Make up a story

1. Prepare a story with as many sentences as there are students. Each sentence is written on a separate strip of paper.
2. Each student receives a strip of paper with one sentence on it. He is asked not to show it to anyone and memorise it within two minutes. After two minutes all the strips of paper are collected in again.
3. Explain that all the sentences they have learnt make up a story and students' task is to rebuilt it without writing anything down.


1. Send one student (the 'detective') outside, and ask another student for something that belongs to him or her, but is not easily identifiable - a pencil, a standard textbook, etc.
2. The detective comes back and the student gives him the pencil.
3. The detective asks the students: "Is this yours?"
4. The student - whether it is in fact his or hers or not - denies it: "No, it isn't mine. It's his." (points to another student)
5. The detective then asks the student indicated, and so on round the class;
6. At the end, the detective has to try to identify who in fact was lying and is the owner of the object.


1. Two or more students pretend to be actors that forgot their parts.
2. One student plays the part of a prompter. He tries to prompt as quiet as possible for the rest of the class not to hear anything.
3. The task of the "actors" is to reproduce prompter speech

Brainstorm round a word

1. Take a new word, and ask the students to suggest all the words they associate with it. Write each suggestion on the board with a line joining it to the original word, in a circle, so that you get a 'sunray' effect. If the original word was 'decision', for example, you might get.
2. A central adjective can be associated with nouns, for example, 'warm' could be linked with: day, food, hand, personality. Or a verb can be associated with adverbs, for example, 'speak' can lead to: angrily, softly, clearly, convincingly, sadly.

Optimists and pessimists

1. Divide the students in two teams: optimists and pessimists.
2. One student from 'optimists' begins by giving a statement, e.g.: I enjoy eating.
3. 'Pessimists' have 30 seconds to prepare a pessimistic response: If you eat too much you put on weight.

Numbers that are important to me

1. Ask the students to write down: 1) A year that was important in their lives (e.g. 1980). 2) A date that is/was important to them (e.g. January 12th). 3) A telephone number that is/was important to them. 4) Any other number that has special personal significance.
2. One (volunteer) student reads out his or her numbers; other students guess what the significance of the numbers might be; the student tells them what in fact this is.
3. Then the class divides into groups, and the papers with the numbers on are displayed to all members of the group; participants discuss the different numbers and their background stories

Work out a code

1. Tell the students that each figure stands for the letter of the alphabet, e.g.: A - 1, B - 2, etc.
2. Write on the board a number, e.g.: 3,1,20 (cat) and ask them to work out your code.
3. Ask them to code their own words and write them on the board for other students to guess.

Favourite song

At home students listen to their favourite songs, write down the lines and translate them into native language. Then they prepare different task for their fellow-students to present the activity step by step:
1. Write down on the blackboard all proper names from their songs.
2. Write down on the blackboard some key-words or expression and ask their fellow-students to guess the theme of the song.
3. Play the record for the first time till the end.
4. Play the record for the second time making pauses after each line.
5. False or true statements.
6. Substitution exercises.
7. Ask their fellow-students to think of as many rhymes for each last word in the line as possible.

Getting to know someone

1. Ask the students to list three or four things they like to know about people they have just met.
2. Working in pairs, students exchange their lists and start a conversation using their partner's questions.

Nouns that go together

1. Find some compound nouns and write their parts separate on the sheets of paper.
2. Deliver them among the students.
3. Ask them to find a partner with other halves of their words.

Correct reading

1. Prepare the cards with different texts that are not too difficult and not too easy for your students.
2. Divide the class in two teams.
3. Students from each team in turns come to the blackboard, get their cards and read the texts.
4. The team gets the point when its member read the card without a mistake.

In the news

1. Ask the students to think of 3 incidents that happened in their family in the past 10 years that would make interesting articles for a local newspaper.
2. Tell them to write a suitable headline for each article.
3. Pair the students and tell them to exchange the headlines. The partner chooses the one that appeals to them most and, taking on the role of a reporter, conducts an interview in order to get as much information about the incident as possible.
4. When each student has interviewed their partner, they continue in the role of a reporter and write the article.

Fill in the o's

1. Writes a list of words on the board and explains that these are usual words, except that the o's have been taken out.
2. The students should write them down and fill in the o's to get the right words.
3. The first to guess them all is the winner. Ex.: bkshp (bookshop).
4. Alternatively, use words with a's, e's, i's, etc.

Silent dialogue

1. Ask students to make dialogues in pairs.
2. One pair should perform their dialogue in silent way but as expressive as they can.
3. The rest of the class should guess the content of dialogues.

Mime the adverbs

1. Think of a manner adverb (e.g. slowly, secretly).
2. Tell it to the whole class except for one student.
3. This student should give a command to one of the others, for example: "Get up and turn round!" and guess the adverb.
4. If the adverb is 'slowly', the student will do the action slowly.
5. If the guesser cannot identify the adverb, he or she should give another command to someone else - and so on, until the word is guessed.

Alternatively you can tell the adverb to one student, and he should perform the commands of the class in the manner of this adverb, so the class could guess the adverb.

Line by Line

Writing exercises are not supposed to develop communicative skills, so students usually do them on their own, while doing exercises together is more interesting for students. Let's try to involve the whole class into writing and see if it works out.

1. Each student has a sheet of paper, at the top of which he or she writes a sentences containing new word.
2. The paper is folded, so that all previous contributions excepting the last one are invisible to each writer.
3. This is the passed to a neighbor, who adds an answer, comment or further question with another new word and passes it on to someone else. And so on.
4. After about five contributions, students are invited to read out the results.

Five-minutes Writing Storm

To develop and test writing skills students write dictations and compositions. They usually take the whole lesson so students often get bored and make mistakes due to carelessness. Try to get them to concentrate for a short period on getting the ideas over to you.

1. Tell the students that they have exactly five minutes to write about something.
2. Set a subject which focuses the students' minds and encourages personal responses.
3. Tell them that you will not mark any mistakes of language but will only be concerned with the ideas or experiences they describe.

Complete the Alphabet

Students have to write letters many times before they master the alphabet. They get tired of writing the same letters over and over again, and this exercise becomes less effective. Teamwork can add some excitement to this activity.

1. Divide the students in two teams.
2. The first student from each team writes the letter 'a' on a sheet of paper and passes it to the second student from his team, and so on.
3. The first team which writes the letter 'z' is the winner.

Rebuild The Dialog

One of the speaking skills is ability to keep up a conversation. At the lesson we study set phrases whereas ability to phrase one's thoughts is more important. Dialog is an unpredictable thing and your student can't learn by heart all the patterns so teach them to adequately react to every turn of the conversation.

1. Teacher divides students into pairs and gives each pair a dialog with missed words, phrases or sentences.
2. Each pair makes the full variant of the dialogue and produce it while the teacher compares it with the original.
3. The pair that is closest to the original or produces the funniest dialog is the winner.

If you use 'Rebuild The Dialog' idea, your students will always have an idea what to say. By having skill in talking they will be more prepared for real life communication.