with no extra letters in the hexagon); the second one is “funny” (the students circle the extra “e”, which they will need in the next step.)
- It’s important that the students cross out the letters that they use, or circle the letters they have not used and which they will need later. Model the procedure with the first few words.
Apart from working on spelling, the students will sometimes need to choose between different possible combinations (e.g. 7 – “have” or “go”?; 9 – “ten”, “net” or “buy”?) by looking at the text and focusing on meaning and context clues. In other cases, they will be facing problems related to agreement, number or tenses as they put their comprehension skills to the test.
Once the students have completed the fifty gaps (or most of them), have them write the nine words that can be read across each row A to I formed by the letters that have not been used and which are in the right order. The students read the text again and decide which box each word belongs to.
A forgotten – B feeling – C sweetest – D travelling – E potions – F forgetting – G everybody – H sculptor – I wonderful
This exercise in reading comprehension, grammar, vocabulary and spelling is finally checked by listening to “Your Song” by Elton John (1970). The students correct any mistakes as they listen and identify any problems they’ve had.