Weak form of ‘Of’, ‘and’, ‘or’, ‘but’

Lesson Plan of Weak form of ‘Of’, ‘and’, ‘or’, and ‘but’

English Grade IV

Students’ Learning Outcomes

·         Pronounce the weak form of ‘of’, ‘and’, ‘or’, and ‘but’ in simple phrases.

Information for Teachers

·        Intonation patterns:
It is the pitch of the speaker’s voice. The speaker brings rise and fall in speech to convey meaning effectively.
Ø  There are three basic pitches in English normal, high and low.
Ø  High is when the voice rises to indicate information focus.
Ø  Low is when the voice falls, usually at the end of sentences.
·        Stressed words:
Ø  Usually verbs, nouns and adjectives are stressed. For example: “What nice weather!” in this, both nice and weather will be stressed.
·         Non- stressed words: are considered function words: e.g. the, a, an, were, before, of, but, they, she.
·         Unstressed words are pronounced in such a way that they are sometimes found eaten up in a sentence structure. They are mixed into the words that come after them.
·         A phrase is two or three words combined together which doesn’t have a verb in it, e.g. Ali and Sara, he or she, in the air etc.

Material / Resources

Chalks/markers, board, duster, charts

Worm up activity

·         Ask the students to read the phrases written on the board, in pairs for two minutes:
Ø  Ali and Saad
Ø  Cricket and hockey
Ø  Water or milk
Ø  Class or office
·         Tell them that:
·         Some words are eaten when speaking them. These are called unstressed words.
·         Some words are spoken with more sound and emphasis. These are called stressed words.
·         Write the phrases given above in the columns. Make them on the board like this:
‘and’ pronounced as ‘n’
‘or’ pronounced as ‘r’
Cricket and hockey
Water or milk
Alia and Saad
Class or office
‘but’ pronounced as ‘bt’
‘of’ pronounced as ‘ov’
I like bananas but can’t eat
Proud of you
But didn’t know
King of tribe




Activity 1

·         Divide the class into pairs. Ask them to write phrases using ‘and’, ‘or’, ‘but’, ‘of’ on the loose sheets and practice reading them.
·         Ask the students to read the phrases in pairs.
·         Note the pronunciation and style of reading of each student.
·         Underline the stressed words in the phrase.
·         Repeat the activity given above by asking the students to write their own phrases using ‘of’, ‘or’, ‘but’, ‘and’.
·         Ask the students to practice and repeat, it becomes fun and also helps them learn the correct pronunciation.
·         Read aloud a few phrases written on the board, with correct pronunciation

Activity 2

·         Write the definition of stressed and unstressed words on the board.
·         Students must copy the table in their notebooks. They can make one phrase each using ‘and’, ‘of’, ‘or’ and ‘but’ on their own.
Tips for teacher:
·         Remember that non-stressed words and syllables are often ‘swallowed’ in English.
·         Always focus on pronouncing words can be spoken fast.
·         Don’t focus on pronouncing each word. Focus on the stressed words in each sentence.
·         The students must practice carefully for a few minutes and the teacher should provide support and correction where needed.
·         Arrange a class competition and ask the students to speak one phrase each, in pairs. The best pair must be awarded with a star cut out.

Sum up / Conclusion

·         Ask the students to identify stressed and unstressed words from the passage of the textbook having 5 sentences.
·         Encourage the students to read the passage to themselves before answering.
·         Ask a few students to make a few phrases having ‘and’, ‘of’, ‘or’ and ‘but’ on their own or find them from the textbook. Tell them to pronounce the unstressed words correctly.
·         Inform the students how this trick of reading stressed and unstressed words makes them sound like native English speakers. Encourage them to enjoy this fact.
·         Find the exercise related to the topic in the textbook or notebook.


·         Listen to the students’ responses continuously and carefully to know their level of understanding.
·         Make the students practice this concept in every lesson from now onwards.

Sample Assessment Questions:

1.       Read the sentences given below. Underline the stressed and unstressed words/phrases. Write ‘S’ for stressed and ‘US’ for unstressed word.
Ø  Alia likes tea and Alina likes juice.
Ø  Most people like watching football or hockey.
Ø  Children like watching TV but electricity problem makes it impossible.
Ø  Saleem is a man of word.
Ø  My teacher likes flower and green plants.
·         Once the students identify them, ask them to read one sentence each taking turns to check their pronunciation and understanding. Correct them if they pronounce it incorrectly. Allot two/ three marks for this as well.

Follow up

·         The students can prepare dialogues from a story / textbook keeping all the rules of stress and intonation in mind. They can perform on one dialogue each the next day. Ask other students to listen to each other carefully. Make corrections where needed.


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