Teaching Instructions My Chinese Horoscope

Level:  Adult High-intermediate-Advanced

Time:  40 - 60 minutes

Objective(s): 1. Making predictions—comparing predictions using will and going to with the actual present situation using continous verbs and simple past verbs, both negative and postive. 2. Practice talking about personality traits.


1.       Begin with a question: “If I say to you ‘I’m a tiger,’ what do you think I’m talking about? Ask if any students know their own astrological signs. Solicit as much information as you can get about Chinese Astrology. (For some background information, visit the website in the lesson beforehand). At this point, don’t press the students for their opinion of Astrology, as that will be covered in the final discussion. As always, check key vocabulary: astrology, horoscope, compatibility, attributes, traits, etc.

2.       Read the introduction and have students answer the comprehension questions and the vocabulary questions. At this point, start a list on the board of common adjectives used when talking about personal attributes or personality traits. With the words on the board, test the students on which verb we use—‘be’ or ‘have’—with the adjectives.

3.       Go to: http://chinese.astrology.com/  Have students look up their signs, read the compatibility chart and look at their horoscopes.

4.       Go through the discussion questions. Get students talking about their personal attributes. Ask them if the sign chart is accurate. Ask them who they are most compatible with. Here, the teacher can generate some fun. If the class is small, choose one or two students and look at their horoscope as a class (the horoscopes are very short). Make sure to stress the verb patterns for making predictions (future tense) and compare it to the actual present situation using continuous verbs and simple past verbs. Ex. “My horoscope says I will have a great day, but actually I’m not having such a great day. It says I am going to spend a lot of money, but I didn’t spend a lot of money. I don’t have any money to spend. But one of my colleagues was irritable, just like it says.

5.       Open the class up to a more general discussion about horoscopes and things occult in general. How do they feel about fortune telling? Shamans (Mudang)? White and black magic? Numerology?

Adjunct Activity

Teachers may wish have students do a search to find some celebrities who have the same sign as they do.