Infinitive (how to) – Presentation

Infinitive (how to) - presentation


Infinitive (how to) – Do you know how to swim? Do you know what to say? Do you know when to go?

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In my textbook there is a section for new grammar tackling the topic of, “I don’t know how to _____“. This “how to” sentence structure is also supplemented with “where to-“, “what to-“, “when to-“.

As far as I have looked, there wasn’t much online on how to teach this. So, I gave it my best shot.

In this presentation I give a situation and act like I don’t know what/how to do the thing. I then ask the students to help me understand what to do.

The focus of this presentation is not on the answers, but on the question form itself. Kind of like the “How” grammar taught in 1st grade.

More about this

First off, go watch this music video from Little Big. It’s a Russian band that I have been obsessed with as of late. ( I have no idea why…) In their strange video they often subvert expectations and create unique situations. I bring them up because you will see about 4 or 5 gifs taken from that bananas video. (not all their videos are completely kosher, FYI.)

Anyways, to start off the presentation I present an iron. I act like I have never seen one before, even go so far as to mispronounce the word for iron. (eye-row-nnnn?) I feign ignorance and show the clip of the iron being used improperly and say “is this right?” The students will mostly likely say “No!!!” and I will act sad and state that I don’t know how to use it. At the end of the first slide, I ask the students to tell me how to use it.

When I asked how to use an iron question, the answers were all over the place, from gestures, words, and even Japanese. All of which was great! A sign of understanding is always a nice thing. After taking in all their answers, I acted like I understood the concept of an “iron” and gestured on how to use it properly.

The following slide is about Doraemon and how to draw him. Most students do, in some form or another. There is a popular song sung by the titular character that shows exactly how to do it. When I asked “Do you know how to draw Doraemon?” one of my students sung parts of the song. Amazing!

The next two slides once again contain some interesting visuals and subversions of expectation from Little Big.

(Why are their songs so catchy? Do I like them ironically? Do I truly enjoy them? I think I may be going nuts… I can’t stop listening to their songs. )

The 7th slide introduces “Do you know what to say…?” This time, I do know what to say! The gif is from the popular Crayon Shin-chan when his tired father returns home from work. In Japanese, when one comes home, they said ただいま (tadaima). For most Americans, we might scream out to our significants “I’m home!” or something to that effect. Although for me, I can’t say that I always did so when returning from a long day, but you get the point.

On slide no. 8, I wanted to use a natural disaster. A time in which you really need to know “what to do”. This is a case of where I don’t know what to do, thus encouraging the students to tell me what to do.

The last slide broaches the topic of what to say when someone sneezes. This slide uses the “what to” and “when to” versions of the grammar topic. Where I’m from, we always said “bless you” after someone sneezes. (religious or not.) On this slide I teach the students this phrase and have them “practice” when to say it. The last image of a dog sneezing and subsequently exploding in a comedic fashion. I have the students yell “bless you” right as the dog explodes, it’s a lot of fun. 

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