Family Rules - My family makes me...

Students practice the Causative Verb grammar point by talking about what their families make them do.

This is an activity I'm making for a high school class based on what's apparently called the "Causative Verb" grammar point. The example the textbook gives is the sentence "My sister made me wait at the store." This seems to be a little more complicated than the Subject-Verb-Object-Object or Subject-Verb-Object-Complement grammar points.

I haven't done it yet, so I'm putting it up here to see if anyone has any feedback.

For the first page, I'm planning on discussing some of the rules I had in my house when I was a kid. For example, "My family made me gather the trash on Sunday night." Then I'll ask the students to think of rules they have in their family and write them down. Once they're finished writing, they can tell the rules to partners or other nearby students and if their partner has the same rule in their house, they sign under "Me too!"

On the second page, I'll ask the students to think of rules that they'll make for their families (or anyone, really) in the future. Like before, the students will write their ideas, share them with partners, and if the partners like it, they sign under "Good Idea!"

This was a bit of a challenging grammar point to make an activity for. The textbook uses a lot of technically advanced but not very interesting sentences like "I had my hat blown away by the wind" or "He often let me use the room as a studio" but I'm trying to get students to think of sentences that apply to their lives instead of just thinking of abstract grammar exercises. What do you think?

Submitted by Jake W May 31, 2021 Estimated time: 30-40 minutes
  1. ThatOneALT June 1, 2021

    Two things, first, for the Japanese, I think it should be させる not させている. I'm not sure, so you should check with your JTE, but the Japanese feels strange to me.

    Second, you could let them make two kinds of sentences: "My family makes me ~" and "My family lets me ~." That way you can give them a little more freedom. Not sure if you feel that will make it too complicated though. But I think sentences like "My family lets me watch TV in my room" could be interesting.

  2. Jake W June 1, 2021

    Yeah, I ran it by the missus and she suggested some Japanese changes! I'll attach the latest version now.

  3. ThatOneALT June 2, 2021

    I thought of one more thing. I assume you'll be walking around helping the students make their sentences. So at the end of the class, if you saw any students with interesting sentences for the second part, you could have them present them to the class.

  4. Thehungrycaterpillar April 19, 2022

    Good idea!

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