Activity type: Group work
Level: Up to B2
Age: Adults or senior YLs
There are no materials required. Just write these inventions on the board in a random order:
- the Internet (most recent)
- light bulb
- Put students into groups of 3 or 5. Students should work together in their groups, checking that everybody knows what each word means. Help with understanding if necessary.
- Explain that these are 10 important inventions. Students should work together in their groups to compile a list of the inventions in chronological order. They should talk about each invention and reach a majority decision regarding the order. If necessary explain to students BC and AD.
- Elicit the lists from each group and write them on the board. Alternatively, invite a student up to the board from each group to write their list.
- Write the answers on the board (see below) for students to check.
- Get groups to copy the correct list.
- Explain that you are going to play a game. Students have to guess the year of each invention. They have to work together in groups to reach a majority decision.
- Explain that you will award 1 point for the group that writes the nearest year. You will award 2 bonus points for an exact year. Explain the meaning of BC and AD. Give students a limited time to do this part. (10 mins)
- Draw this grid on the board (below). Complete the grid by eliciting answers from each group. Alternatively, invite a member of each group up to the board to write in their information.
|Group 1||Group 2 (etc.)||Answer|
- Finally, complete the answers column (see below) and award points to find the winning group.
- The Internet 1969
- light bulb 1906
- telephone 1876
- refrigerator 1850
- braille 1829
- thermometer 1593
- microscope 1590
- printing 1440
- paper 100
- wheel around 3,500 BC
Writing: Students write a short text (100 words) about the positive and negative effects of one of the inventions named.
Speaking: Put students into pairs, A and B. Students take turns to choose an invention from the list and to talk about its positive and negative effects. They should speak for about 2 minutes about each invention.
I have tried this activity and I think it´s very good for the students.
Students that usually don´t speak much get drawn in to the game and forget about their resistance to speak.
I especially liked the writing and speaking activities. It will be interesting for them to talk about advantages and disadvantages of these inventinons.