Random words (Getting personal)

Introduction: 

This is a creative writing activity inspired by a book by Edward de Bono called “Creativity Workout”. Students obtain random words and write down what they think happened either before or after an event given to them by the teacher. To increase curiosity and engagement, I used examples from my own life and it worked like a dream. Enjoy.

Level: B1 +

Time: 45 minutes

Objective:

  1. To recycle recently studied vocabulary in a new and memorable context.

Materials:  

  1. One die per pair or small group.

Procedure:

  1. Draw a 6 x 6 grid on the board.
  2. Ask the students to review recently studied vocabulary and provide a word for each square. Make sure the students know the meaning of all the words.
  3. When the grid is complete, put students in pairs or small groups. To obtain words for the activity students throw the die twice: the first throw indicates which column they are going to use and the second indicates which row they are going to use. Depending on the task, they must roll for the number of words and use them repetitively to complete the activity.
  4. Before the class think of some interesting things that happened to you and that your students might not know about you. Give them the first sentence (look at the examples below) and ask them to write down what they think happened BEFORE or AFTER that event using the random words. This activity proved very motivating for my students as they wanted to find out what actually happened. You can also make it more competitive by telling your students that the pair who gets closest to the truth will win/ get a point. I encourage you to come up with your own examples or even to ask students to prepare their own sentence(s) each before they begin the activity. If you want to use my examples and make it a creative activity less based on actual events, use my sentences and alter them according to the level of your class.

Examples:

  • Obtain four random words and guess what happened next: We have deleted each other’s contact details and decided to meet at the main train station in Milan in EXACTLY six month’s time.
  • Obtain four random words and guess what happened the night before: I woke up in the middle of the night completely soaked.
  • Obtain four random words and guess what happened next: On a cold December night, my mother was walking home from work when suddenly she was stopped by a stranger. He did his best to cover his face and my mother began to feel uneasy.
  • Obtain five random words and guess what happened next: I was getting ready to move to Zaragoza and was about to book my flight to Spain when my ex called. “Wait, don’t book anything, I will drive you to Spain”.
  • Obtain four random words and guess what happened the night before: I woke up and realised I had missed my flight. I was in Salamanca and had to be back at work, in England, the following day.
  • Obtain five random words and guess what happened before: I was drowning. My whole life was flashing before my eyes and I could see people looking at me and laughing. Cameramen, local journalists and my coworkers just kept staring and nobody moved.
  • Obtain five random words and guess what happened before: We were taken to a large room and told to wait. After a few minutes Pope John Paul II entered the room.

Related posts:

Random words

Random words return

Holiday heaven & hell

Blah Blah PET Part 1

Introduction:

This is a short error correction activity and a board game to practise giving personal information about yourself, where you live, your hobbies, your job, etc. as well as to prepare students for Speaking Part 1 of the PET exam.

Level: B1

Objectives:

  1. To raise students’ awareness of some of the most common preposition & article mistakes they make.
  2. To correct mistakes in sentences 1-14 (I can’t believe I said that Worksheet).
  3. To practise giving personal information.
  4. To encourage peer correction.

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

  1. I can_t believe I said that Worksheet, one per student.
  2. Blah Blah PET Part 1 board game and a die, one per pair or group of 3.

Procedure:

  1. Give students a copy of I can’t believe I said that Worksheet (This exercise is based on the mistakes my own students made when we did this activity last week).
  2. Individually ask students to correct the mistakes in sentences 1-14. Tell students to concentrate ONLY on the prepositions and articles.
  3. When the students have finished, ask them to check their answers with a classmate. Together they must decide on an answer and agree: this increases talking time and requires repetition of the language.
  4. Check together as a class. The class must decide as a group what they believe the correct answer to be. As teacher, only write their final answers on the board, do not tell them if they are correct or not at this stage. Once they have discussed and agreed on all of their answers as a class, tell them how many (if any) they have wrong – do not tell them which ones are wrong. As a class, they must review all of the questions and decide which one(s) they think is incorrect.
  5. Put the students in pairs or groups of 3 and give them a copy of Blah Blah PET Part 1 board game and a die.
  6. 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.
  7. The player must then answer the question from that square. Encourage students to give more than just short one or two word answers. Ask the other students to pay CLOSE attention and write down any preposition or article mistakes they think their classmate made.
  8. The game continues in a circle going left.
  9. At the end, ask the students to share if they have noticed any incorrect use of articles and prepositions and go through their notes with the rest of the class.

Related posts:

Can you see the error of your ways?

Bid it 2 Win it FCE Sentence Auction

Bid it 2 Win it Sentence Auction

My favourite mistakes card game

Word Fusion

Introduction: 

This is an activity for intermediate students to practise forming compound nouns. Students form compound nouns, complete the sentences with the missing words and answer another classmate’s questions.

Level: B1

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To combine different words to form compound nouns.
  2. To ask and answer questions containing the compound nouns in question.

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

  1. Word fusion Worksheet A or B, one per student.
  2. Word fusion Fast Finisher Worksheet, one per student.

Procedure:

  1. Elicit some common compound nouns from students and write them on the board e.g. jellyfish, board game, eyelid,
  2. Divide the class in half down the middle – one side As, the other side Bs – and hand out the worksheets accordingly.
  3. Individually, students combine the nouns from the table and complete the sentences 1-10 with the newly formed words.
  4. When the students have finished, they compare their answers with another classmate  from their group of As or Bs.
  5. Monitor and check their answers in their groups of A or B.
  6. When the students have finished, put the students into A / B pairs; in turns they ask and answer each other’s questions.
  7. Monitor and encourage students to use the nouns in their answers.
  8. At the end ask students to share three things they agree about with their partner.

Fast finishers: 

  1. Hand out the Word Fusion Fast Finisher Worksheet and in A / B pairs ask students to choose six compounds and complete the table.

P.S. Thank you for your help Stu. Get better soon.