The aims of this activity are for students to revise and practise open question forms.

Derek Spafford

This activity is designed to be used with Pre-Intermediate / Intermediate level learners. It could be used as part of an introduction lesson and / or to negotiate classroom behaviour contracts between teacher and student.


  • Make a copy of handout 1, cut up the adjectives, and stick them around the room
  • Make copies of handout 2 (one per student)
  • Make copies of handout 3 (one per student, cut up)
  • Make copies of handout 4 (one per student) - if doing the discussion follow-up activity
  • Make copies of handout 5 (one per group) - if doing the classroom contracts follow-up activity


Before the class arrives

  • Write up the following list of ten adjectives that describe the perfect student on the board. You can change these to suit your level of students: diligent, hard working, punctual, talkative, friendly, sharing, intelligent, motivated, creative, inquisitive.
  • Cover each adjective so the students cannot see them.

When the class arrives

  • Put students into groups. Tell students that you have written ten adjectives on the board that describe a perfect student. Set a time limit and have students work together to guess the words.
  • When the time is up, students swap lists and check their answers. You could award points for any correct answers.
  • Now ask students to discuss their ideas for a perfect teacher. Bring it to a class brainstorm to elicit adjectives. Write these on the board.
  • Give out handout 2 and ask students to walk around the room and write the adjectives on the walls next to the correct definition on the handout. To make this more challenging you could add more adjectives than gaps available.
  • Students check in pairs and then with the teacher. Establish what the two negative adjectives are.
  • Give out cut-up adjectives (handout 3) to each individual student and have them rank them in order of what is most important to them. 
  • After ranking students can compare and discuss their lists with each other.

Follow up


  • Students work alone and use handout 4 to make short notes about their favourite teacher.
  • Students then work in pairs or small groups depending on class size and talk about their favourite teacher.
  • After a period of time students can change groups and repeat the activity.


  • Students write about their perfect teacher. They can use the adjectives given in the vocabulary activity and the adjectives elicited in the brainstorming stage.
  • Encourage learners to include the negative adjectives to describe what the ideal teacher shouldn't be like. This writing could take the form of a perfect teacher or a ‘real' teacher that students have had in the past.

Classroom contracts

  • Students work in groups to discuss what should be included in a classroom contract between teacher and students. Use the adjectives generated in the main lesson to provide inspiration.
  • You may need to elicit more negative adjectives. Write these on the board.
  • Then brainstorm the things a student and teacher should do to maintain a positive classroom environment. This brainstorm could be in the form of a discussion or classroom brainstorm.
  • Finally give out the contracts (handout 5) and have students fill them in. Students sign and teacher signs. Put up on the classroom wall.


this activity is very helpful for the students.First because it is something from real life and the students do like this type of activities.Second there is full participation from the students because they find themselves confident being something they have come across in their personal experience.As for the teachers it is very helpful because it is very well organized.I will use it with my students for sure.

Thank you very much 

Shqipe from Albania

Thanks very much for your comments Shqipe. I’m glad you find the materials useful.

This is a very interesting activity . Why ? Well , since both students and teachers promise to express what they think , it gives the possibility to be free , without having that fear that they would be judged .Hej , nobody is perfect ! So why not doing that , and profit and grab the best of what the students think , would love most .Why not being their favourite teacher ? I shall try that .Thank you .All the best !Anisa

Hi Anisa

Thanks for the comments. I'm glad you found the activity useful.


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