Warm-up : Talking about superstitions
Superstition is a part of the culture today. Although superstition was more alive a hundred years
ago, there are still superstitious people around, both young and old. Some people though, clame not to
be superstitious, but it is still a part of them.
Throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth century life was hazardous, and the central feature of
day-to-day existence was a preoccupation with finding explanations for fortune and misfortune.
Religion, diseases and fire might have been the most essential elements in the background of the beliefs
of superstition. Even though we are not searching for the same answers today superstition is still with
us as a tradition.
The word 'Superstition' comes from the Latin 'super' which means above, and 'stare' which means
to stand. Those who survived in a battle were called 'superstitians', since they had outlived their
fellow warriors and therefore stood above them.
Talk to your partner about the superstitions you already know and that are in your daily life. Here
you have some clues:
Shoes Lucky things
Reading: Palm reading
Pre-reading: Have you ever heard about palm reading? Do you
think it is true or not? Do you think that people who reads palms
know what they are talking about?
While-reading: Underline all the terms you dont know as well
as the key words of the text.
Post-reading: Following the guidelines given in the text, take
your partners palm and try to read it. Ask him or her if he or she
really feels identified with the features you have read in his or her
palm. Then, try to read yours. ¡¡
Reading: Palm reading
Stressed. Horizontal lines across the tips of your fingers indicate you've
been concentrating a lot or are stressed and are probably not looking
after yourself properly.
Frustrated. Vertical lines across the bottom end of your fingers show
you are frustrated and can’t cope with stress.
Children and marriage. These horizontal lines show the amount of
marriages (or nowadays, long relationships) you'll have. The vertical lines
rising up from them are the amount of children you will have with each
Heart. The heart line governs your emotions, as well as vascular health.
It starts on the thumb side of the hand above the head line and sweeps
across the palm horizontally.
Depth of line: A weak line means you're a highly sensitive, slightly shy
type and a strong line indicates emotional pressure and possible health
troubles, like stress and worry.
Position of line: A high line signals that you're emotionally cold, and a
low line means you're a passionate character. A high starting point suggests
a supporting role in a relationship. If the beginning of heart, life and head
lines join it shows a traumatic shock to the system - an incident you may
not recover from.
Length of line: A short line suggests you believe in ideals and can be very dedicated to your beliefs.
Curve of line: The more curved the more emotional and warm, a straighter line means you're less
flexible and less physically expressive. If it goes from one side to the other in a straight line it's a sign of
Anomalies: Small lines at the start show you want change
Travel. Horizontal lines from the outer edge of the hand indicate a restlessness or a desire to travel.
Life. The life line traces events from birth to old age, it usually starts above the thumb and sweeps down the palm.
Depth of line: A strong, uninterrupted line means you have a zest for living and love the outdoors.
Position of line: If it starts as a single line at the edge of the palm you are open and self-reliant. A line that completely
restricts the ball of the thumb equals a lack of enthusiasm for life. If it's entwined with the head line you are more sensitive
and cautious, the longer it is entwined the more sensitive and cautious you are.
Length of line: A short life line doesn't mean a short life, nor does a long line mean long life. A long life line means you
like the physical more than the abstract.
Curve of line: The line curves under the ball of the thumb if you're a home bird. If the line sweeps out you love travel
and have an eager attitude to experiencing life.
Anomalies: If it starts as a chain of lines you can be reliant on others. At the end of the line, a fork indicates restlessness
Loyalty. If you have a loyalty line that is strongly etched it means you have one very close bond in your family circle,
usually between a brother and sister
Family. If it's a strong line, it shows solidarity and a good relationship with your family. However, if it's chained it
suggests you have an uneven relationship with your family, things can blow hot or cold
Head. This line shows the way you think and reason. It starts above your thumb near the life line and goes horizontally across the
Depth of line: A deep line means you can be egotistic. If the right hand has a weaker line you are submissive and vacillating, if the
left hand is weaker you are positive and well ordered.
Position of line: A head line that cuts the palm in half means you have great mental control but a strong selfish streak. If the head
line begins inside the life line you are full of uncertainty or lack confidence. A head line that is closer to the life line means you are less
confident, while if it's further away from the life line you are more rash, impulsive and ambitious.
Length of line: A long head line means you're imaginative and easily side tracked. A short head line shows you are practical and
may achieve fame (or infamy!).
Curve of line: The more the line slopes the more imaginative you are.
Fate. The fate line highlights your nature and attitude to life. This line starts at the wrist and goes up.
Depth of line: The clearer the line the more success you'll have. A lightly etched line means you can be very
indecisive. A full fate line means you're aware of your responsibilities and you're upright, honest and
straightforward. Lines that fade and return show strong and weak periods.
Position of line: A fate line that begins from the life line means restriction in the early years and that you've had
to work hard for what you've got. If the fate line ends at the head line you have poor judgement. If it stops at the
heart line your career has ended for emotional reasons. If the line branches out at the end you'll diversify a lot in
Length of line: A long, clear line to the base of the middle finger means independence and determination.
Absence of line: Some people don't have a fate line. An absent fate line means a lack of direction, unsure,
unsettled, little pride in yourself or your appearance.
One hand: If you only have a fate line on your right hand then you take the initiative and try to better yourself. If
only on the left, it means you have many dreams and ambitions but rarely follow them.
Grammar point: I wish/If only...
We use wish to say that we regret something, that
somehting is not as we would like it to be. We use the past
I wish I knew Pauls phone number (I dont know it and I
Do you ever wish you could fly? (you cant fly)
It rains a lot here. I wish it didnt rain so often
Its very crowded here. I wish there werent so many people
(but there are a lot of people)
I wish I didnt have to study (but I have to study)
Rewrite the following sentences beginning with I wish...…
I dont know many people (and Im lonely)
I dont have a key (and I need one)
Ann isnt here (and I need to see her)
Its cold (and I hate cold weather)
I live in a big city (and I dont like it)
I cant go to the party (and I would like to)
I have to work tomorrow (but I would like to stay
I dont know anything about cars (and my car has
just broken down)
Now, write your own sentences beginning with I wish
There are three distinct types of I wish / if only
1 - REGRETS with the PAST PERFECT (the third conditional) e.g. I wish I hadn't got so angry.
2 - WANTING CHANGE FOR THE PRESENT OR FUTURE with the PAST SIMPLE e.g. I
wish I had enough money to go to Mozambique this summer.
3 - COMPLAINTS with WOULD + INFINITIVE e.g. I wish you wouldn't arrive so late all the
1 I wish I ___________________ drunk and kissed Samantha. (get NEGATIVE)
2 I wish it ___________________ so much. The garden's turned to mud. (rain NEGATIVE)
3 If only I ___________________ there, I wouldn't have got a fine. (park NEGATIVE)
4 If only I ___________________ more time for my hobbies. (have)
5 I wish it ___________________ more often in Valencia. (rain)
6 I wish I ___________________ to go to your nephew's wedding. (have NEGATIVE)
7 I wish you ___________________ so much. You're a complete idiot when you're drunk. (drink
8 If only it ___________________ . The garden's as dry as a bone. (rain)
9 I wish Samantha ___________________ her hair more often. It looks so greasy all the time. (wash)
Finish the following sentences
I wish (that) I weren't
I wish (that) I didn't
have to go to school
I wish (that) I had
studied harder when I
was at school
Grammar Review: Self-Assessment
I wish the council ___________________ that beautiful old house. It was part of
the town's heritage. (demolish NEGATIVE)
I wish you ___________________ so horrible to your brother. He's a really nice
bloke. (be NEGATIVE)
If only I ___________________ the money to go to Jon's wedding in The States.
I wish I ___________________ her she'd put on weight. She hates me now. (tell
I wish you ___________________ to your mother like that. (speak NEGATIVE)
If only we ___________________ a Hewlett Packard printer. The cartridges are
so expensive. (buy NEGATIVE)
I wish Jorge ___________________ so fast. It's only a matter of time before he kills
someone. (drive NEGATIVE)
Fill in the gaps of the following sentences
Here is a list of 25 words. Put them into the correct column according to their
Weight caught heard crews sees course sauce
Bread waste praise pause bruise isle rain
Paste fur peal sight floor suite bury
Key sword raise hall
Very superstitious, _____on the ____,
Very superstitious, ______ about to fall,
Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin ____
Seven years of bad _____, the good things in your past.
When you believe in things that you dont _______,
Then you suffer,
Superstition aint the way
Very superstitious, ______ your face and hands,
_____ me of the problem, do all that you can,
Keep me in a ______, keep me goin strong,
You dont wanna save me, sad is my song.
When you believe in things that you dont _______,
Then you suffer,
Superstition aint the way, yeh, yeh.
Very superstitious, nothin more to ______,
Very superstitious, the ______ on his way,
Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin ______,
Seven years of bad ______, good things in your past
When you ______ in things that you dont understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition aint the way, no, no, no
Listening: Superstition (Stevie
Pre-listening. Just by
looking at the title of this song.
What do you think it will talk
While-listening. Fill in the gaps.
Post-listening. Read again the song
and underline all the phrases that have to
do with superstitions.
A robin flying into the house
Sneezing 3 times before breakfast
Meeting 3 sheep
Looking at the new moon over your right shoulder
A 4-leaf clover
Spilling wine while proposing a toast
Putting a dress on inside out
9 peas in a pea pod
Singing before breakfast
Walking in the rain
Sleeping facing south
Scissors hanging an a hook
Speaking: Do you have good or bad
A bat flying into the house
A 5-leaf clover
Red and white flowers together
Getting out of bed left foot first
Breaking a mirror
Opening an umbrella indoors
Crossed knives seeing an owl during daylight
Look at the following
superstitions and discuss with
your partner about their
meaning. Then classify them
either in good luck or in bad luck.
BAD LUCKGOOD LUCK
An amulet (from Latin amuletum meaning "an object that protects a person
from trouble") or a talisman (from Arabic tilasm, which means "to initiate
into the mysteries.") consists of any object intended to bring good luck and/or
protection to its owner.
Potential amulets include: gems or simple stones, statues, coins, drawings,
pendants, rings, plants, animals, etc.; even words said in certain occasions –
for example: vade retro satana – (Latin, "go back, Satan"), to repel evil or
Write down all the most outstanding cultures you know that use amulets
and all the amulets you know that exist in your culture, and if there is any in
Writing: Which is my favourite
Vocabulary: Good Luck
By making the sign of the Christian faith with
our fingers, evil spirits would be prevented from
destroying our chances of good fortune.
Match the explanation with the name of the superstition and
with the right picture
It was believed that good spirits lived in trees,
and that by knocking on anything made from wood,
we could call upon these spirits for protection
Knock on Wood
When the great plague swept Europe., sufferers
began sneezing violently which was a sign of death.
The Pope therefore passed a law requiring people
to bless the sneezer. At the same time, it was
expected that anybody sneezing would cover their
mouth with a cloth or their hand. This was
obviously to stop the spreading of the disease, but
many believed that it was to keep the soul intact.
Sneezing 'into the air' would allow the soul to
escape and death would be imminent. Up until this
time, the opposite was true. Those who sneezed
were congratulated, as it was believed that a violent
sneeze would expel evil from their bodies
Saying God Bless
This is the gipsy Lola. She lives in Granada (Spain) and she is very good at foreseing peoples
fortune. Today one of you is going to be Lola, and one will be Pepe, another one Maria and the one
left will be Juan. You have to explain your problems and Lola will give you good advice
Hello Lola. My name is Pepe
and Im loooking for the love of
my life. Do you know if I will
Hi. My name is Maria. I’ve
been fired from my job last week.
Do you think i will find a new
Hello. My name is Juan. I
dont have much money for
buying a new house. What shall
i do? What will happen to me
in the future?
Pre-listening. Read the following review. Three
sisters (Prue, Piper and Phoebe) reunite and unlock their
powers to become the Charmed Ones - the most powerful
witches to exist. Now they must vanquish evil and save
innocents while living their lives as normal women in the
real world. Life isn't so easy when you're Charmed.
While-listening. Write down all the magic or
paranormal phenomena of the chapter you are going to
Post-listening. Who are the main characters? Which
is the angels name? And which is the devils name?
Vocabulary: And what about the animals?
We are going to talk about animal superstitions. If you see a eating grass, it means that it
is going to It is said that when this animal howls three time is that has
occurred.It is also said that changing a name brings very bad luck. However, killing an
brings good luck. If you find a flying early in the morning, there will be good weather
and in China it is believed that are a symbol of long life and happiness.
Animals were also amulets for the Egyptian culture. For example, the was a symbol of
the God Ra.
are also very important when talking about superstitions. If a flies into a
foretells an important message and if you find a in the house this will bring you luck.
But perhaps the most common animal when talking about superstitions is the
If a is crossing your path, this brings you luck, even though in some countries such as
USA, Spain and Belgium this happens with a
If the sneezes once it is going to . If he sneezes three times the family will
catch a cold. Besides, if you are kicking a cat this will bring rheumatism and if you see a
spit on your , stamp it in the palm of your hand, and make a wish. The wish will come
Decide one word for each picture
Attention to Diversity: Fast learners
Superstitions around the world
Here you have a blank world map. Draw the following
superstitions on the right country depending on their origins.
The number four is considered inauspicious because it is pronounced the same as the
word for death (shi).
Never walk under ladders
It is bad luck to place your shoes on the table or on the bed
Beware when passing people in stairs
Mistletoe is considered lucky to hang in the house at Christmas
Stick chopsticks into the rice because only at funerals, chopsticks are stuck into the
rice which is put onto the altar.
Opening an umbrella inside the house means bad luck
The colour red is a luck colour
Tying a knot into a handkerchief wards off evil.
Itchy nose - you will have quarrel with someone.
Ringing Bells means a new angel received wings
Give food from chopstick to chopstick:: This is only done with the bones of the
cremated body at funerals.
Sleeping towards the North beacause bodies are laid down like that.
If a funeral car passes you should hide your thumb.
Singing Christmas carols at any time other than during the festive season
If you cut your nails at night, you will not be with your parents when they die.
If you lie down immedeately after eating, you will become a cow.
If you whistle in the night a snake will come to you.
Black cat crossing the street in front of you cause bad luck.
If a dog is howling at a door that is an omen of death
Unlucky is to sit cross-legged when playing cards.
Playing cards with a dog in room causes disputes
wearing red underwear in New Years Eve brings luck.
Attention to Diversity: Fast-learners
Adjectives with prepositions
1A: Are you any good _______ chess?
B: No, not really. I nearly always lose .
2Football and advertisements! I'm really fed _______ with
the telly these days.
3I can't believe it. Carlos is afraid _______ pigeons. It's
4Pedro has a problem. He's jealous _______ everything,
even his own sister!
5Carla is very worried _______ her exams.
6I get confused _______ all this new technology.
7That was very stupid _______ him.
8Are you aware _______ the situation in Sierra Leone?
9She's very excited _______ her trip to Egypt.
10I'm very bad _______ tennis, I'm afraid
Here you have a list of the
most common adjectives
• Good or bad at
(Jan 21 – Feb 18)
There will be bad news the day after tomorrow; but the bad news will turn to good
(Feb 19 – Mar 20)
You will travel to visit a new place, and in this visit you will find something very
(Mar 21 – Apr 20)
An old friend will come back into your life. He/she will have some problems and
ask for help. Be careful¡
(Apr 21 – May 21)In three days you will get exciting news. It can be money or a
Attention to diversity: Slow-learners
following text aloud
without telling your
partner the name of
the horoscope. Then
ask him or her
which one he or she
(May 22- June 21)
You will have problems with your manager. Don't get angry. It won't be serious.
(June 22- July 22)
This will be a good time for love. You will find the right person. This will be an
excellent opportunity for your future life.
(July 22- Aug 23)
ou will have a headache next Thursday but you won't have a temperature and will
feel better on Friday.
(Aug 24- Sept 23)
You will have problems with a person who loves you; and you will have help from
a person who doesn't.
You have 5
minutes to look for
3 people within the
class of each sign.
(Sep 24 – Oct 23)
you will meet somebody who can change your life. Be nice!
(Oct 24 – Nov 22)
You will have an important phone call from a foreign country offering
you a new job. It can be the change you are looking for.
(Nov 23 – Dec 21)
Life won't be easy for you this week. You will be very busy. You will
have problems with your work. You will have a backache. A friend
will phone you asking for money.
(Dec 21 – Jan 20)
Be careful with your meals and don't eat too much. Your stomach is
not very well these days.
your answer with
Attention to Diversity: Slow-learners
Prepositions of time and
in a month, a year, a week
on a day, a date, a certain day
(Valentine's Day; my
at a time, at a time of day
(breakfast, lunch, dinner)
in a city, state, country
on a street
at an address, a certain place
(Disneyland, the park, the
library--if we know which one
you usually go to)
1. We usually go out __________ my
2. I spent a week in Paris __________
3. We're going to Florida __________
4. The film starts __________ 9:30.
5. We got back at three __________
6. I normally watch the news ___ night.
7. They went to mass ___ Christmas Eve.
8. The meeting is ___ March 19.
9. Burgos is very cold ___ winter.
10. I´m playing tennis ___ Sunday morning
Describe your partner the pictures below
Game: The Wheel of Fortune
The teacher will think of a phrase and will put it on the board as blank
spaces (_ _ _ _) Vowels cost 1000 euros and 1000 euros to solve. The class
will be divide into two.
One student comes up and sticks his hand in the bag the teacher is holding.
In the bag are 30 cards; 15 are euros amounts (ex.100 euros) as well as 2
MISS A TURN cards, 4 BANKRUPT cards (a skull and
crossbone) 1 x2 card (doubles current amount) and 1/2 card (divides amount
in half). The other 15 cards are various task cards that the student (or team)
must perform to receive the euro amount on the card. Some of the tasks the
teacher will use are: balloon burst-student chooses one of three balloons
which have euro amounts in them (one of which has a minus amount), and
bursts the balloon; 2.group song; 3.solo song; 4.ball toss; 5.backward number
recital in a particular time limit; 6.animal recital (time limit) 7.pushups;
8.envelope choice; 9.picture drawing; 10.charades; 11.balance acts,etc. If
the student completes the task, they get the euro amount and their team
chooses a letter. If the letter is in the phrase, they get to go again; if not,
their turn is over. The team with the highest point total at the end of the
Do you want your wedding to be a
Bridal Shower - The first gift the bride opens should be the first gift she uses.
The new bride must enter her home by the main door, and must not trip or fall. This
is origin of the custom of carrying the bride over the threshold.
Certain days of the week are better than others for a wedding: Monday for health,
Tuesday for wealth, Wednesday best of all, Thursday for losses, Friday for crosses,
Saturday for no luck at all.
The spouse who goes to sleep first on the wedding day will be the first to die
There must be a black cat in the weeding
A Lucky Bride: Something old, Something new, Something borrowed, Something
blue, And a lucky sixpence In her shoe.
Good omens on your wedding day: Seeing a rainbow , having the sunshine, meeting a
black cat, meeting a chimney sweep,
In the olden days, when a wife was considered a possession, a wedding ring was a
sign that the woman had been purchased by the groom.
Say if these sentences are true or false. The group that guess
all of them first will win.
"Teacher: Can people predict the future with
Student: My mother can.
Student: Yes, she takes one look at my report
card and tells me what will happen when my
father gets home."