Retirement Party

Students pretend to be at a retirement party. Some pretend to be retired while others are still working. Party goers share regrets about the past as well as hopes and goals for the future.

Learner Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Theme: Regrets, Goals, The Elderly
Language focus: Past Conditional
Skills: Grammar and Speaking
Time: 10 minutes
Materials: 1 blank slip of paper for each student
Preparation: Cut out paper slips (or just tear). Write “retired” on half and “still working” on the other half. On one piece write “It’s my party”. Familiarize yourself with the third conditional.

Teacher Instructions:

1. Pass out slips of paper to students. Some students pretend to be “retired”. Others are “still working”. One student will get the paper that says “It’s my party.”
2. As you hand out the slips of paper, ask students when they think they will retire. What do they think retirement life will be like?
3. Ask which student has the slip of paper that says “It’s my party”. You can write “Happy Retirement ________ (name)” on the board.
4. Invite students to walk around the room pretending they are at the retirement party. Each person should congratulate the retiree and share some regrets about their past. Students shouldn’t tell each other whether they are retired or still working. (They should be able to figure it out by chatting.) Teach them to say things like, “Oh, so you’re still working,” and “Oh, it sounds as though you’re retired.”
5. After a few minutes of complaining, have students share hopes and goals for the future. Remind students that the mood of the room should change.

Give Examples:

Choose your own or use these:
a. I wish I had spent more time with my kids.
b. If I had graduated from college, I would have had more money to pass down to my kids.
c. If I hadn’t married Michael, I would have found a man I truly loved. He would have been here with me today.
d. I wish I hadn’t stayed with my company when they experienced financial difficulties.
e. If I had listened to my mother, I would have been a famous painter by now.
f. I wish I had followed my dreams. I wanted to be a professional athlete but my parents told me I didn’t have a chance.


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