These are activities for upper intermediate students to introduce and practise food idioms. Students complete the sentences with the missing expressions, write their own definitions and play a taboo game.
Level: B2 +
Time: 60 minutes
- To introduce food idioms and expressions.
- To write definitions of the new expressions.
- To play a taboo game to reinforce the new vocabulary in a new, playful context.
- The proof is in the pudding worksheet, one per student.
- Three sets of taboo cards per pair, cut up and shuffled.
- Write the beginning of the following sentences on the board and ask students to complete them:
- My favourite dessert is…
- I typically eat desserts…
- One of the countries I often associate with great desserts is…
- Hand students The proof is in the pudding worksheet.
- Individually, students have a go at completing the sentences with the missing expressions (Exercise 1).
- Monitor and allow them to read and guess some of the answers, before putting them into groups of three or four to discuss and compare.
- Check the answers as a class – you can make this more competitive by asking each team for their answer and awarding a point for the correct answer.
- Ask the students to write their own definitions of the expressions in Part 2.
- Monitor and offer feedback.
- Put the students into pairs and give them a set of taboo cards.
- Place the cards face down on the table and ask them to set a timer for one minute (they can use their phones, or you could use a timer as a class).
- For higher levels, the first player takes the first card and must explain the expression on the top of the card without using the three taboo words in the middle of the card. If a taboo word is used the student whose turn it is must put the current card into the discard pile.
- For lower levels, they can use the words as prompts for their partner to guess the correct expression.
- Play continues for one minute and the players swap. The continued repetition of the same 12 expressions will enforce their understanding.
- The winner is the student who has the most correctly guessed taboo cards at the end of the game.
- Choose 3 idioms and in writing try to predict what the origins of the expressions might be. Once you have finished do some research to find out if you were correct.
A piece of cake or a hard nut to crack?
Yummy Yummy I’ve got food in my tummy
P.S. Thank you for putting this activity to the test Stu. It was a pleasure to observe your class.
This is a sentence auction activity for students of mixed nationalities I am currently working with in Absolutely English Young Learners summer school in Sherborne, UK. Students work in groups and bid on the sentences they think they can correct.
Level: A2, B1, B2
Time: 45 minutes
- To buy and rewrite incorrect sentences.
- To review the most common mistakes made by different nationalities in an entertaining way.
- Bid it 2 Win it Sentence Auction, one worksheet for the teacher.
- Put students in small groups of 2 or 3.
- Each group will have £2000 to spend.
- Bids begin at £50 and each subsequent bid is increased by £100.
- The teacher writes the first sentence on the board and sells it to the highest bidder.
- Once the students have bought the sentence they have to rewrite it. If their answer is correct they keep the sentence. If they are wrong the sentence goes back on sale and the students can bid on it again at the end.
- The winner of the game is the group which has ended up with the most correct sentences.
My favourite mistakes card game
P.S. Thank you for your constant encouragement, support and great feedback Stu. I really appreciate it.
These are activities to introduce travel vocabulary and to encourage speaking about travelling. Students do a word search activity and then do the speaking activity with their classmates.
Level: B1 +
- To introduce travel vocabulary.
- To answer questions about travelling using the new vocabulary.
- Getting itchy feet worksheet, one per student.
- Getting itchy feet board game, one per group of three.
- Getting itchy feet worksheet solutions
- Write down the following 18 letters on the board A, B, C, C, C, C, D, F, G, J, L, L, R, R, S, S, T and V. In pairs, ask students to write down ONE travel related word that begins with the letters above. Set a timer to make the activity more competitive, e.g. 5 minutes. When the time is up ask students to compare their answers with another pair.
- Check as a class and make sure students know the meaning of all the words that came up during the activity.
- Hand out a copy of Getting itchy feet worksheet and ask students to find 18 travel related words in the word search. Tell students the letters in bold are either the first or the last letters of the words they are searching for.
- When the students have finished, ask them to add the words found to the list they created at the beginning.
- Check together as a class to make sure students know the meaning of all the words.
- Put the students into pairs, or groups of 3, and give them a copy of Getting itchy feet board game and 3 dice.
- Players take it in turns to throw the die twice – the first throw indicates which column they should use, and the second throw indicates which row, to obtain the question. The player who has rolled and obtained a question must then choose a word from the list of travel vocabulary without telling the others, and keep talking until they have naturally incorporated the word into their answer and have fully answered the question. Whilst the player is speaking, the role of the others is to listen for and identify the travel word. When it has been identified and the player has finished speaking, the word is crossed off the list and it is the turn of the next player.
- At the end, ask the students to name three words they have struggled to incorporate into their responses.
Hit the road
These are activities to develop speaking skills around the topic of animals. Students do the speaking activity in small groups, taking it in turns to express their opinions and asking for repetition and clarification.
Level: B1 +
- To answer questions about animals and pets.
- To express opinions using commonly used expressions.
- To ask for repetition or clarification using commonly used expressions.
- Cat got your tongue_Speak up board game, one per pair or a group of three.
- Cat got your tongue_ Speak up cards, cut up ( you could also write the expressions on lollipop sticks and use them again in other activities), one per pair or group of three.
- Put the students into pairs, or groups of three, and elicit opinion language and expressions for asking for repetition.
- Hand out a set of Cat got your tongue? Speak up cards and ask them to compare their expressions with the ones provided by you. Ensure correct understanding and clarify meaning.
- Hand out a copy of the Cat got your tongue? Speak up board game and a die to use with the set of Cat got your tongue? Speak up cards.
- In their pairs or groups of 3, ask students to divide the cards into two piles: red opinion expressions and blue asking for clarification and repetition expressions.
- Players take it in turns to throw the die twice – the first throw indicates which column they should use, and the second throw indicates which row, to obtain the question.
- The player whose turn it is takes ONE card from the red pile and the remaining players take ONE card each from the blue pile.
- All players must then answer the question in as much detail as possible and use the expressions on their cards.
- Once the players have used the expressions they put the cards at the bottom of the piles.
- At the end, ask the students to name three topics they have strongly agreed on, or disagreed on, with each other.
- Ask students to think of or find 5 interesting animal facts and share them with their classmates, e.g. there is an average of 50,000 spiders per acre in green areas.