A piece of cake or a hard nut to crack?

Introduction: 

This is a categorising activity and a Find Someone Who speaking exercise to practise 12 phrasal verbs related to eating. Yum yum!

Level: B1

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To present students with 12 phrasal verbs related to eating.
  2. To categorise the phrasal verbs according to students’ own preferences.
  3. To interview other classmates and find those who have a certain characteristic.

Materials:

  1. Phrasal verbs_ A piece of cake or a hard nut to crack? Worksheet, one per student.
  2. Find Someone Who… A piece of cake or a hard nut to crack? Worksheet, one per student.

Procedure:

  1. 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.
  2. Hand out a copy of Phrasal verbs_ A piece of cake or a hard nut to crack? Worksheet to each student.
  3. Individually, students must divide the expressions into the three separate categories.
  4. When the students have finished, they compare their lists and explain their choices to their partners.
  5. Hand out a copy of Find Someone Who… A piece of cake or a hard nut to crack? Worksheet to each student.
  6. 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.
  7. Students are not to discuss more than two statements with each classmate; monitor to make sure all the students speak with each other.
  8. 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.

Fast finishers:

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

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Hit the road

Are you bored or just boring?

Introduction: 

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.

Level: B1

Time: 40 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To practise the difference between the –ed and –ing adjectives.
  2. To answer questions with the –ed and –ing adjectives.

Materials:

  1. Are you bored or just boring PDF board game, one per pair or a small group of 3 or 4.
  2. One die per pair or small group of 3 or 4.

Procedure:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Monitor and correct as necessary.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. The players have to speak for at least 1 minute and must answer the question using the adjective in bold.
  7. The game continues in a circle going left and until each student has answered at least 5 questions.
  8. 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

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Word formation station. Get off without trepidation.

Word formation station. Get off without trepidation. Part 2

Ask a Q board game

FCE Examination? Beat frustration with thorough preparation

Introduction: 

This is an activity for B2 students to practise word formation. Students change words into nouns, create questions for a classmate and answer another classmate’s questions. The words for this exercise have been taken from the FCE exams (Reading and Use of English part 3) and they are examples of words my students tend to struggle with.

Level: B1

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To practise word formation.
  2. To create and answer questions.

Materials:

  1. Worksheet A or B, one per student.

Procedure:

  1. Divide the class in half down the middle – one side As, the other side Bs – and hand out the worksheets accordingly.
  2. Individually, students use the words in the left-hand column to form nouns, e.g. to appear: appearance, brave: bravery.
  3. When the students have finished, they compare their answers with a partner from their group of As or Bs.
  4. Monitor and check their answers in their A or B groups.
  5. In their A or B pairs, students now write questions for their classmates using the nouns from the second column, e.g. Is physical appearance important to you?
  6. When the students have finished, put the students into A / B pairs; in turns they ask and answer each other’s questions.
  7. Monitor and encourage students to use the nouns from the second column in their answers.
  8. Ask students to share the most interesting questions they were asked by their partner.

Fast finishers: 

In A / B pairs, students underline the common noun suffixes, e.g. -ness, -ance, etc. and come up with more examples of nouns with the same suffixes.

Worksheet A and B

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Word formation station. Get off without trepidation.

Word formation station. Get off without trepidation. Part 2

You talkin’ to me?

Introduction: 

These are activities for upper intermediate students to introduce and practise communication idioms. Students unscramble the expressions, match them with the correct definitions and play a game.

Level: B2

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To introduce communication idioms and expressions.
  2. To use the new expressions in context whilst playing a game.

Materials:

  1. You talkin’ to me? Worksheet, one per student.
  2. Dice, one per group.

Procedure:

  1. Put students into pairs and ask them to briefly discuss the following questions: What makes communication effective? Who do you struggle to communicate with and why? How has technology changed the way we communicate?
  2. Hand each student ‘You talkin’ to me? Worksheet ’.
  3. Individually, students put the jumbled words in the correct order to discover the expressions.
  4. When the students have finished, they compare their answers with their partner.
  5. Check the answers as a class.
  6. Now, the students match the expressions to the definitions and compare their answers with their partner.
  7. Check the answers as a class.
  8. Put students into groups of 2 or 3 and give each group a die.
  9. Using the expressions from the worksheet, the first student rolls the die and depending on the number thrown must follow the instructions below. The point is given to the first player to correctly guess the expression. The player with the highest number of points wins.
  1. Act out the expression.
  2. Define it.
  3. Give an example.
  4. Draw the expression.
  5. Give an example of something that means the opposite.
  6. Give 3 clues to help their classmates guess the expressions.

Fast finishers/ homework:

  1. Individually, students choose 7 expressions they would like to use more often and write their own sentences.

You talkin’ to me. Worksheet

Solutions

If my memory serves me right…

Introduction:

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.

Level: A2+

Time: 35 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To review ‘there was’ / ‘there were’ structures and prepositions of place.
  2. To write 10 ‘was there’ / ‘were there’ questions using students’ own pictures.
  3. To practise answering questions with the correct structures and prepositions.

Materials:

  1. If my memory serves me right PDF worksheet, one per student.
  2. Teacher’s own photos or magazines.
  3. Students’ own photos or magazines.

Procedure:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. Ask the 5 questions about the photo (see PDF Worksheet) and award one point for the correct answer.
  4. Explain that the students will now repeat this process, using a picture on their phone or from a magazine that you have provided.
  5. 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?
  6. 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.
  7. Monitor to ensure students answer in full sentences, e.g. No, the woman in the picture was behind the blue car.
  8. Continue until all students have tested and been tested!

 Fast finishers: 

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

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The search is on (preposition game)

When & where board game

 

 

 

Worn to a frazzle? Relax with a puzzle

Introduction:

This is a puzzle I created using Free Discovery Education Puzzle Maker. The idea is to recycle some of the vocabulary students have used in Mirror mirror on the wall… (Previous post).

Level: B2+

Time: 20 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To recycle and revise vocabulary used to describe physical appearance by unscrambling the 12 jumbled words.
  2. To discuss a famous quote by Ovid.

Materials:

Printable Mirror mirror on the wall…double puzzle, one per student.

Procedure:

  1. Hand each student a copy of the printable worksheet, Mirror mirror on the wall…double puzzle.
  2. Individually, the students must unscramble the 12 jumbled words and put the letters in the numbered boxes into the corresponding boxes at the bottom of the page to reveal a quote by Ovid.
  3. When the students have finished, they compare their answers and discuss the quote in pairs.

Solution: First appearance deceives many.

*** Ovid (43BC – AD 17), a Roman poet and scholar.

Mirror Mirror on the wall double puzzle

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Mirror Mirror on the wall…

 

 

Mirror Mirror on the wall…

Introduction: 

These are activities for intermediate students to introduce vocabulary describing body, face and hair. Students categorise words into groups, draw a picture of their classmate and write a brief description of themselves for comparison.

Level: B2

Time: 55 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To introduce vocabulary describing body, face and hair.
  2. To draw a picture of a classmate.
  3. To write a brief description of a student’s own physical appearance.
  4. To find similarities between the students’ drawings of their classmates and the classmates’ description of themselves.

Materials:

  1. Mirror Mirror on the wall…Worksheet A, one per student.
  2. Mirror Mirror on the wall…Worksheet B, one per student.

Procedure:

  1. Show students several images of celebrities and elicit some words to describe their physical appearance and write them on the board e.g. short, tall etc.
  2. Put students into pairs and hand each student Mirror Mirror on the wall…  Worksheet A.
  3. Go through the words as a class to make sure the students understand meaning and pronunciation.
  4. In pairs, students complete Exercise 1.
  5. Monitor and provide feedback.
  6. When the students have finished, hand out Mirror Mirror on the wall…Worksheet B. In pairs, students must draw each other in the frame provided. Make sure the students don’t look at their partner’s pictures until you tell them so.
  7. When the students have finished, they now briefly describe their physical appearance using at least 7 new words from Exercise 1 of Mirror Mirror on the wall…Worksheet A.
  8. When the students have finished, they must compare their description of themselves with the drawing made by their partner and try to find 3 similarities and 3 differences. For example, In your drawing I have a round face but in my description I wrote that my face was oval. I have long wavy hair in both the drawing and the description.
  9. Ask students to share with the group how many similarities and differences they managed to find.

Fast finishers / homework: 

  1. Individually, students complete Exercise 2 of Mirror Mirror on the wall…Worksheet A.  When finished, they compare their answers with another classmate.

Mirror Mirror on the wall…Worksheet A

Mirror Mirror on the wall…Worksheet B

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Wanted