Have Something Done – a Lesson plan

wpid-img_20140508_172355.jpgI recently applied for the DELTA course, and one of the tasks was to write a B2 level lesson plan for the language point have something done. I’ve always found this one a difficult one to teach, especially with teenagers, because most of the activities I’ve come across in books are about doing up your house which isn’t as big a thing here in Spain as it is at home in the UK and it certainly isn’t something that my teenage students think much about. I initially toyed with the idea of ‘pimp’ing a classroom, but as this language point was coming up in our FCE coursebook in a chapter on fashion, I decided to stick with the idea of fashion and shopping and base the lesson on things you have had done or want to have done at various places around our city. (I may well have been influenced by the Penny Lane picture, which I think might be from an English File book.) The final productive activity was labelling a map of the centre of city with personal (or invented) anecdotes about the place and the service you had performed for you there. You can see my model in the picture above.

This is what we did:

1. Speculation and vocab. I showed the students some photos I had taken of shops in our city, Huelva. The pictures were rather obscure and the students had to speculate with their partner to guess where it was in the city and what it was.


(They are: a nail salon, a dentist’s, a hairdresser’s, a mobile phone accessory shop [the kind of place you can get your phone unlocked], an optician’s, a photographer’s studio, a pizza restaurant, a shoe repair shop/cobbler’s, and a jeweller’s)

2. Once we’d ascertained what they all were and written any necessary vocab on the board, I asked them what these 9 places had in common – they are all places where you pay someone to do a service for you. Then I gave the pairs to come up with 3 more types of places where you can pay someone to do a service for you and we boarded those as well.

[NB. you can argue about whether teaching is a service or not, but a school shouldn’t be on the list. In all the other places, you pay someone to perform a service on a physical object for you, (ie. instead of you) – You can’t have your English learnt for you, unless you transplant your brain to someone else’s head and they go to your lesson instead of you. Well, not yet, anyway.]

3. Looking at a couple of places from our vocab list on the board, we talked about the different services you can pay someone to do there. Then the students in pairs do the same with the other places on the board. Monitor well at this point – there was a fair bit of vocabulary that they wanted to check.

4. Quiz time! Each pair chooses a shop type as team name, eg. Optician’s or Hairdresser’s. This is their buzzer – if they know the answer to the question, they call out their team name first. I then asked a series of questions such as “Where can I have my hair dyed?”, all using the target structure, and gave points to the first team who got it right. The students had been worked hard so far and this seemed to provide some light relief as well as consolidate what they had just done.

The quiz I used, along with an example of the gapfill below and the answers, is here: have something done – huelva

5. Form and Pronunciation.  After we had congratulated the winner, I asked the students to repeat to me one of the questions I had asked. How fast they get it tells you who already knows what! I wrote it on the board and asked what language structure we were looking at – have + object + past participle. Some students might ask about using get instead of have and if they don’t I recommend bringing it up. None of my students knew the difference – simply that get is more informal. At this point, I would also advise eliciting what the structure is used for.  Then you can launch into some pron. Regarding the past participles, I checked with my students that they knew the rules for the pronunciation of -ed, and what I should have done but forgot to do, was spend some time looking at the sentence stress: Where can I have my EYES tested?

6. Controlled Practice.  I prepared my favourite type of gapfill handout, where the gapfills are all questions. If time is short, have half the class complete one half of the questions, and the other half the other. have sth done gapfill

7. Semi-free practice – Speaking. The students choose a question from the gapfill exercise to ask their partner. Encourage students to give full answers and to ask their partners for more information.

8. Freer practice – Writing. I showed the students my map and asked them to make one about their experiences. They can write whatever they like about the experience as long as it includes the target structure once in each little blurb. If they find they don’t have much to say, suggest they write about things they would like to have done (and why, and why they haven’t yet, or can’t and so on), or they could invent a character who has lots of things done.

[In case you’re wondering, I had my interview yesterday and I’m doing the DELTA intensive course in Seville this autumn!]


  1. Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great lesson plan on one of the most confusing structures for non-native pictures. It’s always a problem since most of them are confused with passive voice so I think the shops idea would enable them to notice the difference (asking/paying someone for a service). I think it could also be used -in an adapted form of course- for A2/pre-B1 classes where students would have to design their own shops and create posters “advertising” the services they offer.

  3. Reblogged this on broadyesl.

  4. […] I recently applied for the DELTA course, and one of the tasks was to write a B2 level lesson plan for the language point have something done. I've always found this one a difficult one to teach, es…  […]

  5. Loved the activity for this difficult point. Congrats!

  6. […] I recently applied for the DELTA course, and one of the tasks was to write a B2 level lesson plan for the language point have something done.  […]

  7. […] I recently applied for the DELTA course, and one of the tasks was to write a B2 level lesson plan for the language point have something done. I've always found this one a difficult one to teach, es…  […]

  8. I had to submit one of my old lesson plans for my Delta application. I suppose each centre has a different approach to the application process. All the best!

  9. sarahjanelees · · Reply

    This lesson plan is really fantastic! I love it! 😉 I’m so glad I stumbled across it when looking at something else on your blog – which by the way, I adore! I wish you all the very best with your Delta! I did Mod 2 last year, and just finished Mod 3 last week! 😉 If you ever need any tips or anything like that, perhaps I might be able to help you a little!…
    I jsut have one quick question about this lesson, if that’s ok… 😉 On the map picture (which is also fab and a really great idea!)… What is written on the bottom right-hand corner? (About pizza)?.. On my version that section is not completely showing, and it would just be good/nice to know what it says for when I use it in class. Thanks! And thanks so much for posting this! Take care. All the best, Sarah

    1. Hi Sarah!
      Thank you so much for your kind comments! I’ll remember your offer of tips when the DELTA’s got me scratching my head!
      Sorry for my delay in answering your question – I’m in the middle of packing everything up and couldn’t remember what I’d done with the original. I have it now! The pizza corner blurb is as follows: “I’ve had pizza delivered from La Bambola sometimes. I’m too lazy to go out and I like having it bought to me. My favourite pizza is the O Sole Mio which has roquefort and pepperoni. Not the cheapest. ***” I hope that helps!
      Thanks again and have a lovely summer

  10. Sarah · · Reply

    Great plan, Emma, and thanks for sharing it, it definitely has inspired me!

    1. You’re very welcome, Sarah! I’m delighted to hear that it has inspired you!

  11. Nice! Like the way you’ve added useful language to what would otherwise be a very limited point. Have included it in my new list of resources:

  12. Valeska · · Reply

    Thank you very much for sharing! I’m planning a lesson on this very same structure, and I couldn’t think of a final production activity. Thank you thank you thank you!!

    1. You’re welcome welcome welcome!

  13. Gabriela · · Reply

    wow, awesome!!!!!!! just what I needed! thanks!!!

  14. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your terrific lesson plan. I love it and it has helped me heaps ❤ Good luck on your DELTA!

  15. Love it! Great activity for a tough grammar point! Mind if I reblog?

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