Sunday, January 27, 2013

Activity 87- Intonation Fun

Use this activity to highlight the importance of intonation when your students, as they often do, talk like robots. 

Level : any
Skill: speaking (focus on intonation)
Material needed: mini-posters with the phrases and situations


Basically, get them to say the words in quotation marks in the contexts that follow. You can either tell them the situations orally or you can display the information on mini-posters around the classroom and invite them to visit the different stations and practice saying the sentences. 

to a friend
to a friend you haven`t seen for 3 years
to a neighbor that you don`t like
to a 6-month old baby
to someone you have just found doing something they should`t 
to someone on the phone when you`re not sure if they are still on the other end

" goodbye"
to a member of your family as they are going through the boarding gate at the airport
to someone who has been annoying you
to a child starting his/her very first day at school

"How are you?"
to someone you haven`t seen for 20 years 
to someone who has recently lost a member of the family
to someone who didn`t sleep in their own bed last night

" I never go to bars" 
by a person that totally disapproves of drinking alcohol to someone who often goes to bars
as a response to someone who has told you they sometimes go to bars
said before: ' ...but I quite like discos.' 

" What have you done?" 
to someone who claims to have fixed your television only that now it`s worse than before
to someone who is scolding you for not doing anything when you suspect the same about them
to someone who has just done something very bad and which has serious consequences

Picture Credits: Flickr (Phil Dragash)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Activity 86- Ping Pong Talk

This idea is a warmer that works nicely with students who have good fluency skills and can have more sophisticated conversations in English. Great for adult learners! 

Levels: intermediate, advanced
Skill: speaking
Material needed: topics pre-selected by the teacher


Pair up students and tell them to decide who will start talking. On cue, announce the topic and student A in each pair starts talking about it. Then, clap your hands once to signal that student A should stop talking and student B should immediately pick up from there and start developing his/her ideas on the same topic. This step is repeated 3-4 times, each time giving each student about 30-45 seconds to talk. Simple and very broad topics should be chosen, such as: chocolate, family, work, etc. However, more challenging topics can be chosen, such as: love, pencil, rivers, doctors, freedom, etc.

Tip: Vary the length of time each student speaks.

Source: Unknown
Picture Credits: Flickr (ah_blake)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Activity 85- Me Against Me

This game is a great way to review and practice parts of the body. Young learners will definitely have a blast playing it! 

Level: basic
Skill: speaking, listening
Vocabulary: parts of the body
Material needed: none


Ask students to stand up and pair up with a classmate. Tell them they are going to take orders from the teacher and must follow them. Here is an example of what could be said: " head against arm". Then, one child of the couple must put his head against the arm of the other kid. Check if everyone is doing it correctly. After giving some orders, say the line : " me against me! " Then, in this case, students must pair up with someone else and you have to find a child to pair up with you as well. The child who has no pair has to give the orders until he/she says "me against me!" and students find other partners. 

Source: Unknown
picture credits: Flickr (egonwegh)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy 2013!

Hi everyone! After a 3-month break, we are ready to start the year with more fun, simple and effective activities for your English classes! Stay connected because new posts are on their way! We are very happy to know that the traffic in our blog is still consistent, even though new material hash`t been added recently. That makes us even more motivated to continue blogging and sharing the best activities with you all!
This year we want to hear from you, we want to know which activities you have developed and have been using that are winners among your students. How about sharing them with us and all of the blog`s visitors?  In 2013 we don`t want to post only our own ideas, but rather make it a collective space where we can share and spread effective and simple activities that everyone can use. Here is your chance to share your material with teachers worldwide! Check out what you have to do:
Write your post and send it to Vinicius Lemos ( All we ask is that you try to follow the standard of our blog posts. Remember to inform the proper accreditation if you are using any images or ideas from other sources (you don`t need to have created the activity, you can simply share what you like and have been using successfully!). If you wish, send a personal picture, professional biodata and links to your webpages; they will accompany your post. Simple as that! We will inform you when your entry will be posted and we will let you know beforehand if any text editing had to take place. Once your entry has been posted, you can share it with your colleagues, your school and post a link in your personal/professional pages and let everyone know you are contributing to the teaching community around the world! Isn`t that great?! We hope to hear from you soon! We wish you all a great year of inspiring and great lessons!
Vânia Rodrigues & Vinicius Lemos