Ups and downs

Introduction: 

These are activities to introduce and practise happiness and sadness idioms. Students complete the idioms with the missing words, divide the idioms into ☺ and ☹ and do a Find someone who activity with their classmates.

Level: B2

Time: 60 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To introduce happiness and sadness idioms.
  2. To complete the idioms with the missing words.
  3. To divide the idioms into ☺ and ☹.
  4. To interview other students.

Materials (Click on the worksheet below to download the PDF file):

  1. Ups and downs Worksheet,one per student.

Procedure:

  1. Write the following quote on the board and ask students to discuss it in pairs:

“Happiness is an inside job. Don’t assign anyone else that much power over your life.” Mandy Hale

  1. Hand the students Ups and downs Worksheet.
  2. Individually, students complete the idioms in Exercise 1 with the missing words.
  3. When the students have finished, they compare their answers with a partner.
  4. Check the answers as a class.
  5. Now, individually again, the students decide if the idioms are related to positive or negative feelings.
  6. When they have finished, ask them to compare with their partner and if they have any differences to give reasons for their choices.
  7. Elicit answers from students.
  8. Next, students complete the missing words in the idioms again. Ask them to fold the sheet and try and do it from memory first. I try to use every opportunity for students to play with the new vocabulary as much as possible and in as many ways as possible to increase their chances of remembering the idioms.
  9. Students now mingle and try to get affirmative answers from their classmates, e.g. find someone who cried their eyes out when they watched Titanic. If the other student says ‘yes’ they have to elaborate e.g. Of course I cried my eyes out when I watched Titanic. It was heartbreaking watching Jack die. Allow no more than 3 minutes for each interview. When the time is up ask students to switch partners.
  10. When the students have had a chance to ask everyone’s opinion, ask them which answers surprised them the most.

Fast finishers:

  1. Ask students to briefly describe the happiest or the saddest day in their lives using at least 5 of the idioms studied.

Related posts:

Actions speak louder than words

Can’t stop dishing out idioms

There is no place like…school

You make my heart BEET 😉

Somewhere over the rainbow 

It’s game time

Zzz

Nothing changes if nothing changes

The proof is in the pudding

P.S. Thank you Alex.

 

Stop beating around the bush

Introduction:

This is an activity for B2+ students to review some of the common phrasal verbs related to communication. Students use context to come up with their own definitions of the ten phrasal verbs, answer the questions and share their examples with other students.

Level: B1 +

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To familiarise students with some of the most common phrasal verbs related to communication.
  2. To write down definitions of the phrasal verbs using the context provided.
  3. To discuss students’ examples with another classmate.

Materials (Click on the worksheet below to download the PDF file):

  1. Stop beating around the bush Worksheet

Procedure:

  1. Write the following questions on the board and ask students to briefly discuss them in pairs: What is good communication? What are the greatest challenges to effective communication? What role does body language play in communication? Do you believe people could benefit from communication courses?
  2. Elicit some answers from students and then write the following phrasal verbs on the board: to back up, to bring up, to cut off, to open up, to point out , to rant about, to speak up, to talk down to, to tell off, to tune out.
  3. In pairs, ask students to briefly define the phrasal verbs they know or think they remember. Tell the students all the phrasal verbs are related to communication.
  4. Hand each student the Stop beating around the bush Worksheet.
  5. Individually, students look at the questions in column 2 and complete the first column, e.g. Definition/ synonym: Support. Name two people who you know would always back you up.
  6. In pairs, students compare their answers with a classmate.
  7. Correct and provide feedback.
  8. Individually, ask the students to answer the questions in column 2 using the appropriate phrasal verb, e.g. Name two things you find yourself unable to stop ranting about. Your examples: I can’t stop ranting about men. I am constantly ranting about work. Encourage students to vary the structures slightly to give them an opportunity to play with the form of the verbs.
  9. When the students have finished, ask them to switch their worksheets, read each other’s answers and circle all the examples they have in common with their classmate, underline 3 examples they want to know more about and cross out 3 examples they completely disagree with.
  10. In their pairs, students now discuss their examples. Encourage students to use the phrasal verbs in their responses. You can ask students to switch pairs again to provide them with more opportunities to practise the target language.

Fast finishers:

  1. Students choose 4 questions from the worksheet and try to predict what the teacher’s answer would be or the classmate’s that they haven’t spoken to, e.g. What two topics make you tune out in the middle of a conversation?  Karolina tunes out when people talk about board games and the weather. When they are finished they give their sentences to the teacher/classmate to check if their predictions were correct.

Related posts:

Phrasal verbs can be put off, never forgotten

Brace yourselves. Phrasal verbs r bk

How do you …?

You talkin’ to me?

I will make better mistakes tomorrow

Introduction:

This is an activity for B2+ students to review some of the most common mistakes they make. The students correct the mistakes individually and interview their partners. I have created this activity with my Spanish students in mind, but I am sure you could use it with other nationalities too.

Level: B2+

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To identify and correct common mistakes made by B2+ students.

Materials (Click on the worksheet below to download the PDF file):

  1. I will make better mistakes tomorrow Worksheet, one per student

Procedure:

  1. Give each student a I will make better mistakes tomorrow  Worksheet and in pairs ask them to discuss the quotes at the top of the page.
  2. Elicit some answers from students to learn more about their attitudes to errors.
  3. Now individually ask students to correct the mistakes in questions 1 to 18.
  4. When the students have finished, ask them to check their answers with a classmate. Together they must decide on an answer and agree.
  5. 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. This increases talking time and requires repetition of the language; it also encourages competition.
  6. In the same pairs, or groups of three, ask students to interview each other using the questions 1 to 18.

Fast finishers:

  1. Ask students to write down true statements about themselves using the expressions they were not able to correct by themselves.

P.S. “Your best teacher is your last mistake.” Ralph Nader

Related posts:

Blah Blah PET Part 1

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

 

Triple treat makes a comeback

Introduction:

These are three board game activities to talk about health, students’ hometowns and fashion. They can be used together or separately, and are a great way to help students practise speaking and develop fluency, as well as prepare for Part 1 of the FCE /CAE speaking exam.

Level: B2+

Objectives:

  1. To practise speaking about health, students’ hometowns and fashion.

Materials (Click on the worksheet below to download the PDF file):

  1. Triple treat makes a comeback, one PDF board game per pair or group of 3; a die and a timer per pair or group of 3.

Procedure:

  1. Put the students in pairs or groups of 3 and give them a copy of one of the board games and a die, they can use their phones for the timer. Aim to have all three board games in use at the same time.
  2. 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.
  3. The player must then speak for at least 1 minute on that topic and provide their partner, or other two group members, with as much detail as possible.
  4. The game continues in a circle going left.
  5. Swap the board games after sufficient time to allow all three games to be played by each pair or group.
  6. At the end, ask the students to name three new things they have learnt about their classmates.

Related posts:

Triple Treat

 

Two-round boxing match

Introduction:

This is an activity for FCE students to practise the passive and the active voice in a fun and competitive way. Students change the sentences from the active into the passive voice or from the passive into the active voice. The activity could also be used as a warmer or a plenary if the students are already able to use the target language confidently.

Level: B2

Time: 30 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To change the sentences from the active into the passive voice or from the passive into the active voice.
  2. To get a winning line of four noughts or four crosses in either a horizontal, vertical or diagonal row.

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

  1. Round One Worksheet, one per pair.
  2. Round Two Worksheet, one per pair.

Procedure:

  1. Divide the students into pairs and hand out a Round One Worksheet to each pair.
  2. The players start with Round One.
  3. Each player takes a turn to change one of the sentences from active into passive voice. If they manage to do it correctly, they add either an O or an X to the board. The first player to line up 4 of their symbols in a row wins. The students must write each answer in the space provided below the table.
  4. Repeat the procedure with Round Two Worksheet.
  5. Monitor at all times and go through some of the most problematic sentences together at the end of the class.

Fast finishers:

  1. Ask students to write 4 sentences in the active voice and 4 in the passive voice using a variety of tenses, e.g. Stuart is going to buy Karolina coffee this afternoon. Karolina was invited to a storytelling event by Brittany. When the students have finished they swap their sentences with their partner and change the eight sentences into active or passive voice.

Related posts:

Noughts and Crosses

P.S. “Never use the passive where you can use the active.” George Orwell