The following activities are designed to get everyone talking. They can be used with all levels because the language required to communicate is determined by the students.

Remember to set up and demonstrate these activities carefully before letting the class go ahead.

Jigsaw puzzle challenge

  • Take 3-4 large pictures/photos and stick them on card. Pictures can come from Sunday supplements, travel brochures, calendars, magazine adverts etc. Pictures specific to students’ interests will motivate them e.g. film stills, cartoons, news stories, famous paintings, famous people.
  • Draw puzzle shapes on the back of each picture (4-5 shapes) and cut out the picture pieces.
  • Give each student in the class a jigsaw piece. They must not show their piece to anyone.
  • Students then mingle and question each other about what is on their puzzle piece to try and find people with pieces of the same jigsaw.
  • The object of the game is to find all pieces and put together the jigsaw. The first complete picture puzzle wins.

Something in common or 'give me five'

  • Explain that we can all find something in common with those around us. The object of this game is to discover as many things you have in common with fellow students. You can limit this to 5 things in common.
  • Brainstorm examples with the whole class, noting suggestions, e.g.
    • We both have long-haired cats
    • They both went to see Robbie Williams in concert
    • We all like Harry Potter
    • We both have a younger sister called Georgia
    • Our favourite colour is green
    • Our families go to the same supermarket, church, club, holiday place
    • We both believe in love at first sight, ghosts, god.
  • Give students a time limit to mingle and find out as many things they have in common. The one who finds the most is the winner.
  • Alternatively ask them to find five things and the first person to shout 'five' is the winner.

Create a biography

  • Take a biography of a famous person and write each detail on strips of paper.
  • Keep the identity secret so they have to guess, if appropriate.
  • Draw a table on the board for students to copy and make notes e.g. place of birth, early years, famous for..
  • Give out the strips (split the class in two if large and give out 2 sets).
  • Students mingle and ask each other questions until they have as many details as possible about the person.
  • Take away the strips and put students in pairs or small groups to use their table of notes to write the biography.

These activity ideas originally appeared on the British Council Language Assistant website.

Author: 
Clare Lavery
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Comments

I liked this material very much, it was very useful for me.

Hi there

there are no worksheets as such. You need to follow the instructions and create the materials as you see fit.

I hope this helps. :)

Best wishes

Del

This materials very useful for all of us. I try to learn

I 'm going to use  it after summer vacations are over.

I think this activity is good and effective but how can i do it with a large number of learner with different levels in the same time. There is another point: Can I use Arabic to explain this activity before start doing it?

Hi Mr Mohsen
One way to deal with very large classes is to use group work. Follow this link to hear and read more about using group work with large classes: http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/radio/programme-4-using-group-work-large-classes

If you can demonstrate the activity or ask some of the students to demonstrate the activity to the class, you can use English as much as possible with the students. Here are a couple of blogs (there are lots more here on Teaching English!) on using the learners’ native language in the classroom: http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/blogs/ilnurminakhmetov/use-l1-classroom 
http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/blogs/karinev/i-dont-know-chgitem
This article talks about using L1 in class:
http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/mother-tongue-other-tongue

Sally

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