Getting itchy feet

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Introduction:

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 +

Objectives:

  1. To introduce travel vocabulary.
  2. To answer questions about travelling using the new vocabulary.

Materials:

  1. Getting itchy feet worksheet, one per student.
  2. Getting itchy feet board game, one per group of three.
  3. Getting itchy feet worksheet solutions

Procedure:

  1. 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.
  2. Check as a class and make sure students know the meaning of all the words that came up during the activity.
  3. 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.
  4. When the students have finished, ask them to add the words found to the list they created at the beginning.
  5. Check together as a class to make sure students know the meaning of all the words.
  6. Put the students into pairs, or groups of 3, and give them a copy of Getting itchy feet board game and 3 dice.
  7. 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.
  8. At the end, ask the students to name three words they have struggled to incorporate into their responses.

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Cat got your tongue? Speak up

Introduction:

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 +

Objectives:

  1. To answer questions about animals and pets.
  2. To express opinions using commonly used expressions.
  3. To ask for repetition or clarification using commonly used expressions.

Materials:

  1. Cat got your tongue_Speak up board game, one per pair or a group of three.
  2. 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.

Procedure:

  1. Put the students into pairs, or groups of three, and elicit opinion language and expressions for asking for repetition.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. All players must then answer the question in as much detail as possible and use the expressions on their cards.
  8. Once the players have used the expressions they put the cards at the bottom of the piles.
  9. At the end, ask the students to name three topics they have strongly agreed on, or disagreed on, with each other.

Fast finishers:

  1. 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.

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Academic year-end roundup

Introduction:

This is a board game activity to reflect on the past academic year. Students play a game and answer questions about the challenges they faced, things they learnt, things they would have done differently, etc.

Level: B1 +

Objectives:

  1. To reflect on the past academic year while answering questions.

Materials:

  1. One Academic year-end roundup PDF board game and one die per pair or group of 3.

Procedure:

  1. Put the students in pairs, or groups of 3, and give them a copy of the board game and a die.
  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. All three players must then answer the question in as much detail as possible.
  4. At the end, ask the students to name three new things they agreed on with other classmates.

Bookworms & Film Buffs

Introduction:

These are two activities to encourage discussion about books and films. Students divide adjectives into positives and negatives and think of a book and a film that could be described using these adjectives. After that, students play a board game with their classmates.

Level: B1 +

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To introduce adjectives used to describe books and films.
  2. To divide the adjectives into positives and negatives and provide an example of a book or a film that could be described using the adjective in question.
  3. To answer questions about books and films using the adjectives in question.

Materials:

  1. Bookworms & Film Buffs worksheet, one per student.
  2. Bookworms & Film Buffs board game, one per pair or group of three.

Procedure:

  1. Elicit some names of popular films and books from students, write them on the board and in pairs ask students to think of some adjectives that could be used to describe them. Alternatively, bring some images of famous book/film scenes into class and use them to elicit the adjectives.
  2. Hand out a copy of ‘Bookworms & Film Buffs’ Worksheet. Elicit the meanings of each of the adjectives using your own examples from films or books they may have seen.
  3. Students individually complete the table in Exercise 1.
  4. When the students have finished, ask them to compare their film and book titles with others as a mingling exercise.
  5. Put the students in pairs, or groups of 3, and give them a copy of ‘Bookworms & Film Buffs’ 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 players must discuss the question in as much detail as possible and incorporate the new adjectives into their answers.
  8. At the end, ask the students if there are any films they would watch or books they would like to read having listened to their classmates’ answers.

Fast finishers:

  1. Ask students to write a very brief review of a book or a film (70 words) and incorporate 7 new SCRAMBLED adjectives into their writing. When they have finished they swap their reviews with another student who must then unscramble the adjectives and guess the name of the book or film.

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P.S. I really appreciate all your help Alex. Thank you.

Single and ready to mingle

Introduction:

These are two activities to talk about dating. Students define the phrasal verbs and tell each other what emotions they associate with them and then do the speaking activity with their classmates.

Level: B1+

Time: 60 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To increase familiarity and correct use of phrasal verbs related to dating.
  2. To provide definitions of the phrasal verbs.
  3. To answer questions about dating using the phrasal verbs in question.

Materials:

  1. Single and ready to mingle Worksheet, one per student.
  2. Single and ready to mingle board game, one per pair or a group of three.

Procedure:

  1. Elicit the best places to find a date from students and write them on the board, e.g. online, at a bar, in a park, in a fitness club, etc., and in pairs ask them to briefly discuss what are the advantages and disadvantages of meeting a potential date in those places.
  2. Hand out a copy of ‘Single and ready to mingle’ Worksheet and ask students to individually complete the table in Exercise 1.
  3. When the students have finished, ask them to mingle with other students to compare and check their answers, and compare the emotions they associate with each verb, e.g. asking someone out fills me with a sense of dread.
  4. Check together as a class.
  5. Put the students in pairs, or groups of 3, and give them a copy of ‘Single and ready to mingle’ 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. Both players must discuss the question in as much detail as possible.
  8. During the game the players must try and incorporate ALL the phrasal verbs into theirs answers.
  9. At the end, ask the students to name three things they have strongly agreed on, or disagreed on, with their classmates.

Fast finishers:

  1. Ask students to think of a single friend they have and write down a list of 5 dating tips for that particular person, e.g. they should be more open- minded and go out more.

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Triple Treat

Introduction:

These are three board game activities to talk about families, education and free time. 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: B1 +

Objectives:

  1. To practise speaking about families, education and free time.
  2. To develop fluency under timed conditions.

Materials:

3 PDF board games, one 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.

Triple treat

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Let’s Get Better Acquainted 🙂

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Let’s Get Better Acquainted :)

Introduction:

This is a free printable board game for students to get to know each other better. The game could be used at the beginning of each term/year but also when a new student joins the class. I have also used it with FCE students to practise Part 1 of the FCE speaking exam and encouraged them to speak for at least a minute.

Level: B1+

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To reach the end by moving across the board whilst answering questions.
  2. To learn new things about students’ classmates.

Materials:

  1. Printable Let’s Get Better Acquainted game.
  2. One die per group of 2 or 3.
  3. One checker per player.
  4. A countdown timer.

Procedure:

  1. Let’s Get Better Acquainted is played by 2 to 3 players.
  2. Before the game begins tell students to pay close attention to their classmates’ answers as they might be quizzed at the end of the activity.
  3. Players take it in turns to throw the die and move the number thrown.
  4. When a player lands on a square, they answer the question from that square. The student has to speak for at least 1 minute and include as much detail as possible in their answer.
  5. The game continues in the circle going left.
  6. When the students have finished, in the same groups ask each student to summarise what they have learnt about a person on their right. Continue until both or all three students have spoken.
  7. Ask students to share how accurate and detailed the accounts of their answers were.

Fast finishers:

  1. Ask students to write down 5 ‘Get to know you’ questions that they tend to ask people they have just met, e.g. at a party.

Lets Get Better Acquainted

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