Lesson idea – comparative/superlative revision game

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

Procedure:

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…..

Evaluation:

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.

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Lesson idea – using will/going to for prediction

Here is a lesson I came up with for a state school class of 24 pupils to revise will for prediction. It could also be used with adults, and may come in useful to you.

Lesson length: 45 mins

Planning time: 5 mins

Aim: To practise guessing what will (or is going to) happen next using cartoon strip stories

Procedure:

Before the lesson

1) Draw a short 4 picture cartoon strip.

2) Fold a piece of A4 paper 3 times as shown below and then rip/cut so that you have enough papers for one per student.

DSC02083

During the lesson

1) Draw 4 boxes on the board and then draw the first picture from your story in the box. My story had a picture of a man walking down the street with 3 shops in the background.

2) Ask individual students what they can see (or ask them to describe it with a partner first).

3) Ask a question using the target language ‘Will the man go in the bakery?’ and elicit answers ‘Yes, he will’ or ‘No he won’t’. Then ask those saying no what they think will happen. Elicit ideas, encouaging them to use full sentences and using the target language.

4) Draw the next picture on the board. They see who was right.

5) Repeat the procedure until your complete story is on the board. In my story a dinsaur came out of the shop and then got run over by a car, but I think the more shocking/crazy the story the better!

6) Tell the students they are going to make their own stories and hand out the paper strips.

7) Show them the strip and get them to fold it up. I folded it in half, then in half again while they copied me. I then folded an approximately 1cm strip at the bottom for them to write a question into (again they copied me). See the photo of the finished strip below.

DSC02084

8) Students then draw their cartoons on the paper (and if you want them to, they can write their will/going to questions in too).

9) When the students are finished, they can fold up their paper so it shows only the first picture and show it to another student, asking their questions, encouraging their partner to guess what will happen next  and then showing them the following pictures, in the same way you demonstrated above.

10) This can be repeated with other students.

11) Feedback to see which story was their favourite/funniest/etc.

Can you think of any other grammar items we could teach in this way?