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Interesting ESL group activities.

by Joanne Elliott


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Description Groups.

Split the class up into small groups, and ask them to secretly elect one member.  Supply each group with a very large piece of paper and several differently coloured pens.  Then ask the students to describe the elected member within the group by writing down adjectives on the paper.  First, ask the group to describe the elected child physically, using just one colour of pen.  Then get the group to ask the elected student questions about themselves in English.  Ask them to record the answers in different colours ?for example, 멿ikes? in green ink, and 멶islikes?in red.

Next, ask the groups to come to the front of the classroom one by one.  Pin up their large pieces of paper, and ask the rest of the class to guess who the group have been describing.  If time allows, the class can ask the elected members questions about what has been recorded.  For example, if it has been written that the elected member dislikes slugs, ask why, and then ask the rest of the class to raise their hands if they agree or disagree.  This exercise also has strong benefits regarding student bonding.


Pass the Question.

Arrange the desks or chairs into a rough circle and stand in the center with a small ball in your hand.  Ask a question, and then pass the ball to a student at random (for example, 멬hat is two plus two?? or 멬hat is the capital of England??.  If the student knows the correct answer, they should pass the ball back to you as they answer.  If they don?know they must call out 멣orry, I don? know.? or something similar, and throw the ball to one of their classmates.  If the second student knows the answer, they return the ball to you, if not they pass it on again.  Continue the process until you have the correct answer, and then begin again with a new topic.  It is a good idea to repeat questions that the students have struggled with at a later stage in the game.

Memory Momentum.

Prepare a tray of objects at the front of the class ?the more items the better.  Ask the class to file around the table for a short amount of time. Then cover up the objects and tell the students to sit back down again.  The class should then write down the English names of as many objects as they can remember, and then call out the objects so that you can write them on the board.  When the list is complete, ask the children to tell you a bit more about what they can remember, for example, 멬hat was the banana near to?? 멬hat was at the back of the table?? or 멬hat was in the middle of the table??  (In the event that the students cannot remember, simply uncover the objects in order to enable further learning).


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Joanne Elliott                                    Interesting ESL group activities (Cont).

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