This is a fun memory game for young learners similar to my “there was/there were” activity.
Put students in teams of 2-3. Project the image above onto the board and give students 1 minute to memorise as many of the things as they can. Then give students a pen and paper, they have to write as many of the things as they can in complete sentences:
There was a pen on the table.
There were some coins next to the ping pong ball.
The winning team is the one who remembers the most things. Award extra points for correct use of there was/were and prepositions of place: next to, between, on the right/left of…
Give each group a sheet of blank paper, give them two minutes to fill the paper with little drawings of objects. The objects must be easy to identify and they have to know the name of the object in English.
Groups then swap their pieces of paper and they have 1 minute to memorise all the things the other group have drawn on their paper. They then write out the sentences like before and the team with the most correct is the winner.
Then show them the picture of the guy at the top of the post. Students come up with 5 deductions/speculations based on the picture. Tell them they can speculate about his age, nationality, job, personality or anything else they like.
The show them the pictures from the handout. Give them a few minutes to make speculations about the people.
Then show them the following list:
A police officer
A rock star
A bank robber
A professional sports-person
Tell student that they must decide which person has which job. The secret is: There’s no correct answer! But don’t tell them that yet. Give them 5-10 minute to make speculations and provide reasons for which person has which job, then have them present their reasoning to the class and debate them. Only then can you reveal that there’s no correct answer!
Follow up activity
Composition: Can you judge a book by it’s cover? Have students write and essay/article on the topic of first impressions and judging people based on their appearance.
Thanks to Nicky Hockly at The Consultants-e for the inspiration for this lesson plan. It’s an icebreaking lesson in which students can use their mobiles (shock horror) for intermediate levels and up.
In a new class students are always keen to learn a bit about their new teacher and if you’re willing to share and personalise your classes the students will reciprocate with you and each other. So start by projecting some photos of things from your life on to the board with some sentence stems for deduction.
He/she/it could/might/may be his girlfriend (possibility)
He/she/it must be his brother (almost certain)
He/she/it can’t be his sister (impossible)
I’d say that…
I’d hazard a guess that…
I bet you €X that’s his brother.
I (don’t) reckon that…
I’m absolutely certain that…
There’s no doubt in my mind that…
There’s a good/strong/slim chance that…
I could be wrong but I think…
Drill sentence stress and intonation. Then put students in pairs and show them some of the pictures. Monitor them as they make guesses about who the people in the pictures are and have students share their deductions with the class. Award points for correct guesses.
Here are some example pictures from my life:
Other useful language:
You look just like (your mum)
You don’t look anything like (your sister)
You are the spitting image of (your Dad) (you look exactly the same)
You take after (your Dad) – you look/act the same.
Step 2: Pair work
Put students in groups of 2/3 and tell them to take out their phones and go to their photo albums. They must then take it in turns to show their group a picture of the following things:
A very close friend
An activity you love
A great meal
A fantastic day
An amazing view
The others in the group must use the language of deduction to guess what the picture is and then they can ask questions to discover more information about their partner.
You might want to model some questions on the board:
When was the photo taken?
How long ago did you take this photo?
Where were you when you took the photo?
What does your Dad do?
How long have you been …ing?
Language for reactions:
Wow! That looks amazing/lovely/gorgeous
No way! Me too!
Your Dad works in finance? No way, mine does too!
That must be (amazing/fantastic etc.) – present event/state
That must have been (amazing/fantastic/so much fun) – past experience
Give SS 10-15 minutes to talk, encourage the use of the vocabulary, award points to groups using the most.
Students then report back to the class about the favourite photo their classmates showed them. If you can, project the photos onto the board so the whole class can see them.
Story behind the picture. SS write a composition (150-200 words) telling the story behind one specific picture. Encourage them to copy paste the picture at the top of the page. This is a good opportunity to practice narrative tenses: “I had been walking all day, that’s why I look a bit tired in the photo.” “The sun was shining, the wind was blowing in the trees” “It was the scariest thing I have ever done.” “I was walking down the street when I saw a…”