Time to keep up with the times

Introduction:

This is a fun, competitive board game for small groups of 3 or 4 players to review the time expressions used with past simple and present perfect tenses.

Level: B1

Time: 45 minutes

 Objectives:

  1. To reach the end of the board with the highest number of points by forming questions or affirmative and negative sentences whilst using the time expressions written on the cards.

Materials:

  1. 48 printable cards, one per group of 3 or 4.
  2. 1 board, 1 die and 3 or 4 checkers per group of 3 or 4.

How to play:

  1. Print and cut out the cards, one set per group of 3 or 4, and place in three piles (Qs, As & Ns) face down on the table.
  2. The players take it in turns to throw the die and move the number thrown.
  3. When a player lands on a Q, A or N square they take the top card from the corresponding pile and create a Question or Affirmative or Negative sentence using the time expression on that card. For example, Q: Have you ever ridden an elephant before?  A: I’ve ridden a donkey twice. N: I haven’t ridden a camel this week. If the player uses the correct tense with the expression given they receive a point. The card is then placed at the bottom of the pile.
  4. Play continues in a circle going left.
  5. Monitor and write down the mistakes the players make and offer them an opportunity at the end of the game to correct them. They receive additional points for each mistake they correct.
  6. The winner is the player with the highest number of points for correct sentences.

time-to-keep-up-with-the-times-board-game-cards

P.S.  Thank you for your helpful feedback Kate. I really appreciate it.

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Summary of past or recent events

Ir(regular) Xmas

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Summary of past or recent events

Introduction:

This is a speaking activity which allows students to describe the most important things that happened to them in 2016, over the holidays, the last school year etc.

Objectives:

  1. To describe past events using past tenses or recent events using present perfect tenses.
  2. To practise asking wh-questions in authentic communication.

Procedure:

  1. Ask students to write down ten important or memorable things that happened to them in the chosen time period. Make sure they know the events will be discussed in class and are not too personal. You can decrease or increase that number depending on how talkative your class is (I found teenagers usually struggle with ten).
  2. Put students in pairs (student A and student B) or groups of three.
  3. Student A briefly describes the first event on the list. Once student A has finished student B asks additional questions starting with who, whose, what, when, where, why, which, how, how long and how many.
  4. Encourage students to show pictures of the events, if they have any on their phones, to make the activity more relevant.
  5. Students continue until they have each described all the events from their lists.

Alternative ideas:

  1. You could also ask students to come up with a recent summary of events in politics, art, science, etc.
  2. You could use it as a getting- to- know- you activity with students writing a list of “Ten things to know about me “.

Related posts:

Best birthday ever

Time to keep up with the times

Ir(regular) Xmas

Soap Opera

Ask a Q board game

Introduction:

This is a free printable board game to practise adjectives followed by prepositions and improve fluency under time pressure.

Objective:

The objective of the game is to reach the end by moving across the board whilst asking and answering questions.

Materials:

Printable ASK a Q board game, a die, one checker per player and a countdown timer.

How to play:

  1. Ask a Q is played by 2 to 4 players.
  2. Players take it in turns to throw the die and move the number thrown.
  3. When a player lands on a square they ask the student on their right the question from that square. The student has to speak for at least 45 seconds without excessive repetition, and must answer the question using the adjective and the preposition in bold. If the player repeats or pauses for too long, the timer is restarted and they must start their answer again. After completing the task, they then roll the die and ask the question to the student on their right.
  4. The winner is the first player to land on the last square.

Note: The adjectives and prepositions are in bold to encourage noticing.

ask-a-q-printable-board-game

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When & where board game

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Time to keep up with the times

Ir(regular) Xmas

Introduction:

This is a fun activity which allows students to recycle regular and irregular verbs and practise writing short summaries . The video reminds me of my dad, also Robert, who is not great at languages but he keeps learning and trying his best. 🙂

Objectives:

  1. To practise regular and irregular verbs in context.
  2. To encourage pair work.
  3. To correctly use linking expressions.
  4. To write a short summary of the advert.

Procedure:

1. In pairs, the students discuss what activities they do at Christmas, e.g. I spend a lot of time with my family , I eat out a lot with my friends etc. Ask if they ever spent Christmas separated from their family and, if not, how do they think it might make them feel.

2. Tell students you are going to show them a short Christmas advert.

3. Play the video (A Christmas advertisement for Polish auction website Allegro):

4. Ask students what they thought of the advert and what emotions it evoked in them.

5. Put students in pairs or groups of three; give them 2 minutes to brainstorm verbs from the advert, and as they call them out, write them on the board. You don’t need to write all their suggestions, but ensure you have at least 20 verbs e.g. arrive, memorise, receive, study etc.

6. Ask one student from each group to write the past simple form of each verb on the board next to its infinitive.

7. Students write affirmative sentences about what happened in the story using the verbs in past simple e.g. The man in the advert practised his English every single day. He watched TV in English every night. When the students are finished they put the sentences in chronological order.

8. Elicit the following connecting words e.g. afterwards, as soon as, at first, at last, before long, in the meantime, later, next, soon, then, etc.

9. Students write a short summary (140 words ) of the advert using the sentences they wrote previously as a guide. For example, An older man received a dictionary. At last he was able to start learning. Before long his house was covered in post-it notes he used to memorise and study new vocabulary.

P.S. Merry Christmas

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Best birthday ever

Time to keep up with the times

Summary of past or recent events

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Interactive reading class

INTRODUCTION:  

The following lesson plan works well with all levels and topics and students could be given as much autonomy as the teacher wishes them to have. Also there are plenty of opportunities for input and feedback. I love the fact this activity involves every single student. I encourage you all to give it a try.

PROCEDURE:

  • Choose an exam text you want students to read. In my class last week I chose a text about a scientific approach to modern art (CAE 1 Use of English and Reading, part 7)
  • Ask students to read the text quietly and ignore the questions for the time being
  • Time students while they are reading, but not to put pressure on them but rather to give them an idea of how much time they need (give students 10 minutes to read the text, most students are ready after 8 minutes though)
  • Put students in pairs. Ask them to compare their view of modern art with the ideas expressed in the text
  • In the same pairs, ask students to tell each other which text they didn’t understand (students often choose different texts which results in them explaining the texts to each other)
  • In the same pairs students decide which out of four texts would be the easiest to summarize and consequently summarize it to each other
  • Get feedback
  • In their pairs, ask them to write 4 comprehension questions (one per text) for the other teams. Make sure the students come up with the questions together, which forces them to negotiate the meaning of the text yet again and facilitate understanding
  • Make sure they each have a copy of the questions as they will be moving around
  • The pairs now split and form new pairs
  • In their new pairs, they must answer/ask each other’s questions
  • Students return to their original pairs and now individually answer the questions in the text book
  • Students compare in pairs, in threes and then as a whole class
  • Do not provide correct answers until they are able to provide you with one set of answers. By this point the students are usually so involved in the text they are hardly ever willing to give up
  • Check answers and get feedback

 

HOMEWORK: students choose 8 verb phrases from the text that they would like to incorporate into their vocabulary and prepare questions for an interview with a modern artist of their choice (it forces them to use the words in a new context). Next class: journalist (student A) and an artist (student B) work together and both get an opportunity to recycle vocabulary from the previous class.