Recall the plot

1. Tell the students about a film you have seen or a book you have read recently: recount the plot briefly, in the present simple. Get one or two of the students to do the same.
2. Then ask students to write an essay recommending to you a film or book that they have found particularly good; the essay should include a resume of the plot.

Experiences I haven't had

1. Give the students these two patterns: I've never / I haven't yet
2. Head the left hand side of board: Good experience I haven't had and the right hand side of the board: Bad experiences I haven't had. Ask for two 'secretaries' to come and write at the hoard
3. Tell the group to shout out good or bad experiences they haven't had, making full sentences. Each student should speedy which category she wants her sentence to go into. For some 'I haven't got married' is left hand side, for some right hand side! Let the students fill the hoard with their present perfect sentences.

My names

1. Using the pattern: I'm / I was / I used to be called... by... when... and tell the students half a dozen names you are or have been known by, e.g.: 'I was called Mariolino by my father when he was feeling affectionate.'
2. Ask the students to write down as many sentences as they can using the above pattern, listing as many of their names and nicknames as they are willing to share with others.
3. Get the students read their sentences to the rest of the class and explain the contexts of the names.


1. One volunteer is the detective and goes outside. You give a coin to one of the students in the class to hide on their person - he or she is the thief.
2. The detective returns and accuses any member of the class: 'Did you take the money?' The accused, whether guilty or innocent, answers, 'No, I didn’t take the money, X (names one of the others) took it.' The detective then accuses X, using the same formula as before, and so on, until ten or fifteen people have been accused. The detective watches the accused people and has to try to 'detect' by their behaviour, which one is lying. Give him or her three 'guesses'.


1. Tell the students the following themes: Romance; Money; Work; Family; Home; Leisure.
2. Ask each student is to write on separate cards three optimistic predictions and three pessimistic ones, all of which should refer to one of the theme and the deadline. e.g. By the end of the week you'll have meet the most beautiful boy/girl you have ever seen.
3. Collect the cards and shuffle them in a box. Students take the cards out of the box and read them aloud.

Predicting achievements

1. Tell the students to invent for themselves an extremely successful future career in whatever field they like. Give them a minute or two to imagine what kinds of things they will achieve, and to ask you for new vocabulary where needed.
2. They may jot down ideas in writing, and should also note at what age they will have their different successes.
3. Then ask them to tell each other (possibly in groups) what they will have done by the age of 30, then by the age of 50, then by the age of 70 (if your students are over 30, adapt ages accordingly).

Family modals

1. As homework ask students to collect oft-repeated parental utterances.
2. If they are school students living at home ask them to bring a short list of negative parent sentences, things like 'John, you really should tidy your room'. If they are adults ask them to think back to their childhood, or to think of things they say to their own kids over and over again.
3. In class ask the students to write up three or four of their sentences on the board.
4. Other students try to guess who used the sentence to whom, and the whole context.
5. After they have guessed the students that wrote the sentences are welcomed to act out the utterances and their context.

Your students' rules

1. Ask the students to imagine themselves as teachers.
2. Tell them to write 5 rules they would want their students to obey.


1. Ask students to create examples upon these models: Rabbit's tail (part of smth.); Uncle's aunt (possession)
2. One student should tell a noun and the other student should create an expression according to one of examples.

Oral close

1. Read a story or prose passage, which can be from your course book.
2. Stop occasionally before a key word and get the students to guess what it is going to be: they can either volunteer the word orally, or write it down.
3. If the passage is one they have worked on recently, this can function as a review exercise of key vocabulary.

Short story writing

1. Each learner writes the title and first three sentences of his short story on a sheet of paper.
2. Then he or she passes the sheet to the next learner whose task is to continue writing and pass the sheet to the next learner and so on.
3. The author of the story finishes it.

Silent speech

1. In order to focus on pronunciation and the contribution of mouth movement, list on the board words, which will illustrate the various sounds, you would like to concentrate on.
2. Tell the class to listen as carefully as they can and then, when you have the students' full attention, 'mouth' a word silently! The students should try to identify the word by carefully watching the movement of your mouth. Ask the students to 'mouth' words for each other derived from the list of words on the board.

Five favourite words

1. Students look through their exercise books and select from the words that they have recently learned five words that they particularly like. They write these down. Then they form pairs.
2. Together they negotiate a common list of five words from the ten they had originally. They can use whatever criteria they like to argue for or against words. It might be the shape, sound, association, or relevance of the word for them.
3. Collect the pieces of paper and redistribute them so that each pair receives a different list. The pairs now write a dialogue or short story incorporating the words on the list they have just received.
4. Students read out their dialogues or stories and the others, with the exception of the authors of the list on which it was based, try to guess what the five listed words were.


1. The class is divided in two teams. One team prepares list of advantages, another - disadvantages.
2. Propositions for brainstorming advantages and disadvantages: Smoking should be banned. Water should be rationed. Soft drugs should be made legal. TV should be banned for under-16s. All cars should run on electricity. Unhealthy food should be taxed. Everyone should use the same currency. Parents should need a 'child licence'. Students should be able to 'sack' teachers.

Then and now

1. Discuss with students how they remember their childhood. Happier and freer than now? Or the opposite? Then ask them to write down four lists of differences between: 1. What they could do then, but can't (or mustn't) do now; 2 What they couldn't I weren't able to do then, but can now; 3. What they had to do then but don't have to do now; 4. What they didn't have to do then, but must now.
2. After 10 or 15 minutes of writing (you may need to help with some new vocabulary), ask them to read out some of the things they have; or they may share their ideas in groups before reporting to the full class. Finally, try to reach some overall conclusions; do these fit the impressions given in the opening discussion?
3. The same exercise may be used to practise the quasi-modal used to: students can contrast what they used to do as young children with what they no longer do.


1. Choose a group of two or three 'storytellers'. These can be swapped during the course of the activity to give everyone a chance to narrate. The rest of the class act as 'performers'. Give the storytellers the beginning of a story. For example: 'John had been waiting for Rachel for an hour.'
2. As you say this, choose a 'John' from the assembled performers. He mimes waiting and impatience.
3. The storytellers now continue the story a sentence at a time, and see it performed in front of them by the rest of the class. This creation of a visual aspect of their story should act as a stimulus for imaginative language use.