Shopping at the minimarket

This activity develops a number of skills (CLIL) and creates an appropriate context for students to communicate at this age. It can be repeated over future lessons as a review, using new shopping lists.

This speaking activity reviews uncountable and countable nouns (food), some/any and prices and is suitable for pre-intermediate 9 -11 year olds. Students draw their own shop and contents and write lists of things they want to buy. The teacher elicits a dialogue and then students mingle to go shopping at the shops to try to buy everything on their list.

The activity also contains an element of mathematics as students add up how much they spend at the shops. The activity could be adapted for different kinds of shops (e.g. clothes).


  • Shopping at the minimarket worksheet (one per student)
  • Colouring pencils


  • Draw a big diagram of the shop on the board or large piece of paper (see outline on worksheet) but don't tell students what it is yet. Draw yourself in the shop. Draw a table and a cash till on it. Ask the following questions:
    • Who's this? (you)
    • What's this? (a cash till)
    • So where am I? (in a shop)
    • What's my job? (shop assistant)
    • Whose shop is it? (mine)
    • What does the shop sell? (food)
    • Can you think of a name for my shop? (e.g. 'Jo’s minimarket' and write the name of the shop in the top box)
  • Draw some shelves and tables. Draw some apples on a table and elicit what is in the shop (i.e. There are some apples). Elicit from the students what else is in the shop (e.g. there are some pears, there is some milk, etc.) and draw them in the shop until the shop is full. However, leave a space so that you have room to draw an extra person – see stage 6.
  • Optional activity: Give students two minutes to memorise what is in the shop. Hide or cover the shop. In teams students tell you what is in the shop (There are some/There aren’t any...). Give points for correct answers. Uncover/reveal the shop to check the answers.
  • Give out the worksheet and tell students to draw their own shops. Remind them to draw themselves as the shop assistant, fill up the shelves, and give the shop a name. Students can draw as few or as many different items in the shops as they wish. It is good for the shops to be quite varied as it will help with the effectiveness of the mingle activity.
  • Tell the students there is a problem with the shop. Elicit what the problem is. (There are no prices.) Elicit some prices for some of the food items in your shop. Students then add prices to their own shops.
  • Get students to put their own shops away.
  • On the board draw a second person in the shop. Ask:
    • Who is this person? (the customer)
    • What does he want to do? (buy something in the shop)
  • Tell students he is very forgetful and needs help to remember what he wants to buy. Ask ‘What has he got to help him remember?’ and elicit 'a list'. Draw a list on the board and elicit five items that he wants to buy. At this point try to elicit the kinds of containers that items come in e.g. three bottles of milk, one bag of sugar, etc. Write them on the list.
  • Ask the students ‘Who speaks first in the shop?’ (The shop assistant.) Elicit what he/she says and write it up on the board. Continue to elicit a whole dialogue on the board. Drill the dialogue. Example dialogue:
    • A (assistant): Can I help you?
    • C (customer): Yes, please. Have you got any (peaches)? / I’d like some (peaches).
    • A: Sorry. I haven’t got any. Anything else?
    • C: Yes, please. Have you got any (apples)? / I’d like some (apples).
    • A: Yes, Certainly. How many/much?
    • C: Three (bottles/kilos) please.
    • A: OK, here you are. Anything else?
    • C: No thanks, That’s all.
    • A: That’s £1.54 altogether then.
    • C: All right. Here you are.
    • A: Thank you very much. Goodbye!
    • C: Thanks a lot. Goodbye!
  • Tell students that they are going to come to your shop to buy some food. Students complete their shopping lists on the worksheet. Remind them to try to include the amount (e.g. three bags of sugar).
  • Ask the class as a whole ‘Can I help you?’ and encourage them individually to shout out ‘Yes, please. Have you got any ….. ? / I’d like some ….. .’ Go through the dialogue. At this point it is important that they get practice of the dialogue. Keep checking pronunciation and that they are using the correct forms of some/any etc. Then hand over the role of shop assistant to a student and repeat.
  • Split the class in two. Half of them are shop assistants in the shop. The other half are customers. Position the shop assistants around the class. The customers go to all the shops to try to buy the items on their shopping list. Demonstrate this first with your own shopping list. Highlight how when they buy something they need to write down how much it costs on their shopping list.
  • Students mingle. Set a time limit for as long as you feel appropriate. Students swop roles. (Students may worry about the mathematics and slow down the activity. Monitor and tell students they can invent the approximate price if necessary.)
  • The first time the students mingle they may need the support of the dialogue on the board; as students become more and more confident with the dialogue they can do it unsupported in future lessons.
  • Give students time to add up the total cost of what they bought.
  • Feedback on what the students bought and how much they spent. Was there anything they couldn’t buy? Which shop was the most expensive?
Language Level


Submitted by Varsha K. Shah on Sun, 03/02/2014 - 08:22

Too good.... even I had the same concept in mind.... but the execution out here is really very good.... Thank you

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