Stuck for ideas as to what to do in class in those first few weeks? Want to get your students talking and getting to know each other and you? Here are a few ideas to help you…
Materials: Photos or drawings
Level: Elementary – Upper Int (+)
Aim: To practise listening for specific information and gain fluency practice
1. Show students photos or drawings of you in your everyday life, eg, with your family, doing a hobby etc, and in pairs they speculate about what the pictures show. Pre-teach any necessary vocabulary.
2. Then as a live listening you tell the students about the pictures, and they listen to check their predictions (and they could put the pictures in order.)
3. Students could then listen for more specific information, eg gap fill activity/sentence completion/ multiple choice questions.
4. Students then draw their own pictures (or bring in photos) and in pairs/groups tell each other about them – the listener could ask further questions or order the pictures, etc.
(Based on idea from Cutting Edge Elementary, Cunningham and Moore, Pearson Education Ltd.)
Things in common
Level: Elementary – Int teens(+)
Aim: To practise listening, writing and speaking skills.
1) The teacher dictates five sentence stems about his/herself which the students write down e.g.
- My favourite sport is ___________________
- I love watching _______________________
- My favourite food is ____________________
- On Saturdays, I often ___________________
- In the summer, I went to ________________
2) The students predict in pairs what the completed sentences are to describe the teacher
3) The teacher then reveals the answers once by one (orally and / or visually) and the students see if any of their predictions were correct
- My favourite sport is football
- I love watching First Date
- My favourite food is curry
- On Saturdays, I often meet friend for tapas
- In the summer, I went to the beach in Cadiz
4) The students then complete the same sentences about themselves in secret
5) In pairs they repeat the procedure given above, with each student trying to guess what their partner wrote about themselves
6) The procedure can then be repeated with other students, as a ‘mix ´n´ mingle’ activity, so that they get to know their classmates better
7) A feedback session on what students had in common can then be conducted
e.g. Both Maria and I like pizza or Her favourite food is pasta but my favourite food is paella
Tell me about……
Level: Elementary upwards, teens or adults
Aim: To share personal information, using photos on their mobile phones (*or objects from their bags if preferred )
1) The teacher provides an example of what he/she wants the students to do e.g. shows / projects a photo from their mobile so that all students can see it.
2) The students think of questions to ask the teacher about the photo.
3) The teacher then explains when and where the photo was taken, who is in it, what they were doing, feeling, etc, with the students asking their questions to prompt the teacher to provide more information.
4) The students then get out their mobile phones and find a photo that they would like to share with their classmates.
5) The teacher highlights useful phrases to help them complete the task:
- This photo was taken in (place) (time)
- This photo is of (person)
- I was feeling ____ because _______
- I was _____ ing with _____________
6) The students work in small groups and ask and answer questions about each other’s photos
7) A feedback stage could then follow about interesting things they found out / some error correction (although the teacher may prefer to prioritise fluency over accuracy and not correct)
Stand up if……sit down if