As I don’t have to do a full-blown intro lesson with second grade, I taught my returning students the differences between “wish” and “hope.” We practiced constructing future hopes and wishes, and then wrote our self-introductions on index cards. Students would then come up to the front of the classroom, read other students’ index cards, and the class as a whole would have to try to guess which student wrote which card based on their wishes/hopes/hobbies/hometowns, etc. It was fun.
The way I tried to simply break it down was you use “hope” when something is possible or probable, and “wish” when something is impossible or improbable. For that reason, you can say “I hope I will go to sleep early” to signify that that (going to sleep early) is something that may actually happen, and you can say “I wish I could go to sleep early” when you have important work that you must do, and thus most likely will not be going to sleep early.
We brainstormed verbs in pairs, then I threw my classroom ball and whoever caught it had to volunteer a verb. The class as a whole created a phrase with the verb, then decided if that phrase was impossible/improbable/probable/possible and created a sentence together by plugging it into one of the two grammar structures I had left on the board [I wish I would/could; I hope I will].
Addict -> Break an addiction -> Break my addiction to computer games -> I wish I could break my addiction to computer games.
Here are some funny/sweet/weird ones (and ones I’m a little scared to leave up on the board) my students have come up with.
I hope I can talk to female students [this semester].
I wish I could invade Russia.
I wish I could burn down the school.
I wish I could walk to the sky.
I hope I can cure cancer.
I hope I can confess my secret.
I wish I could sleep in Emily’s class.