Prepositions? Oh, dear humanity …not again!

Introduction: 

This is a Find Someone Who activity to practise using common adjectives with prepositions which my Spanish students seem to struggle with quite a lot. It allows students to interact with different classmates and discuss a variety of topics.

Level: A2+

Objectives:

  1. To complete sentences with missing prepositions.
  2. To decide if the statements are true for the students themselves.
  3. To get other classmates’ opinions on all the statements on the worksheet.
  4. To give students additional speaking practice using common adjectives with prepositions.

Materials:

  1. Prepositions. Oh, dear humanity …not again! worksheet, one per student.

Procedure:

  1. Hand out one Find Someone Who worksheet to each student.
  2. Individually students complete 15 sentences in the table with the missing prepositions.
  3. When the students have finished, they check the answers with a partner.
  4. Check together as a class.
  5. Individually, ask students to decide if the sentences are true for them and ask them to write their answers down just below the sentences e.g. I am afraid of the dark. You: No, I am not afraid of the dark.  
  6. Next students mingle with other students, asking about the sentences on their worksheet, e.g.  Are you afraid of the dark?
  7. They must then complete the box with the classmate’s answer e.g.: Student A: Are you tired of getting up early? Student B: Well, not really. I start work at 5 in the afternoon so I never wake up before 10. Student A: Lucky you. Classmate: Stuart is not tired of getting up early.
  8. Encourage students to ask for an additional piece of information from each classmate.
  9. When the students have had a chance to ask everyone’s opinion, ask them to share the most interesting views with the rest of the class.

Fast finishers:

  1. Students write down 6 sentences to summarise who agreed or disagreed with the statements, e.g. Alex and I are very excited about our holiday in Cuenca. Stuart and I aren’t fond of waking up early.

Related posts:

A grand (two-party) coalition of verbs and prepositions

If my memory serves me right…

Ask a Q board game

When & where board game

The search is on (preposition game)

 

How do you …?

Introduction:

This is a fun activity for intermediate students to practise some of the most common phrasal verbs. The students match the phrasal verbs to their definitions and do a speaking activity in which they answer questions beginning with “How do you…?”

Level: B1

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To familiarise students with some of the most common phrasal verbs in English.
  2. To match the phrasal verbs with their definitions.
  3. To answer How do you…? questions containing the new phrasal verbs.

Materials:

  1. How do you… worksheet, one per student

Procedure:

  1. Give each student a How do you…? worksheet and individually ask students to underline the phrasal verbs in questions 1 to 10. Check as a class.
  2. Now ask the students to match the phrasal verbs they have underlined to their definitions a-j.
  3. Check answers as a class.
  4. Put students into groups of three or four and ask them to look at questions 1 to 10 again.
  5. Student 1 reads the question to the other student(s), who must try and come up with the most outrageous/ crazy/ surprising/ funny etc. answer. The student whose answer most appeals to Student 1, and who manages to correctly incorporate the phrasal verb from the question into the answer, gets a point. Players take it in turns, or continue left if in a group of three or four. The game continues until all the questions have been answered.
  6. The student with the highest number of points wins.

Fast finishers:

  1. Ask students to choose 3 phrasal verbs and write their own How do you…? questions and then ask their partner to answer them.

Related posts:

Hit the road

Single and ready to mingle

P.S. Thank you Alex and Stu for being such great editors and playtesters.

 

Holiday heaven & hell

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Introduction: 

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

Objective:

  1. To brainstorm vocabulary related to holiday and travelling.
  2. To build fluency by using vocabulary in a fun and entertaining way.

Materials:  

  1. One die per pair or small group.
  2. One set of cut up Holiday heaven and hell task cards per pair or small group.

Procedure:

  1. Draw a 6 x 6 grid on the board.
  2. Divide the class into teams, e.g. Three teams of 2.
  3. Start with the square in the top left hand corner and write any summer, holiday, or travel related word inside it, e.g. a tent.
  4. Each team has to quickly think of another summer, holiday, or travel related word that starts with the last letter of the previous word, e.g. tent > travel.
  5. The teams receive a point for each correct word. Discourage the use of dictionaries unless students run out of ideas.
  6. When the grid is complete, put students in pairs or small groups and handout one set of cut up task cards. Taking it in turns to pick a card, students obtain the words and complete the task.
  7. 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.
  8. The tasks on the cards 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.

Related posts:

Random words

Random words return

Nothing changes if nothing changes

Introduction: 

These are activities for upper intermediate students to introduce and practise idioms and phrases relating to change. Students match the sentence halves; complete the sentences with the missing expressions and do a role play.

Level: B2 +

Time: 60 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To match sentence halves to make idioms and phrases relating to change.
  2. To do a role play activity to practise the new vocabulary in a new, playful context.

Materials:

  1. ‘Nothing changes if nothing changes phrases and fortune teller cards, one set of phrases per small group of three or four, cut up and shuffled and one set of fortune teller cards per pair, cut up, and shuffled.
  2. Nothing changes if nothing changes worksheet, one per student.

Procedure:

  1. Write the following questions on the board and ask students to briefly answer them in pairs:
  • Have you made any recent changes in your life?
  • If you could change anything in your life, what would it be?
  • Do you think it is easy for people to change?
  1. Hand students ‘Nothing changes if nothing changes’ idioms and phrases.
  2. In small groups, students match the sentence halves.
  3. Monitor and encourage students to guess some of the answers, before asking them to compare with the other groups.
  4. Check the answers as a class – you can make this more competitive by asking each team for their answer and awarding a point for the correct answer.
  5. Give students ‘Nothing changes if nothing changes’ worksheet and ask them to complete the sentences with the missing phrases individually before they compare them with their partner.
  6. Check the answers as a class.
  7. Ask students to think of their love life, health, work/school and money, and very briefly describe what stage they are at in these. Tell them they can be creative and invent it, even pretending to be a celebrity, if they don’t feel comfortable sharing their personal information.
  8. Put the students into pairs and give one student a set of ‘Nothing changes if nothing changes’ fortune teller cards.
  9. One student is a fortune teller and the other is a client who is looking for advice.
  10. Once the client has explained their situation, the fortune teller draws one of the cards and offers advice using all three expressions on the cards, e.g. Unfortunately, the project you have been working on is not going anywhere. You will have to go back to square one and start again.
  11. Once the client has asked for 2 pieces of advice, students switch roles and continue with the next card.
  12. Then, mix the students into fresh pairs, shuffle the cards and continue.
  13. Role plays continue until each client has spoken to at least 3 fortune tellers.
  14. At the end ask the students which fortune player seemed the most convincing and which piece of advice in particular they found the most useful.

Fast finishers:

Unscramble the following idioms and write your own definitions of each one:

  1. Clean break to a make
  2. Breath fresh air of a
  3. To change times with the
  4. To doors open new

The proof is in the pudding

Introduction: 

These are activities for upper intermediate students to introduce and practise food idioms. Students complete the sentences with the missing expressions, write their own definitions and play a taboo game.

Level: B2 +

Time: 60 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To introduce food idioms and expressions.
  2. To write definitions of the new expressions.
  3. To play a taboo game to reinforce the new vocabulary in a new, playful context.

Materials:

  1. The proof is in the pudding worksheet, one per student.
  2. Three sets of taboo cards per pair, cut up and shuffled.

Procedure:

  1. Write the beginning of the following sentences on the board and ask students to complete them:
  • My favourite dessert is…
  • I typically eat desserts…
  • One of the countries I often associate with great desserts is…
  1. Hand students The proof is in the pudding worksheet.
  2. Individually, students have a go at completing the sentences with the missing expressions (Exercise 1).
  3. Monitor and allow them to read and guess some of the answers, before putting them into groups of three or four to discuss and compare.
  4. Check the answers as a class – you can make this more competitive by asking each team for their answer and awarding a point for the correct answer.
  5. Ask the students to write their own definitions of the expressions in Part 2.
  6. Monitor and offer feedback.
  7. Put the students into pairs and give them a set of taboo cards.
  8. Place the cards face down on the table and ask them to set a timer for one minute (they can use their phones, or you could use a timer as a class).
  9. For higher levels, the first player takes the first card and must explain the expression on the top of the card without using the three taboo words in the middle of the card. If a taboo word is used the student whose turn it is must put the current card into the discard pile.
  10. For lower levels, they can use the words as prompts for their partner to guess the correct expression.
  11. Play continues for one minute and the players swap. The continued repetition of the same 12 expressions will enforce their understanding.
  12. The winner is the student who has the most correctly guessed taboo cards at the end of the game.

Fast finishers:

  1. Choose 3 idioms and in writing try to predict what the origins of the expressions might be. Once you have finished do some research to find out if you were correct.

Related posts:

A piece of cake or a hard nut to crack?

Yummy Yummy I’ve got food in my tummy

P.S. Thank you for putting this activity to the test Stu. It was a pleasure to observe your class.

Getting itchy feet

IMG-20140629-WA0007

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.

Related posts:

Hit the road

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.

Related posts:

Random words