The activities that you use in your first lessons are very important and are likely to set the tone for the rest of your classes.

In your first lessons, it is good to focus on two areas:

  • Getting to know each other (the assistant, and classmates if it is a newly formed group)
  • Exchanging personal information ( so you get an idea of group interests and language level)


The activities outlined below are suitable from beginners level up and some can be adapted to suit higher levels.

Find someone who

Put the title 'Find someone who' on a worksheet. Draw a grid ( 5 squares across and 5 down). In each square put the prompts : hates cats, likes rap, lives near the school. The prompts will depend on the language structures you wish to practise/use.

  • Elicit the questions students will need to ask before you allow them to circulate and ask each other.
  • The first person to write a name for someone in each of his categories is the winner. Elicit feedback with students telling you about their findings : Anna has visited the USA, Johann has never been out of Germany, Thomas has travelled by plane. Stick to one theme (family, holidays, hobbies) if you wish.
  • Adapt this game for younger learners giving a point for each name filled in each square. Students add up their points when you tell them to stop.


Classmate Bingo (absolute beginners)

Students choose 6 names of students in their class and put them in a bingo grid. Ask for names around the class.

  • Students cross off the names mentioned on their bingo card.
  • The first person to cross off all names on their card is the winner.
  • Change the theme from names to food and drink I like or my favourite sport and hobbies etc.


These are a few of my favourite things (all levels)

Use the Julie Andrews song as an introduction, just read the words or sing them if you haven’t got the music.

  • Put prompts on the board under the word favourite : food, sport, school subject, number, colour or go for more imaginative prompts for more fluent students smell, sound, taste, day of the year, season family friend, style of clothing etc Adapt topic areas to age range and tastes.
  • Work through possible questions. Give your replies as an example .and elicit individual replies for students.
  • Students with more English can be encouraged to justify their choices : I like the winter best because I’m very keen on skiing.
  • Students interview each other. Extend by asking them to find someone who shares a favourite thing with them.

Younger students can illustrate their favourite things or make a collage to describe next lesson. Help with new words for these collages.

An alternative is to start the lesson with a collage (cut from magazines) of your favourite things or some objects from home like postcards, photos, personal possessions. Encourage questions from higher levels about your collage/objects.

A variation of the above: My Top 5 favourite (places, records, people, weekend activities etc.)

Author: 
Clare Lavery
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