Opposites Stories

Level: Intermediate

Topic: General

Grammar Topic: Adjectives and Adverbs

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Type: Lesson Plans

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Lesson Plan Text

Opposites Stories
Suggested activities
As you read the story together, they can guess what is going to happen on the next day, 
specifically whether the next day will be stranger or if things will be back to normal. After 
you read the part of the next day that says the level of strangeness, they can brainstorm 
examples of things with that level of strangeness. Then as you introduce each specific 
topic (e.g. “cereal”), they can guess what might be wrong with that thing. On the very last 
page, they can guess how Tom feels about everything being back to normal, maybe with 
opposites pairs like 
“happy”/ “sad” and “relieved”/ “disappointed”

When they finish reading the story, they can be tested on the opposites, test each other on
the opposites, draw (some) pictures for the story, write more examples of things on each 
day of this story, and/ or write similar stories.

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2017

When 
Everything is 
the Wrong 
Way Round

An opposites story by Alex Case

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2017

When Tom woke up 
on Monday morning 
everything seemed 
slightly strange. 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2017

His door was shut and
locked and his 
curtains were open. 
His bedroom was neat
and tidy and his 
parents’ bedroom was
messy. 

And when he went 
down for breakfast 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2017

the cornflakes were 
hot and the coffee 
was cold. 

On the way to school

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2017

the bicycles were 
noisy and the cars 
were quiet. 

In school 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2017

PE was hard to 
understand but maths 
was easy, and at 
lunchtime 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2017

there were just a few 
pieces of spaghetti 
and many pieces of 
chicken. 

Tom was happy to get
back to bed on 
Monday evening, 
because at least in 
bed everything was 
normal, but 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2017

when Tom woke up 
on Tuesday morning, 
everything seemed 
even stranger.

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2017

The carpet was on his
bed and the pillows 
were under. 

In the bathroom 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2017

the water came up out
of the plughole and 
hot water went into 
the blue tap and cold 
water into the red tap. 

At breakfast 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2017

his brother was taking 
cereal out of his 
mouth and putting it 
into his bowl.  

At school 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2017

the first year pupils 
were tall, the year five 
kids were short, and 
the teachers were so 
short they couldn’t 
write on the 
whiteboard. 

When Tom woke up 
on Wednesday 
morning 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2017

everything was 
completely the wrong 
way round. 

But by the end of the 
day it seemed normal 
that 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2017

there were rough 
sheets and smooth 
carpets, huge ants 
and tiny buses, 
curtains behind the 
windows and a 
whiteboard in front of 
the teacher, and it 
even seemed normal 
that 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2017

the students gave 
lunch and the school 
cooks took it. 

So on Thursday Tom 
wasn’t surprised 
that 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2017

the table was soft and 
his food was hard, the
ground was up and 
the sky was down, the
sun was near but his 
front gate was far far 
away, and the 
corridors were wide 
but the classrooms 
were narrow. 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2017

But on Friday morning
everything seemed to 
have changed again. 
When he woke up

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2017

the bathroom was tidy
and his hair was 
messy. His parents 
were nice and his 
brother was nasty. 
The cornflakes were 
soft and the toast was 
hard and crunchy. 

On the way to school

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2017

the kids looked tired 
and sleepy, not 
energetic like the little 
old ladies. 

At lunch

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2017

that everything was 
back to normal.

THE END

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2017

Opposites presentation
Without looking above, write opposites of the words below. Other words may be possible.
shut/ closed
neat/ tidy
hot
noisy
hard/ difficult
few/ a few
on/ above
out
tall
rough
huge
behind
give/ gave
soft
up
near/ close
wide
nice
tired/ sleepy
disgusting/ revolting

Use the words below to fold to help. 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------fold------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

cold
down
easy
energetic
far
hard
in
in front of
many
messy
narrow
nasty
open
quiet
short
smooth
take/ took
tiny
under/ below
yummy/ delicious/ tasty

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2017