Jun 18, 2011

Tell me what they did

This is a very simple activity I've come up with in one of my many attempts to make my classes with teenagers more dynamic and interesting. In this case, I was working with Past Simple and I was looking for a creative way to review irregular verbs so I thought this would be a good way. I would recommend this to be used with small groups, unless the whole class is able to respectfully listen to their classmates for a considerable time. Otherwise, things may get complicated.

Level: Elementary/Intermediate
Materials: Little pieces of paper
Target Vocabulary/Grammar: Everyday life/Irregular Verbs in the Past Tense
Prep time: 2-3 min to cut the pieces of paper.

First off, the teacher will give each student 5-6 pieces of paper and ask them to think about what they did last weekend. Students will pick 5-6 activities they did the previous weekend and write the verbs (in the infinitive form) in the pieces of paper. After that, they will pair up and exchange papers. The task will be to talk about their classmates weekend, so the teacher will give them a few minutes to put those in order and prepare their speech. After that, students will use the verbs they have been provided to talk about their partner's weekend. The interesting part is that they will only have a few verbs and it's up to their imagination to make it a good story.  
The information in the papers shouldn't be too accurate. In fact, it's better if they only receive random information, since they will have to 'fill in the blanks'. For example:

  • work
  • play
  • get up
  • drink
  • sing
Students will have to decide what their classmates worked on, what they drank, what and where they sang, and it can end up being a great story! The more creative students are, the funnier and more interesting their stories will turn out. At the very end and as a closure, students can decide on who told the best one.


  • In case you want to use it to review the Present Simple tense, students can be asked to write verbs they perform on a regular basis and their classmates will try to tell how a day in their partner's life is. 

Good Luck, XO

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