Random words return

Introduction: 

This is a creative speaking activity inspired by a great book by Edward de Bono called “Creativity Workout”.

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 speaking 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. The following are just examples of activities that can be done with random words. They could be done in one session or you could choose a few to do as a warmer or plenary :
  • Obtain four random words. Write down 4 questions you would like to ask someone you admire, e.g. your favourite actor, writer, politician, etc.
  • Obtain four random words. Describe your perfect day using the random words in any order you wish.
  • Obtain four random words. Use the words to tell your life story in as much detail as possible.
  • Obtain five random words. Design a short radio advert for one of your favourite brands.
  • Obtain four random words. You have won a million pounds. Using the random words explain why you decided not to accept the prize.
  • Obtain five random words. You have met an alien. Tell them 5 things they should know about the human race and our planet using the random words.
  • Obtain five random words. The zombie apocalypse is coming. Write down five things you think people should do in order to survive.
  • Obtain five random words. Write down a list of five interesting first date ideas.
  • Obtain three random words. Write down a list of three things that make you extremely happy.
  • Obtain five random words. Think of a country you have visited and using the words create a list of recommendations for someone who has never been to that country before.

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Random words

It’s all a numbers game

Introduction:

These are some creative activities to develop understanding and correct use of ‘number’ idioms. Students complete the idioms with the missing numbers and then complete a creative activity to test other classmates.

Level: B1+

Time: 70 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To introduce idioms related to numbers.
  2. To use repetition through various means to cement understanding and correct use of the idioms, whilst also testing other students’ knowledge of the new vocabulary.

Materials:

  1. It_s all a numbers game Worksheet, one per pair.

Procedure:

  1. Write the following questions on the board and ask students to discuss them in pairs: What are the important numbers in your life? Do you have a lucky and unlucky number? Are you superstitious about any numbers?
  2. Briefly discuss as a class for feedback.
  3. Hand out a copy of ‘It’s all a numbers game’ Worksheet.
  4. Put students in pairs. The first student completes one of the sentences with a missing number; if his or her sentence is accepted by the teacher, they draw either an O or X in the square. The first player to line up 4 of their symbols in a row wins.
  5. When the students have finished, check ALL of the sentences as a class and in pairs ask students to provide the definitions of the idioms using their own words.
  6. Check together as a class.
  7. Put the students into pairs and ask them to complete Exercise 2.
  8. Once the students have finished ask them to cut up the squares and hand them to a pair of students on their right.
  9. The students now match the drawings, synonyms, etc, with their examples and definitions in Exercise 1. To make it easier you could ask students to cut up the squares in Exercise 1 too.
  10. Monitor at all times.
  11. Depending on the number of students you could repeat step 8 several times to recycle vocabulary.
  12. At the end, ask students to share 4 of their favourite or most challenging ‘representations’ of the number idioms.

Fast finishers:

  1. Ask students to check which numbers from 1 to 10 were not represented in Exercise 1 and find one idiom for each of the numbers.

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Lovely day, innit?

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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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MEOW!

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Introduction: 

This is an activity to introduce and practise animal idioms. Students describe 10 animals, complete the expressions with the missing adjectives and complete sentences about themselves.

Level: B2

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To increase familiarity and correct use of animal idioms.
  2. To complete the sentences in Exercise 2 with the missing adjectives.
  3. To complete sentences containing animal idioms individually.

Materials:

  1. MEOW! Worksheet, one per student.

Procedure:

  1. Elicit different animals from students and write them on the board, e.g. tiger, dog, donkey, etc. and in pairs ask them to think of the characteristic traits of these animals, e.g. as fierce as a tiger.
  2. Hand out a copy of MEOW!! Worksheet and ask students to individually complete Exercise 1.
  3. When they have finished, ask them to compare their answers in pairs and justify their choice if it is different from their partner’s.
  4. Students then complete Exercise 2 individually, before comparing their answers with their partner.
  5. Check together as a class.
  6. Students then complete Exercise 3 individually.
  7. When they have finished, students swap their sheets with their partner and read each other’s answers.
  8. When the students have finished, ask them to circle 4 new things they have found out about their classmate from Exercise 3.

Fast finishers:

  1. Ask students to write down the name of professions they associate with the expressions they have learnt, e.g. stubborn as a mule: English teacher, etc.

MEOW! Worksheet

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Wanted

P.S.  Nakotek. A little birdie told me it was your birthday today. Have an amazing day.

Lovely day, innit?

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Introduction:

This is an activity to introduce and practise idioms related to weather. Students first divide the expressions into 3 categories, then complete the sentences with the missing idioms and finally, do the speaking activity with their classmates.

Level: B2

Time: 60 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To increase familiarity and correct use of weather idioms.
  2. To complete the sentences in Exercise 2 with the missing weather idioms.
  3. To answer questions containing the weather idioms in pairs.

Materials:

  1. Lovely day, innit? Worksheet 1, one per student.
  2. Lovely day, innit? Worksheet 2 cut up, one per pair or a group of three.

Procedure:

  1. Elicit different weather types from students and write them on the board, e.g. hot, rainy, sunny, cloudy, humid, foggy, etc. and in pairs ask them to discuss which types of weather they prefer and how each type makes them feel, e.g. When it’s foggy, I feel drained and sleepy.
  2. Hand out a copy of Lovely day, innit? Worksheet 1 and ask students to individually complete the table in Exercise 1.
  3. When the students have finished, ask them to mingle with other students and find those who can define for them the idioms they are unsure of or do not know.
  4. Check together as a class.
  5. When the students have finished, ask them to complete Exercise 2 individually.
  6. When they have finished, ask them to compare and discuss with a partner before checking together as a class.
  7. When the students have finished, put them into pairs or small groups of 3 and give them a full set of the cut up questions from Lovely day, innit? Worksheet 2.
  8. Students answer the questions in pairs.
  9. When the students have finished, ask them to share the most surprising answers they have heard.

Fast finishers:

Ask students to discuss a film they have seen recently, or their favourite film, using as many of the idioms as possible to describe the plot, the characters, etc.

Lovely day, innit Worksheet 1

Lovely day, innit Worksheet 2

Answers

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Clothes do (not) make the man

Introduction:

This is an activity to introduce and practise clothes idioms. Students complete the sentences with the missing items of clothing and later interview their classmates.

Level: B2

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To present students with clothes idioms.
  2. To complete the sentences in Exercise 1 with the missing items of clothing.
  3. To interview other classmates and write down the reasons why they agree or disagree with the statements in Exercise 1.

Materials:

  1. Clothes do (not) make the man Worksheet, one per student.

Procedure:

  1. Write the statement Clothes don’t make the man on the board and ask students to tell their partner if they agree or disagree with it.
  2. Hand out a copy of Clothes do (not) make the man Worksheet and ask students to individually complete the sentences in Exercise 1.
  3. When the students have finished, ask them to compare in small groups and then check together as a class.
  4. Clarify meaning if necessary.
  5. In pairs, or small groups of 3, ask the students to interview each other (Exercise 2) and write down the reasons why their classmates agree or disagree with the statements they have just completed (Exercise 1).
  6. Once they have discussed 2 statements with their current partner(s), change the groups and continue until the students have completed the table in Exercise 2.
  7. When the students have finished, ask them to share the most well presented arguments they have heard.

Fast finishers:

  1. Ask students to choose 5 clothes idioms and think of situations in their life that could be described using those idioms, e.g. since losing my weekend job, I have had to tighten my belt; If I don’t pull my socks up, I won’t pass the exam at the end of term.

Clothes do (not) make the man Worksheet