This is an activity you can do with students to review ‘there was’ / ‘there were’ and prepositions of place. Students look at a picture for one minute, answer questions from memory and write questions for other students about pictures they have brought to class. The photo on the worksheet is one I took recently on holiday in Croatia and it is just an example. Of course, you can use your own photo and create your own questions.
Time: 35 minutes
- To review ‘there was’ / ‘there were’ structures and prepositions of place.
- To write 10 ‘was there’ / ‘were there’ questions using students’ own pictures.
- To practise answering questions with the correct structures and prepositions.
- If my memory serves me right PDF worksheet, one per student.
- Teacher’s own photos or magazines.
- Students’ own photos or magazines.
- Divide the class into groups of three or four. Explain that you are going to show them a picture for 1 minute and that they must memorize as many details as possible for a quiz afterwards (Make sure you have made enough copies of the picture or display it on a TV or projector).
- When the minute has passed, nominate someone from each team to be spokesperson and explain that you will only accept the answer given by that person. This encourages discussion and forces the stronger members to be patient. If an answer is shouted out by someone other than a spokesperson, the answer cannot be accepted, and a spokesperson from another team can ‘steal’ the answer.
- Ask the 5 questions about the photo (see PDF Worksheet) and award one point for the correct answer.
- Explain that the students will now repeat this process, using a picture on their phone or from a magazine that you have provided.
- Using the picture, they must write 10 questions that they will use to test other students’ memory, including prepositions of place, e.g. Was the woman in the picture behind or next to the blue car?
- When the students have finished, put them in pairs or threes. Taking it in turns, students will show their picture to their classmates for exactly 1 minute, before asking them 10 questions.
- Monitor to ensure students answer in full sentences, e.g. No, the woman in the picture was behind the blue car.
- Continue until all students have tested and been tested!
Students imagine their classmates’ picture is a picture of a crime scene and they must describe it to the police in great detail. They write a short description of it from memory and, when finished, show it to their classmates to “correct”.
If my memory serves me right PDF worksheet
The search is on (preposition game)
When & where board game
This is a crossword puzzle you can do with intermediate + students to review past simple irregular verbs. All the clues together form a description of my own birthday a few years ago, which makes the activity more personal. Students solve the puzzle individually, compare with their classmates and describe their own birthday or any other special event in their lives.
Time: 40 minutes
- To review irregular verbs.
- To complete a crossword puzzle with past simple irregular verbs.
- To describe a special occasion using the verbs from the crossword puzzle.
- Elicit examples of special occasions from the students, e.g. graduation, Christmas, wedding anniversary, birthday, etc.
- Explain that you are going to give them a description of your best birthday but they will have to complete the story with the missing verbs.
- Give students worksheet A and ask them to first read all of the clues (1 to 20) to give them context and to help them with completing the sentences.
- Students work individually to complete the crossword using the clues.
- In pairs, ask them to compare their answers.
- If the students are struggling at this stage, give them a list of all 20 infinitive verbs (on the answer worksheet) in random order and encourage them to keep trying. The students I have done this crossword with became very engaged and loved the challenge.
- Check and provide feedback.
Fast finishers / homework idea:
- Students choose ten irregular verbs from the crossword and describe their best birthday ever.
Time to keep up with the times
Summary of past or recent events
This is a role play for intermediate + students to review past modals. Students have upset someone important in their lives by doing, or not doing, something important and they must think of excuses to defend themselves.
- To review and correctly use past modals in context.
- To practise pronunciation of contracted verbs ‘should have’, ‘could have’ and ‘would have’.
Printable cards: print and cut out one set
- Review uses and form of ‘should have’, ‘could have’ and ‘would have’. Draw attention to the pronunciation.
- In pairs, students decide on their roles – student A is angry, student B is guilty.
- Student B takes a card with the description of their wrongdoing. They must place themselves in the situation and briefly describe what they have done to student A, e.g. ‘I am so sorry I didn’t call you last night, but I was out with friends and my battery died.’
- Student A is annoyed and must use ‘should have’, ‘could have’ and ‘would have’ in the discussion, e.g. You should’ve charged your phone before you left home. You could’ve looked for an internet café and emailed me. I would’ve have done anything in my power to get in touch with you.
- Student B must defend themselves, e.g. ‘The electricity went off and I couldn’t charge my phone!’, until student A has given at least 3 examples using ‘should’ve’, ‘could’ve’ or ‘would’ve’ done.
- Monitor and offer feedback. Students swap roles and repeat with a different situation.
- When the students have finished, ask them to choose their most interesting exchange to write as a dialogue and perform to the other students.
P.S. Stu, you really should’ve cut up the cards before the class the other day 🙂
P.S. Thank you Alex. I couldn’t have done it without you.
P.S. Thank you Stu. Without you putting me in a bit of a sticky situation in December, I would have procrastinated even more.
This is a fun Find Someone Who… with a twist activity to practise asking for opinions. It allows students to interact with 6 different classmates and discuss a variety of topics.
- To practise asking for opinion using the expressions given.
- To find out why students’ classmates agree or disagree with the statements given.
- To get other classmates’ opinions on all the statements on the worksheet.
- Hand out one worksheet to each student.
- Students must mingle with other students, asking about the statements on their lists.
- Students must ask a classmate their opinion on the given topic, using one of the expressions at the top of their worksheet. They must then complete the box with the name of that classmate and the reason why they agree or disagree with the statements given e.g.: Student A: I’d be very interested to hear your views on cutlery. Do you think it’s useless? Student B: Well, to be honest, I think it’s a complete waste of money and we should all use our fingers instead.
- Students are not to discuss more than two statements with each classmate.
- 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.