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.
Time: 55 minutes
- To introduce vocabulary describing body, face and hair.
- To draw a picture of a classmate.
- To write a brief description of a student’s own physical appearance.
- To find similarities between the students’ drawings of their classmates and the classmates’ description of themselves.
- Mirror Mirror on the wall…Worksheet A, one per student.
- Mirror Mirror on the wall…Worksheet B, one per student.
- 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.
- Put students into pairs and hand each student Mirror Mirror on the wall… Worksheet A.
- Go through the words as a class to make sure the students understand meaning and pronunciation.
- In pairs, students complete Exercise 1.
- Monitor and provide feedback.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ask students to share with the group how many similarities and differences they managed to find.
Fast finishers / homework:
- 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
This is a lesson plan for intermediate + students. Students look at relationship related vocabulary, create a short love story and write an informal letter to a friend asking for advice.
- To introduce relationship related vocabulary.
- To use new vocabulary in context to create a short love story.
- To write an informal letter to a friend asking for advice.
- Give each student worksheet A with relationship related vocabulary.
- Go through the vocabulary together to make sure the students understand all the expressions.
- Working individually, the students divide the expressions into ones they have positive and negative associations with and then discuss it with their partner.
- In pairs, the students must now create a short love story using as many expressions from the previous stage as possible.
- Monitor the use and repetition of the target language.
- Still in pairs, the students describe in detail one of the couple’s conflicts or arguments.
- When the discussion is over, students now become the main characters in their stories (student A represents one character and student B his or her partner) who are unable to resolve their issues without help. Individually, they must write an informal letter (Worksheet B) to a mutual friend (140- 190 words), in which they present their version of events and ask for some advice. The students must use at least 6 new relationship expressions in their letter.
- When the students have finished, they swap their two versions of events with another pair who then must discuss and decide the best course of action for the couple in question.
This is a fun lesson plan for intermediate + students to practise asking and answering questions about daily routines. Students interview each other and then write a short article using the information they’ve gathered.
- To talk about daily routines and rituals.
- To interview another student.
- To write a short article.
- To peer edit another student’s article.
- Put students in pairs.
- Individually, students divide a piece of paper in their notebooks into three parts: morning, afternoon and evening.
- Students write questions for their partners about their daily routines – 4 questions for each section of the day, e.g. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Do you usually have a nap in the afternoon? Do you have a bedtime ritual for better sleep?
- Students work in pairs and answer each other’s questions, making notes on each answer.
- When the students are finished, they must imagine the person they’ve just interviewed is a celebrity whose strict and weird routine has led to their success.
- They must write a short article (140-190 words) describing their interviewee’s rise to stardom, thanks to their unchanging routine.
- When the students have finished, they swap articles with their partner and edit them according to the following success criteria:
- The article has an eye catching headline, e.g. Can’t keep up? Don’t settle. Have some invigorating nettle.
- The article has an interesting introduction, e.g. Ever wondered why you never had ‘A’s at school, why you never got that dream job or the guy you fancied? Well, the answer might lie in something as inconspicuous as nettle tea.
- The writer gives specific examples, e.g. The A-list celebrity I’ve had a chance to interview never leaves the house without indulging in a cup of lovely nettle tea. In fact, she keeps on drinking gallons of nettle tea throughout the day and swears by its superpower qualities.
- The article is divided into paragraphs, with an inspiring final paragraph to motivate the reader into making a small change in their lives which may lead to super success!
This is a fun activity which allows students to recycle and learn new vocabulary related to clothes and appearance.
- To increase speaking fluency.
- To practise descriptions of appearance and / or clothes.
- Put students into groups and ask them to brainstorm adjectives describing appearance.
- Feedback: add new adjectives to students’ lists e.g. chubby, curvy, muscular , plump, presentable , scruffy, etc.
- Introduce the idea of reliable memory. Ask students if they think memory is reliable and if they remember e.g. what they were wearing last week. Tell them to shut their eyes and ask them questions about other people in the class e.g. what colour is Sara’s coat etc.
- Divide the class into two groups – police officers (A) and witnesses (B).
- Give the witnesses a picture of a person in a detailed background location. It could be a picture cut out from a magazine or a picture of a family member or even the teacher. They have 1 minute to look at the picture and memorise it.
- Put police officers and witnesses into pairs and tell the witnesses they have witnessed a crime and they saw the suspect. They must try and describe the suspect as accurately as possible to the police officer in front of them. The police officers’ job is to write down the details given by the witnesses.
- Allow three to four minutes for the interview and then ask the witnesses to move to another police officer and repeat the statement. Once the police officers are finished they compare their notes on the suspect’s appearance with the original photo. If there are few differences the suspect will be brought to justice.
- The students swap roles and repeat with a different image.
Fast finishers/ homework:
- Students design ‘Wanted’ posters and write a detailed description of the suspect based on the notes they made during the interview. They bring their descriptions to class and ask the “witness” to read the statement and confirm that the information is true and correct ( it allows students to recycle the vocabulary yet again whilst role playing )
- Students could also compare the two suspects and write sentences e.g. Suspect 1 is not as chubby as suspect 2.
- Encourage students to watch a fascinating Ted talk about the fiction of memory http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_loftus_the_fiction_of_memory
P.S. A quick thank you note to my friend Alex. Thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to offer feedback and share your ideas.
- To practise giving suggestions and advice
- To revise reported speech
1. In pairs ask students to brainstorm expressions to offer advice and suggestion e.g. I (don’t) think you should…, you could try…
2. Go through the expressions together and when the students run out of ideas add expressions of your own.
3. Individually ask students to think of a problem they or their friends are struggling with and write down a very brief description of it. Please feel free to use the worksheet I’ve attached. Let students know they shouldn’t think of anything too personal as they will be sharing the information with each other. Alternatively you can ask them to think of a problem they’ve had and solved but tell them to keep the solution to themselves at this stage. Discourage students from inventing the problem as then their investment in the activity won’t be the same.
4. Students switch papers and write down a piece of advice for the first student using ONE of the expressions they thought of or learnt at the beginning of the class. Tell students to underline the expressions to make them more visible e.g. I don’t think you should date Jack. He makes you so unhappy.
5. Students then pass the paper to the next person who offers a new piece of advice and uses a new expression e.g. How about seeing a marriage counselor? I’m sure he could help you both.
6. Students continue passing their pieces of paper or notebooks round until each person in the class has given each student a piece of advice. Tell students they are not allowed to repeat expressions and suggestions which forces them to read what has been written and constantly exposes them to expressions they might still be unfamiliar with or uncomfortable using.
7. At the end of the activity students choose the most adequate piece of advice they have been given or if their problem has already been solved they compare their own solution to the suggestions of other students and comment on it in their pair/group.
Students rewrite the suggestions into reporting statements e.g. Maria suggested breaking up with Jack. Maria recommended that I should see a therapist.