This is a short writing activity for intermediate students to revise the second conditional. The students answer the questions individually, read and match their classmate’s answers and further discuss the responses that caught their attention.
Time: 45 minutes
- To answer questions using the second conditional.
- To match their classmates’ responses to the questions.
- To discuss the questions that caught students’ attention using the second conditional.
- Hypothetically speaking worksheet, one per student
- Give each student a Hypothetically speaking worksheet and ask them to answer the questions in random order, e.g. write the answer to question 1 next to letter d etc.
- Put students in pairs, or groups of 3, and ask them to swap papers. The students now read each other’s answers and match the responses to the questions. Encourage students to correct any mistakes they might come across when they go through their classmate’s sentences and ask them to underline the responses that catch their attention.
- Monitor throughout the activity.
- Now ask the students to swap the papers and check if their classmates matched the responses correctly.
- Elicit some answers from the students. When I did this activity for the first time I couldn’t believe how many original responses the students came up with.
- In the same pairs or groups of 3 now ask the students to explain in detail the underlined answers using the second conditional.
- Ask students to take 4 of their responses and use them as beginnings of new sentences, e.g. If everyone in the world was madly in love with me, I would be over the moon. I would be over the moon, if I could speak English with an Irish accent.
This is an activity for intermediate students to review vocabulary related to ‘household chores’. Students divide the chores into three categories, come up with a cleaning schedule in a house they have just moved into and write a short advert for a new housemate. They seem to need help with the bills. ☺
Time: 45 minutes
- To review vocabulary related to household chores.
- To come up with an effective cleaning schedule.
- To write a short advertisement for a new housemate.
- Flying the Nest Worksheet – one per student.
- Write the names of various rooms on the board, such as kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, etc. In pairs, ask the students to name two chores they perform in each of those areas of the house; monitor, and when they have some suggestions, nominate students to write them on the board by the room names. Clarify meaning and check spelling.
- Hand each student a Flying the Nest Worksheet and ask them, individually, to separate the household chores into 3 separate categories (Exercise 1).
- When the students have finished, they compare their tables with their partner’s and explain their choices.
- In their pairs, ask them to think about what they find most difficult when sharing a flat/house with other people, such as their parents, a partner, friends, a housemate, e.g. having a curfew, finding dirty dishes in the sink, etc.
- Put students in small groups of three and tell them they have just moved into a beautiful new house with a garden and they are now sitting in the kitchen, trying to decide how to divide the chores (Exercise 2). They must negotiate with their housemates and try to agree only to do chores they like or don’t mind doing around the house. Encourage negotiation and compromise.
- When the students have reached an agreement, ask them to compare their cleaning schedule with the other groups.
- In the same groups, students now move on to Exercise 3. They must write a short description of an ideal new housemate.
- When the students have finished, ask them to read their description to the other groups.
- Ask students to choose 8 chores from the list and decide how much they think it would cost in their country to have them done, e.g. your shirts ironed, your windows cleaned, etc.
Flying the Nest Worksheet
This is a great activity I’ve taken part in at acting classes. It allows intermediate students to practise used to in a really entertaining way.
Level: B 1
- To write a short dialogue about students’ past habits using used to.
- To act out another pair’s dialogue.
- In pairs, ask students about some of the activities they used to do regularly when they were younger, e.g. in primary school, they used to go the beach every summer and they used to go round their friends’ house every weekend, etc.
- In the same pairs, students must imagine they are two childhood friends who have just bumped into each other and start talking about all the fun things they did together when they were younger.
- In pairs, students write a dialogue between the two friends giving specific examples of the things they did using the USED TO structure, e.g. Student A: Do you remember when we used to go to that body blitz dancing class? We used to have so much fun trying to follow the teacher’s instructions. She used to get very annoyed if I made a mistake and used to tell me to repeat the steps over and over again. Student B: Yes! That was so much fun. I used to be really scared of her. Oh, and do you remember when after class we always used to get fish and chips, we were so hungry. We used to sit on the grass, eat and just chat for hours.
- Once the students have described at least 5 activities that they used to do together, ask the first two pairs to sit in front of the whole class. Try to create some space for students to perform this next activity.
- Ask the first pair (Student A and B) to read out the dialogue. While they read, the second pair (Student A and B) must listen carefully and act out all the actions the first pair describe (Student A from the second pair acts out the actions mentioned by Student A in the first pair, Student B from the second pair acts out the actions mentioned by Student B in the first pair).
- Encourage the other students to pay close attention to both pairs and check that all the actions have been “correctly“acted out.
- Continue until all the pairs have read their dialogues and have had a chance to act out another pair’s dialogue.
P.S. Thank you again for all your help Alex.
These are activities for intermediate students to introduce vocabulary describing body, face and hair. Students categorise words into groups, draw a picture of their classmate and write a brief description of themselves for comparison.
Time: 55 minutes
- To introduce vocabulary describing body, face and hair.
- To draw a picture of a classmate.
- To write a brief description of a student’s own physical appearance.
- To find similarities between the students’ drawings of their classmates and the classmates’ description of themselves.
- Mirror Mirror on the wall…Worksheet A, one per student.
- Mirror Mirror on the wall…Worksheet B, one per student.
- Show students several images of celebrities and elicit some words to describe their physical appearance and write them on the board e.g. short, tall etc.
- Put students into pairs and hand each student Mirror Mirror on the wall… Worksheet A.
- Go through the words as a class to make sure the students understand meaning and pronunciation.
- In pairs, students complete Exercise 1.
- Monitor and provide feedback.
- When the students have finished, hand out Mirror Mirror on the wall…Worksheet B. In pairs, students must draw each other in the frame provided. Make sure the students don’t look at their partner’s pictures until you tell them so.
- When the students have finished, they now briefly describe their physical appearance using at least 7 new words from Exercise 1 of Mirror Mirror on the wall…Worksheet A.
- When the students have finished, they must compare their description of themselves with the drawing made by their partner and try to find 3 similarities and 3 differences. For example, In your drawing I have a round face but in my description I wrote that my face was oval. I have long wavy hair in both the drawing and the description.
- Ask students to share with the group how many similarities and differences they managed to find.
Fast finishers / homework:
- Individually, students complete Exercise 2 of Mirror Mirror on the wall…Worksheet A. When finished, they compare their answers with another classmate.
Mirror Mirror on the wall…Worksheet A
Mirror Mirror on the wall…Worksheet B
This is a lesson plan for intermediate + students. Students look at relationship related vocabulary, create a short love story and write an informal letter to a friend asking for advice.
- To introduce relationship related vocabulary.
- To use new vocabulary in context to create a short love story.
- To write an informal letter to a friend asking for advice.
- Give each student worksheet A with relationship related vocabulary.
- Go through the vocabulary together to make sure the students understand all the expressions.
- Working individually, the students divide the expressions into ones they have positive and negative associations with and then discuss it with their partner.
- In pairs, the students must now create a short love story using as many expressions from the previous stage as possible.
- Monitor the use and repetition of the target language.
- Still in pairs, the students describe in detail one of the couple’s conflicts or arguments.
- When the discussion is over, students now become the main characters in their stories (student A represents one character and student B his or her partner) who are unable to resolve their issues without help. Individually, they must write an informal letter (Worksheet B) to a mutual friend (140- 190 words), in which they present their version of events and ask for some advice. The students must use at least 6 new relationship expressions in their letter.
- When the students have finished, they swap their two versions of events with another pair who then must discuss and decide the best course of action for the couple in question.
This is a fun lesson plan for intermediate + students to practise asking and answering questions about daily routines. Students interview each other and then write a short article using the information they’ve gathered.
- To talk about daily routines and rituals.
- To interview another student.
- To write a short article.
- To peer edit another student’s article.
- Put students in pairs.
- Individually, students divide a piece of paper in their notebooks into three parts: morning, afternoon and evening.
- Students write questions for their partners about their daily routines – 4 questions for each section of the day, e.g. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Do you usually have a nap in the afternoon? Do you have a bedtime ritual for better sleep?
- Students work in pairs and answer each other’s questions, making notes on each answer.
- When the students are finished, they must imagine the person they’ve just interviewed is a celebrity whose strict and weird routine has led to their success.
- They must write a short article (140-190 words) describing their interviewee’s rise to stardom, thanks to their unchanging routine.
- When the students have finished, they swap articles with their partner and edit them according to the following success criteria:
- The article has an eye catching headline, e.g. Can’t keep up? Don’t settle. Have some invigorating nettle.
- The article has an interesting introduction, e.g. Ever wondered why you never had ‘A’s at school, why you never got that dream job or the guy you fancied? Well, the answer might lie in something as inconspicuous as nettle tea.
- The writer gives specific examples, e.g. The A-list celebrity I’ve had a chance to interview never leaves the house without indulging in a cup of lovely nettle tea. In fact, she keeps on drinking gallons of nettle tea throughout the day and swears by its superpower qualities.
- The article is divided into paragraphs, with an inspiring final paragraph to motivate the reader into making a small change in their lives which may lead to super success!
This is a fun activity which allows students to recycle and learn new vocabulary related to clothes and appearance.
- To increase speaking fluency.
- To practise descriptions of appearance and / or clothes.
- Put students into groups and ask them to brainstorm adjectives describing appearance.
- Feedback: add new adjectives to students’ lists e.g. chubby, curvy, muscular , plump, presentable , scruffy, etc.
- Introduce the idea of reliable memory. Ask students if they think memory is reliable and if they remember e.g. what they were wearing last week. Tell them to shut their eyes and ask them questions about other people in the class e.g. what colour is Sara’s coat etc.
- Divide the class into two groups – police officers (A) and witnesses (B).
- Give the witnesses a picture of a person in a detailed background location. It could be a picture cut out from a magazine or a picture of a family member or even the teacher. They have 1 minute to look at the picture and memorise it.
- Put police officers and witnesses into pairs and tell the witnesses they have witnessed a crime and they saw the suspect. They must try and describe the suspect as accurately as possible to the police officer in front of them. The police officers’ job is to write down the details given by the witnesses.
- Allow three to four minutes for the interview and then ask the witnesses to move to another police officer and repeat the statement. Once the police officers are finished they compare their notes on the suspect’s appearance with the original photo. If there are few differences the suspect will be brought to justice.
- The students swap roles and repeat with a different image.
Fast finishers/ homework:
- Students design ‘Wanted’ posters and write a detailed description of the suspect based on the notes they made during the interview. They bring their descriptions to class and ask the “witness” to read the statement and confirm that the information is true and correct ( it allows students to recycle the vocabulary yet again whilst role playing )
- Students could also compare the two suspects and write sentences e.g. Suspect 1 is not as chubby as suspect 2.
- Encourage students to watch a fascinating Ted talk about the fiction of memory http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_loftus_the_fiction_of_memory
P.S. A quick thank you note to my friend Alex. Thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to offer feedback and share your ideas.