Here’s a mini-lesson I’ve planned to revise third conditional clauses with my students. The unit revolves around different types of music.
1. Display the lyrics of Adele’s “Someone Like You” and play the beginning of the song. The fact that some students will be familiar with the song lyrics is in fact an advantage, since we want them to focus first on meaning and then on form to rephrase the lyrics.
2. Ask the students to complete the conditional sentences provided at the end of the first lines. Elicit the structure, or use these sentences to model the activity. Discuss the uses of this type of conditional sentences (to express the past consequence of an unrealistic action or situation in the past, or to express regret about something we wish we could have changed but we couldn’t.)
3. Have the students work on the next few lines and complete the three sentences provided.
4. You may also want to have the students listen to the rest of the song and write a conditional sentence as a summary using their own words!
5. The students read a number of choices that Adele has made in her career and then work in pairs to complete the sentences. Do the first one with the whole group to model the procedure.
1-2. If Adele hadn’t been inspired by the music of Ella James and Ella Fitzgerald, she might not have pursued a career in music.
2-3. If she hadn’t pursued a career in music, she wouldn’t have been discovered by a talent scout.
3-4. If she hadn’t been discovered by a talent scout, she wouldn’t have signed a record deal.
4-5. If she hadn’t signed a record deal, she wouldn’t have released her breakthrough album “19”.
5-6. If she hadn’t released her breakthrough album, she wouldn’t have won her first Grammy.
6-7. If she hadn’t won her first Grammy, she wouldn’t have gained worldwide fame and success.
1-8. But, on the other hand, if she hadn’t been inspired by the music of Ella James and Ella Fitzgerald, she might have had success in a different field or had a different passion.
8-9. If she had been successful in a different field, she might not have been able to share her talent with the world.
6. Ask the students to complete the circles with information about them, starting with a family member, a friend, a classmate, or a hobby/sport, for instance, and then thinking of consequences for having met them or started that hobby or sport. In 8 and 9, they should think of consequences for not having met or lived with those people or started those hobbies/sports.
7. The students write 8 sentences using conditional sentences, following the model in activity 1.
8. The students finally share their texts with the rest of the group!