Activities

Teaching activities to try out in the classroom. For each one you will find a simple guide for preparation and procedure, and sometimes printable worksheets too.

Comparative plips and plops

I like to use this activity to promote the use of the comparative form. It is a fun guessing game that encourages creativity

Elementary podcasts

This is a simple listening activity that can be used with adults and secondary groups, and is based on LearnEnglish Elementary Podcasts. There is a lead-in activity that students can do in class and then a follow on task that can be done in class or set as homework.

Opinion poll

In this activity students will practice forming questions and explore opinions regarding migration. They will create their own questionnaire and survey classmates, friends and family. The activity is based on themes from the British Council OPENCities project www.opencities.eu

Choose a city

In this speaking activity students think about and discuss a city they would like to live in for a year. The activity is based on themes from the British Council OPENCities project

Poems for the future

Here are some suggestions to help get your students writing poems based around the theme of the future.

Put yourself in the picture

This is a speaking task that encourages students to empathise with other people and try to understand them better. The activity uses a number of visuals of migrants and the students have to imagine they are the person in the picture. The activity is based on themes from the British Council OPENCities project www.opencities.eu

Other cultures

One of the good things about migration is the opportunities it brings for learning about other cultures. In this speaking and discussion activity students will be able to share their views and knowledge of other cultures. The activity is based on themes from the British Council OPENCities project www.opencities.eu

Migrant stories

This activity is based around a website that tells the true stories of some people who migrated to Australia many years ago.

Pages

Desert island

This is a speaking activity based on the theme of being stranded on a desert island. It is suitable for pre-intermediate students upwards.

What's the question?

This is a pair-work reading, (speaking) and grammar-based activity for elementary students. It mainly practises question formation, reading comprehension and the ability to identify and correct factual mistakes in a text.

Text quickies

Here are two text quickies that I like to use with my learners to prepare them for reading or to follow up on a text they have read.

When did you last...?

This is a simple activity to set up and gives Elementary level students plenty of opportunity to speak and practise using the past simple.

Getting teenagers talking 2

Here are five useful ways that I have used to try to encourage my teenage learners to use more English in class.

Superlative noughts and crosses

I like to use this activity to promote the use of the superlative form. It utilises a well-known game that students find stimulating and fun to play.

Algorithms

This is a whole-class speaking activity, needing no preparation, that gets the students practising question forms in a way that is useful practice as well as fun.

Puzzle time

Thinking time - a puzzle

This is a motivating speaking activity for lower levels to develop fluency. Students are given plenty of support and use ‘thinking time’ before the speaking task. The lesson is usually successful with adults and teenagers because of the ‘puzzle’ element. The only materials you need are a box of cocktail sticks.

Pages

Class secrets for modals for possibility

This is a speaking exercise for modal verbs used to express possibility, for intermediate / upper-intermediate classes.

Classroom issues

Learners have a lot of ideas about how they should learn a language and it is important to encourage them to discuss these and to communicate them to the teacher.

Collocation pelmanism

This activity follows on from the Think article Lexical exploitation of texts. It is often necessary to recycle new words several times in class before they become part of learners' active vocabulary, and the same is true of collocations.

Comparative plips and plops

I like to use this activity to promote the use of the comparative form. It is a fun guessing game that encourages creativity

Comparatives and superlatives through pictures

A short but fun way to revise comparatives and superlatives is to give students a blank piece of paper and ask them to draw an easy to draw object, such as a star, a tree, a flower or a house on it.

Consequences role play

Why not play a game of consequences with a difference, where students must take on the role of another person?

Conversational English

This low-level activity

Creating a framework for writing

This is a creative-writing exercise in which the teacher moulds the story but allows plenty of scope for the students' creative expression.

Pages