Author: Ndeye Coumba Barro | Published on 1 February 2024


Read what Ndeye says about this activity:

The causative, when we talk about making someone do something, is a grammar point many language learners struggle with. One way to help them is to make the lesson more personalised and related to their everyday lives through the topic of chores.

Stage 1: Preparation

Before the lesson get some pictures that show people doing chores, such as washing dishes, tidying rooms, etc.

Stage 2: Contextualisation

Start the lesson by sharing the pictures and asking the learners what chores they can see or what is happening in the pictures. Ask if they do and/or like these chores, and who does them in their house

Next, read the following text, or a similar one, out to the students or ask them to read/listen and answer the questions:

  • Is your mother the same as this mother ?
  • Does she make you do things you do not love?
Text: My mother makes us wake up early in the morning and clean the compound. She makes us wash all the clothes and fetch water. She also makes us revise our lessons to get prepared for Monday. I hate it!

Stage 3: Noticing

Ask the students to look at the text and underline all the verbs. Elicit and board an example sentence and then elicit the structure of the grammar. For example:

My mother makes us wake up early

S + make + someone + do (verb inf.) + something 

Stage 4: Presentation

Ask concept checking questions to check the learners understand the meaning. For example: 

  • Do you wake up on your own? (No)
  • Does your mother wake you up? (Yes)
  • Do you like it or not? (Probably not)

Stage 5: Mechanical Practice

Write some sentence stems on the board. For example, My mum makes me…, My dad makes me…, My teacher makes me… Ask the learners to complete the sentences with their ideas.

Extension: Ask the learners to read their sentences to their friends and find out if they have any ideas in common.

Stage 6: Communicative Practice - Preparation

Ask the students to write questions for a survey using the grammar point and different people. Give examples and write them on the board: Does your father make you wash the dishes? The students then write five questions and ask their friends. If their friend answers yes, they write a tick next to the question, if no a cross.

Extension: Students make a bar chart based on the information they collect and write a description of it, e.g. In my class five people said their mother makes them wash the dishes.

Alternative: Give the learners some situation cards and ask the students to decide what one person should make another do. For example: My sister is a lazy child and never studies. What do you think our father should make her do? The learners could also make their own cards and share it with their friends to discuss.