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The perfect teacher

Average: 3.6 (76 votes)

The aim of this activity is 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) – if doing the discussion follow-up activity
  • Make copies of handout 4 (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 that are 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.
  • Focus on the positive adjectives from handout 1, write them on the board and have students 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 3 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 4) and have students fill them in. Students sign and teacher signs. Put up on the classroom wall.
Language level
Language Level: 
Intermediate: B1