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 +
- To practise speaking about families, education and free time.
- To develop fluency under timed conditions.
3 PDF board games, one per pair or group of 3; a die and a timer per pair or group of 3.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- The game continues in a circle going left.
- Swap the board games after sufficient time to allow all three games to be played by each pair or group.
- At the end, ask the students to name three new things they have learnt about their classmates.
Let’s Get Better Acquainted 🙂
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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.
Time: 45 minutes
- To present students with clothes idioms.
- To complete the sentences in Exercise 1 with the missing items of clothing.
- To interview other classmates and write down the reasons why they agree or disagree with the statements in Exercise 1.
- Clothes do (not) make the man Worksheet, one per student.
- 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.
- Hand out a copy of Clothes do (not) make the man Worksheet and ask students to individually complete the sentences in Exercise 1.
- When the students have finished, ask them to compare in small groups and then check together as a class.
- Clarify meaning if necessary.
- 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).
- 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.
- When the students have finished, ask them to share the most well presented arguments they have heard.
- 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
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.
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.
Time: 45 minutes
- To reach the end by moving across the board whilst answering questions.
- To learn new things about students’ classmates.
- Printable Let’s Get Better Acquainted game.
- One die per group of 2 or 3.
- One checker per player.
- A countdown timer.
- Let’s Get Better Acquainted is played by 2 to 3 players.
- 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.
- Players take it in turns to throw the die and move the number thrown.
- 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.
- The game continues in the circle going left.
- 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.
- Ask students to share how accurate and detailed the accounts of their answers were.
- 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.
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This is a categorising activity and a Find Someone Who speaking exercise to practise 12 phrasal verbs related to eating. Yum yum!
Time: 45 minutes
- To present students with 12 phrasal verbs related to eating.
- To categorise the phrasal verbs according to students’ own preferences.
- To interview other classmates and find those who have a certain characteristic.
- Phrasal verbs_ A piece of cake or a hard nut to crack? Worksheet, one per student.
- Find Someone Who… A piece of cake or a hard nut to crack? Worksheet, one per student.
- In groups, ask the students to talk about the meal they had last night; monitor and elicit phrasal verbs related to eating and food, e.g. to eat out, to heat up, etc. and write them on the board. Clarify meaning.
- Hand out a copy of Phrasal verbs_ A piece of cake or a hard nut to crack? Worksheet to each student.
- Individually, students must divide the expressions into the three separate categories.
- When the students have finished, they compare their lists and explain their choices to their partners.
- Hand out a copy of Find Someone Who… A piece of cake or a hard nut to crack? Worksheet to each student.
- Students must mingle, asking each other about the statements on the worksheet. When they find someone who does the action explained by the phrasal verb, they write their name in the box, e.g.: Student A (Clara): Did you ever pick at your food when you were a child? Student B (Sergio): Well, to be honest, I only ever picked at the overcooked cabbage my grandmother used to prepare. Clara then writes Sergio’s name in that box.
- Students are not to discuss more than two statements with each classmate; monitor to make sure all the students speak with each other.
- When the students have spoken with everyone in their class and their worksheets are completed, ask them to share the most interesting views, either in groups of three or with the rest of the class.
Students attribute a specific food to each phrasal verb that is true for them in order to personalise the activity, e.g. I only have lobster when I eat out, I wolf down cornflakes, etc. The meaning can be further cemented by asking students to write a synonym for each new phrasal verb they have learnt during the activity.
Phrasal verbs. A piece of cake or a hard nut to crack
Find Someone Who… A piece of cake or a hard nut to crack
Hit the road
This is a board game activity to practise -ed and –ing adjectives. Students think of activities they like and dislike and play a board game with their classmates.
Time: 40 minutes
- To practise the difference between the –ed and –ing adjectives.
- To answer questions with the –ed and –ing adjectives.
- Are you bored or just boring PDF board game, one per pair or a small group of 3 or 4.
- One die per pair or small group of 3 or 4.
- As a class, ask the students for one activity they enjoy, e.g. shopping, and one they dislike, e.g. cleaning – write them on either sides of the board. Ask them to think of adjectives to describe each activity and write them around the activity as they shout them out, e.g. shopping is entertaining, cleaning is boring, etc. Then ask them how these activities make them feel, e.g. shopping makes me feel entertained, cleaning makes me feel bored, etc. Consider using different colours of pens or different areas on the board to highlight the different adjective endings.
- In pairs, the students repeat the activity, thinking of three activities they enjoy and three they dislike, using adjectives to describe each activity and how it makes them feel.
- Monitor and correct as necessary.
- Put the students into new pairs or small groups of 3 or 4. Hand out Are you bored or just boring PDF board game and one die per pair or group.
- To obtain a question, the 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.
- The players have to speak for at least 1 minute and must answer the question using the adjective in bold.
- The game continues in a circle going left and until each student has answered at least 5 questions.
- At the end ask the students to name three new things they have learnt about their classmates from the game they have just played.
Are you bored or just boring PDF board game
Word formation station. Get off without trepidation.
Word formation station. Get off without trepidation. Part 2
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