An activity introduced to me by my DoS in September (thanks Dave!), adapted slightly here to turn it into the main activity for my lesson. I used this with various large classes of teenagers but could be used with learners of any age.
Lesson length: 45 mins
Planning time: 2 mins
Aim: To practise using various comparative and/or superlative structures (depending on what your class has learnt, or what they know)
To encourage team work
Before the lesson
1) Think of 3-5 categories for stage 2 (during the lesson). I used 5 categories but never managed to work through all of them. Some examples could be: a male actor, a city, a sportsman……
During the lesson
1) Split the learners into teams (I had 6 teams of 4). They could think of a team name. While they are doing this, you can draw a table on the board with 5 columns (or one column for each category you thought up before the lesson)
2) Read out a category and allow the teams some time to write an answer. They call out their ideas, and you write their answers in column 1 on the board. Award teams 3 points for an original answer or 1 point for an answer which is the same as another group’s.
3) Repeat for each category.
4) Take two people/things from column 1 and demonstrate the game. Eleicit an example sentence from the class/from a group. E.g. ‘David Beckham is richer than Tony Blair’.
5) Continue using the example people from stage 4 but now give the class some time to think of more sentences about them with their team.Then one at a time, each team says/reads one of their sentences out loud to the class. A grammatically correct sentence gets a point. Teams may not repeat the same adjectives as previous teams have used. Another good idea is to make a different student speak each time to stop the stronger ones taking over.
5) Continue until one of the teams has no further ideas.
6) Move on to category 2. Give the teams time to write/think of some ideas…… and on it goes…..
Even with big, noisy classes this activity had everyone working together and helping each other. The fact that they score points for everything encouraged them to take turns and listen to their peers. Because all of the categories were personalised I think it also added to the keeping the interest of the class.