Describe me

Introduction:

Describe me board game is a great activity to either teach or revise adjective word order. The activity can be easily adapted to different levels and keeps the students engaged as they progress through writing simple descriptive sentences to creating short, also descriptive, stories. One of my lovely students kindly allowed me to share their work to give you an idea of how they have dealt with the task. They have written four short stories using Describe me board.

I have also made three other boards if you want your students to describe something more specific or revise vocabulary related to a particular topic: a crime scene, a holiday or a perfect outfit. Take your pick and enjoy 😉

Level: A2+

Time:

45 minutes, but it can vary depending on the number of students and of course on how talkative and engaged they are or how engaged you make them;)

Objectives:

  1. To revise the correct order of adjectives in a sentence
  2. To write sentences using the correct adjective word order
  3. To write short stories/ descriptions using the correct adjective word order and the nouns provided

Materials (Click on the worksheets below to download the PDF files):

Procedure:

  1. Before you start the game ask students to give you examples of adjectives and write them on the board. Encourage students to think of a wide variety of adjectives e.g. shape and material and not only colour and size.
  2. Go through the basic order of adjectives with your students: Opinion, size, shape, age, colour,origin, material, and purpose. Write down a few example sentences on the board before you play the game. Also ask students to categorize the adjectives they gave you at the beginning.
  3. Hand out Describe me board game to each team/pair or simply display it on the screen if you are using Zoom or any other online platform.
  4. The teacher or a student throws the dice twice – the first throw indicates which column they should use, and the second throw indicates which row, to obtain a noun. The nouns in the Describe me game are divided into six categories: a place, an object, a job, a piece of clothing/accessories, a situation and an animal to ensure a wide variety of adjectives used.
  5. Now students write, individually, a sentence describing the chosen noun and using as many adjectives as possible but making sure the sentences actually make sense e.g. She bought a beautiful small white Scottish cat.
  6. Students then read the sentences out loud and get a POINT for each correctly placed adjective. Encourage students to listen to others and award extra points if they manage to spot a mistake in a classmate’s sentence.
  7. Next, students choose a noun from each category and write a short descriptive story. You can put the students in pairs or groups or ask them to work individually. Decide what is best for your students based on their age, level etc. Have a look at the task sample I have provided and which you can find in the materials section.
  8. Monitor students throughout the activity, correct mistakes and feed them new adjectives. 
  9. At the end of the class ask students to share their stories with their classmates 😉 You will be surprised how creative they can get.

Alternative ideas:

  1. Describe me Crime Scene. Students describe a crime scene after choosing six nouns from six categories: a piece of evidence, a type of weapon, a person, a place, a type of crime and a punishment. 
  2. Describe me Hols. Students could describe their last holiday, their dream holiday, plan an ideal holiday for their best friends etc. using the nouns from the following categories (all colour coded so it is easier to navigate): a type of holiday, holiday activities, a means of transport, a place, a person and a season/type of holiday.
  3. Describe me Outfit Ideas. Students could describe an appropriate or inappropriate outfit for different occasions, using the nouns from the following categories: a piece of clothing, an occasion, a person, an accessory, a place and a time of day.

P. S. This post is dedicated to two lovely small fluffy kittens U&F 😉 and their two amazing and caring owners A&H.

Related posts:

Who are you?

Who are you? Sequel

Mirror Mirror on the wall…

MEOW!

CAE examination? Beat frustration with thorough preparation

Bookworms & Film Buffs

Are you bored or just boring?

Wanted

Ask a Q board game

Do Re Mi Fa Sol ♫

Introduction:

These are activities for upper intermediate students to introduce and practise music idioms. Students match the idioms with the correct definitions and answer some questions.

One of my C2 students kindly allowed me to share their work to give you an idea of how they have dealt with the task. They have done exercise 3 and written some creative questions and answers which included the music idioms studied in class. You can find my student’s assignment in the materials section. Well done C;)

Teacher tip/reflection:

Something I have been thinking about lately is how we often concentrate only on praising or highlighting our students’ English skills, often forgetting that they are not only acquiring language abilities in our classes but other valuable lessons that could later become useful or even invaluable in their everyday lives.

One of my teenage students is quite shy and, to start with, she found it hard to express herself and simply take risks in class unless she was absolutely sure her answers were correct. Having worked with her and encouraged her for over a year and a half I have noticed how she has grown into a more confident person, asking questions, taking initiative, actively engaging, speaking up and even occasionally politely correcting me if I happened to make a mistake or forget something. I can not tell you how much of a joy it is to see a student, who has been taught to treat teachers as omnipotent and all-knowing, never to be challenged or questioned, come into her own. She has become confident enough to create a dialogue with the teacher, take me off the pedestal and enter a teaching/ learning process that will ultimately benefit us both. As teachers, we have to make sure we create a comfortable, respectful and accepting atmosphere for our students to learn, an atmosphere that feels SAFE, a place where they can disagree with us, express themselves freely without being judged and focus on the PROCESS of learning rather than rushing to the predictable outcome.

Apart from learning grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation etc. I want my students to become confident, believe in themselves, and know they have the RIGHT to ask questions and look for answers. We are all continuously learning, regardless of our age and position, and no one EVER should be made inferior, or even worse, STUPID for simply asking a question.

Level: C1

Time: 60 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To introduce music idioms and expressions.
  2. To match the expressions with their definitions.
  3. To practise the new expressions whilst answering questions.

Materials (Click on the worksheets below to download the PDF files):

Procedure:

  1. Put students in pairs and ask them to briefly discuss the following questions: Why do we listen to music? How much time do you spend listening to music each day? Is there a song that makes you emotional? How important is music in your life? What are the advantages of listening to music? If music were removed from the world, how would you feel?
  2. Hand students Do Re Mi Fa Sol Worksheet.
  3. Individually, students try to match the underlined expressions with their definitions and then compare their answers with their partner.
  4. Check the answers as a class.
  5. Go to exercise 2 and from memory ask students to correct the mistakes in bold. You could turn it into a mini competition and maybe even time the students 😉
  6. Now students answer questions 1 to 12 in pairs. Encourage them to ask their classmates additional questions to obtain more details.
  7. If you have had no time to discuss all questions in class, ask students to answer a couple of them in writing at home.
  8. Last but not least. Go to exercise 3 if you have time or/ and energy left 😉 This is a creative speaking/ writing activity inspired by a book called “Creativity Workout” by Edward de Bono. Students use the new words to answer the questions. It is a great mental challenge and it has always worked beautifully in all my classes and with all levels. I have provided you with some examples but of course feel free to come up with your own. Also if you enjoyed this activity don’t forget to check out my Random Words activities available on the blog.

Related posts:

What a zoo

What a zoo sequel

Somewhere over the rainbow 

Somewhere over the rainbow Part 2

Cats & Dogs

I spy with my little eye

Home sweet home

Random words (Getting personal)

Random words (Once upon a time…)

Random words return

Ups and downs

Food for thought: