CAE First Class – Ice Breakers

Here are some ice breaking activities for a first class with a CAE group.The idea is to get students talking and also to recycle and refresh some grammar and vocabulary that they should have covered in the FCE.

You’ll need this prezi:

http://prezi.com/h6-ubjzvxf7_/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Part 1

For the first activity you need to come up with 10 sentences using adjective + preposition combinations. My example is the first slide of the prezi:

1. I’m petrified of heights.
2. I’m brilliant at football.
3. I’m interested in studying German.
4. I’m proud of English cuisine.
5. I’m dreadful at cooking.
6. I’m pessimistic about my football team’s chances.
7. I’m famous for making a delicious Spanish omelet.
8. I’m fond of basketball and rugby.
9. I’m dissatisfied with my team’s 1-1 draw at the weekend.
10. I’m allergic to walnuts.

Dictate the 10 sentences, have your students write them down, then project them or write them on the board. Tell students that five of the sentences are true and five are false. Put the student in pairs and have them discuss the sentences, they can ask you questions to try and catch you in a lie. After about 5 minutes tell students to come to a decision about which are true/false and explain their reasons: “We don’t reckon you’re interested in studying German because….” the team with the most correct answers wins. Use the opportunity to share some information about yourself with your students.

Now tell students that you want them to do the same. Show the second slide of the prezi with other adjective preposition combinations:

accustomed to
addicted to
annoyed with/at sb
annoyed about st
anxious about
ashamed of
awful/dreadful/rubbish at
brilliant/amazing/excellent at
capable of
crazy about
content with
curious about
dissatisfied with
delighted about
experienced in
fed up with
envious of
furious about
fond of
puzzled by
suspicious of

terrified/petrified of
upset about
worried about

Students can use any of these or the ones you used in your 10. Clear up any of the vocabulary and then give students 5 minutes to come up with their 10.

Students read out their 10 sentences to their partner and discuss them trying to guess which are true and which are false. Focus should be on repetition of the adjective + prep but also allow them to chat freely to get to know each other. Change partners and repeat as many times as you like.

Go round the class and have students share any surprising things they discovered, or any of their false sentences that fooled their classmates.

The next slide can be used at the end of the class as a recap of the prepositions from your original ten sentences.

1. I’m petrified __ heights.
2. I’m brilliant __ football.
3. I’m interested __ studying German.
4. I’m proud __ English cuisine.
5. I’m dreadful __ cooking.
6. I’m pessimistic __ my football team’s chances.
7. I’m famous __ making a delicious Spanish omelet.
8. I’m fond __ basketball and rugby.
9. I’m dissatisfied __ my team’s 1-1 draw at the weekend.
10. I’m allergic __ walnuts.

Part 2

This is my take on another classic ice breaker. Project the next slide onto the board:

1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why? (I’d choose….)
2. Make 2 wishes, 1 present wish and 1 past.
Present:
I wish I had brown hair.
I wish I was shorter.
Past:
I wish I had studied Spanish at school.
I wish I hadn’t stayed up so late last night.
Explain your wishes
3. Where would you rather go on holiday, the beach or the mountains? Why? (I’d rather go to…)
4. What’s your earliest memory?
5. If you could relive one day in your life which day would you choose and why? (I’d…..)
6. If the weather had been better at the weekend, what would you have done? (I would have…)

Again you might need to tailor the questions a bit. Put students in pairs and have them ask and answer all 6 questions, but first tell them that they have to remember all of the information that their partner tells them. The idea is to get students using the complete grammatical structures so remind them that they have to ask each other the complete questions (not just say “what about number 2″) and give complete answers (I have included the sentence stems). Tell students that they have 10 minutes to ask and answer all of the questions to every person in the class and that they need to remember all the information.

When the 10 minutes is up, split the class into two teams. Ask for a volunteer from team 1 to come to the front of the class and sit in the hot seat, team 2 then have to remember all of that volunteer’s answers to the 6 questions, they receive 1 point for each answer they remember correctly. Remind them to use the complete grammatical structures, this way they are recycled multiple times. Then team 1 has to remember a member of team 2’s answers. Repeat until everyone has been in the hot seat.

By the end of the class you will have hopefully learned all your student’s names, a bit about them and refreshed some grammar and vocabulary.

CPE use of English quizlet sets

Here are some great quizlet sets I found for CPE revision and cramming:

MES flashcards: Games for young learners

This is a post in a series of 30  minute classes for young learners. They have been made for groups I teach which range from 4th to 6th of primary.

This is post is simply a list of games to use with the amazing free resources from:

http://www.mes-english.com/

They have a fantastic selection of downloadable flashcards divided into loads of categories. Each week I have been picking a new category, printing the flashcards and they game cards and playing one of the following games with my groups, it’s a great and fun way to quickly expand students vocabulary.

First stick the set of flashcards to the board and elicit the vocabulary and drill pronunciation.

Games:

Bingo – Students draw a 3×3 grid on a piece of paper and fill each box with a piece of vocabulary. You then read out sentences about each character, for example: “I breath fire and fly over the castle.” (Dragon) “I do magic and mix magic potions” (wizard) they cross off the characters they have as you describe them until they get a line or bingo (when they have crossed off all 9 squares).

Mimic – Print out the set of fantasy game cards from MES as well. Split the class into groups of 3-4, encourage the groups to think of an English name for their team. Then they take it in turns to send one member up to the board, this member then has 1 minute to mimic as many of the different characters using the game cards. Their team receives one point for each correctly guessed character. The team with the most points wins.

Board Games – Print out this great pirate gameboard:

Put students in groups of 3-4. Number the flashcards on the board 1-33 (cards will have more than 1 number) students then play the board game but every time they land on a square they have to make a sentence with the corresponding piece of vocabulary: EG “I brush my teeth with a toothbrush.”

Memory/Go fish – Print out multiple sets of the MES game cards, split students into groups of 3-4. Give them two sets of game cards, they spread the cards out face down on the table and play pairs/memory/go fish/whatever you call it where you’re from. Every time they turn over a card they have to say the vocab word and when they find a pair they have to make a complete sentence.

I welcome any more suggestions you might have for other flashcard games.

Once upon a time: Stories and fantasy vocabulary for young learners

fairytale

This is a lesson plan from a new series for young learners. I originally taught these classes spread over 2-3 half hour classes, they could obviously be combined into one hour and a half class.

Part 1 – Fantasy vocabulary

Print out this set of flashcards from MES:

http://www.mes-english.com/flashcards/files/fantasy1_flash.pdf

MES flashcards are a fantastic resource, I’ve been steadily working my way through all of the different categories with my primary classes.

Stick the flashcards to the board in 3 columns with enough space to write the names in next to each one. Then encourage students to name the ones they know. However,they also have to say where the flashcard is on the board: “on the left/right, in the middle, at the top/bottom, above, below, between, the 1st/2nd/3rd one down.”

Once you have gone through all the names and drilled the pronunciation you could play a number of games with the vocab:

Bingo – Students draw a 3×3 grid on a piece of paper and fill each box with a piece of vocabulary. You then read out sentences about each character, for example: “I breath fire and fly over the castle.” (Dragon) “I do magic and mix magic potions” (wizard) they cross off the characters they have as you describe them until they get a line or bingo (when they have crossed off all 9 squares).

Mimic – Print out the set of fantasy game cards from MES as well. Split the class into groups of 3-4, encourage the groups to think of an English name for their team. Then they take it in turns to send one member up to the board, this member then has 1 minute to mimic as many of the different characters using the game cards. Their team receives one point for each correctly guessed character. The team with the most points wins.

Part 2 – Running dictation

By now students should have picked up most of the vocabulary. Put them in pairs, one student sits at one end of the room with a pen and paper. Stick the dragon story handout to the opposite wall of the classroom. The other student in the pair has to run across the class room, memorise a sentence from the story and then tell it to their partner who writes it on the paper. Ensure that students copy the sentences in order and that they speak in English the whole time, especially when spelling out words to their partner. Set a time limit of 10 minutes for this activity. Students switch roles after sentence 5.

Once they have finished have them sit back in front of the board and dictate the sentences back to you. The students then correct their versions of the story, the winning team is the one with the fewest mistakes. You should also clear up any vocabulary issues, paying particular attention to the past verbs used in the story, they will be needed in part 3.

Part 3 – Write a fantasy story

Students can either stay in their pairs or you can put them in bigger groups. Encourage them to work together to invent a new fantasy story, they can use any of the vocabulary covered in part one. They will also need some extra vocabulary:

Once upon a time there was……

lived/rescued/saved/cast a spell/fought/killed/captured/went/gave/kissed

They all lived happily ever after.

They will also want to use more vocabulary so ensure they ask for it properly: “How do you say ________ in English?” If your knowledge of your student’s L1 isn’t too hot make sure you have a good dictionary. Guide and help them as they write their story, set a time limit of 10-15 minutes. Then give them 5-10 minutes to practice telling their story and acting it out for part 4.

Part 4 – Story telling and acting

Each group should either nominate a narrator or share narration amongst them (the latter is the best option). Encourage whoever is narrating to do it SLOWLY and LOUDLY, so that the others can actually hear the story. Then each group puts on their little play. My kids loved doing this, some where in stitches, make sure they take a bow at the end and give each other a round of applause. You could award prizes for various things: best actor/actress, most imaginative story, best narrator, best vocabulary, best grammar. Ensure every group gets at least one prize.

Wrap-up

Kids have to name one of the characters from the flashcards before they are allowed to leave the classroom.

Dragon story:

  1. Once upon a time there was an enormous castle.
  2. In the castle lived a King, a queen and a beautiful princess.
  3. One day an evil dragon and an evil troll came to the castle and kidnapped the princess.
  4. The king and queen were very sad.
  5. But then, a brave knight and a famous wizard arrived at the castle, they decided to rescue the princess.
  6. They travelled to the cave where the troll and the dragon lived.
  7. The knight fought the dragon and the wizard fought the troll.
  8. The knight and the wizard won the battle and saved the princess.
  9. And they all lived happily ever after.