Comparatives and superlatives through pictures

A short but fun way to revise comparatives and superlatives is to give students a blank piece of paper and ask them to draw an easy to draw object, such as a star, a tree, a flower or a house on it.

Fiona Lawtie, Teacher and materials writer

Once students have finished drawing their pictures ask the students either as a class, or in small groups if the class is very large, to line up according to the size of the object that they drew.

The student with the biggest star stands on the right and the student with the smallest star stands on the left. Once the students are lined up according to the size of their picture you can then ask them questions such as:

  • Who has got the biggest star?
  • Who has got the smallest star?
  • Is X's star bigger or smaller than Y's star?

Variations on the same activity
If you get the students to line up in small groups, you can then get them to regroup, with all the students with the smallest stars on one side of the classroom and all the students with the biggest stars on another side of the classroom and all the students with the second smallest stars on another side of the classroom etc.

If you ask students to draw a house you can ask them to draw a house with a front door, two windows, a roof, a chimney etc, and after students have lined up according to who has the biggest / smallest house, you can then get students to work in pairs and compare their pictures to see who has the biggest or smallest front doors etc.

With young learners you can get them to colour their stars and then pin them on the wall according to the size of the stars and then get students to write sentences on a piece of paper about their stars which they will pin on the wall under their picture.

  • My star is the biggest star.
  • My star is bigger than John's star but smaller than Mary's star.

This creates a nice display for all the class to read.

I heard about this activity on the first teacher training course I attended and have used it repeatedly and have found that it is always popular with students and that the activity works well with young learners, teens and adults.

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