Sunday, August 28, 2011

Activity 37- In One Word

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Here is an idea for a simple idea that can be used as a speaking or writing activity. Moreover, it`s a great opportunity to break the ice and promote some interaction in class.

Level: intermediate or upper 
Skills: speaking or writing
Materials needed: none


Ask students to think of a word that  best represents their last weekend. Have students write the word on their notebook or just say it out loud. Students sit in groups or pair up with a classmate and explain why they picked that word.

a)Students can think of words that best represent their : day, last vacation,mother,personality, work, country,etc.
b)Instead of sitting in groups to talk about their words, students can write a short paragraph.

Source: Vinicius Lemos

Monday, August 22, 2011

Activity 36- Real Life Questions

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 Here is a good idea to use with adult learners as an ice-breaker in the beginning of the class. 
Tip: Students can answer the questions orally or in paper. Questions can be displayed on the board. 

Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Skills: Speaking
Material needed: To guide the students, a piece of paper with the questions below 


  1. Name three things that can be attractive.
  2. What is something your boss can take pride in or be proud of?
  3. What did you hear in the few weeks that was surprising or that you were surprised about?
  4. Describe a situation during which you felt confident about it.
  5.  Why is it believed that “the wicked stepmother is always ugly”?
  6.  Name three desirable characteristics.
  7. Source: Vânia Rodrigues

    Sunday, August 14, 2011

    Activity 35- Draw the Sentence

                                              picture credits:
    Practice the Present Continuous with a fun and engaging game! Teen students will definitely have a blast!

    Grammar point: Present Continuous
    Level: Basic
    Skill: speaking
    Material needed: slips with sentences


    Divide class into 2 teams and explain that they have to pick a slip and draw the sentence written in it. 
    Reinforce the idea that all sentences are in the Present Continuous and that the possibilities are "He is _____ing/She is _____ing/They are _____ing"
    Reming the student who is going to draw on the board of the basic rules: no miming, no speaking, no writing words!
    Each team has one minute to shout the correct sentence (and remind them that to get the point they have to shout the sentence as it is written in the slip!).
    Suggestions of sentences to be used:
     They are speaking Chinese
    He is cooking chicken pizza
    She is kissing a frog
    They are dancing hip hop
    He is going home
    She is writing an email
    They are playing handball
    He is riding a pony
    She is washing an elephant
    They are drinking lemon juice
    He is doing the homework
    She is singing opera
    They are cleaning the swimming pool

    The more complex and odd the sentences are, the more fun the students will have!

    Source: Vinicius Lemos, inspired by Paul Seligson and his book English File

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Activity 34- What Do I Know About My Group?

                                                  picture credits:

    Here is a nice idea to build up rapport in class by discussing what they know and remember about their classmates.

    Level: any
    Skills: writing, speaking and listening
    Material needed: slips of paper


    Before class write the name of each student on a slip of paper. In class, give each student a slip and make sure the student doesn`t get the slip with his/her own name. Explain to the students that they are going to have 5 minutes to write down up to 5 things they remember about that person. Collect the slips, read them aloud and ask students to guess who that student is. As a follow up, you can ask students to sit in pairs or in groups and talk a bit more about the information in their slips.

    Source: adapted from