Age Level - Teens and above

Proficiency level - Intermediate and above

Material - None

Objective - To develop creativity when solving problems; to use language in a communicative way.

 Divide the class into small groups. Each group must have a sheet of paper to jot down ideas. The teacher reads the following story:

"Imagine we are survivors from a ship wreck and we are in a desert island, sitting on the beach, thinking what to do next. We have absolutely nothing except the clothes we are wearing. Suddenly, we see a package floating in the water. We run to get it, and when we open it, what is inside??? Twenty-four cans of hair spray (or anything unusual, such as 10 blank notebooks, a box of plastic dishes, a teddy bear, etc). The question that arises is, 'What are we going to do with these things in order to make our life easier here?' "

  • In their groups, students have three minutes to write down five original ideas to use the objects.
  • When time is up, they stop writing, and each group reads their ideas. Each original idea, one that no other group had, is worth 10 points. Ideas that occur in more than one group are worth five points. Groups add their points, and the group with the highest number wins.
(Adapted from "Alternatives", by Richard and Marjorie Baudains - Pilgrims Longman Resource Books).



Age level - Teens and above

Proficiency level - Low intermediate and above

Material - Slips of paper with names of famous people; masking tape

Objective - To practice asking and answering questions and giving information.
  • Bring pieces of paper with names of famous people and stick them to the students' back WITHOUT LETTING THEM SEE THE PAPER.
  • They show their back to a peer and ask five questions to try to find out who the celebrity is (Am I an actor/actress/singer/polititian? Am I male? Where was I born? Am I alive? etc).
  • If after the five questions they cannot find out who "they are", the peer can give five clues: You are blond; you are a famous actor; you are married to a beautiful woman;
  • At the end, students stand in a circle and say who they are, giving some information about the person.
VARIATION - If you are teaching parts of the house, furniture, or any other vocabulary group, you can stick slips with names of objects instead of people. Thus, students would be the stove, the refrigerator, the kitchen, a pizza, etc.



Age level - Any

Proficiency level - Beginners

Material - Slips of paper and a hat or cap

Objective - To give beginners a sense of achievement, since they will be speaking English right away! It also helps them to memorize their classmates' names

  • Distribute slips of paper and ask students to write their names on them.
  • Collect all the slips in a hat or cap.
  • Model the dialog on the board and role-paly it with a student: Is your name.......? Yes, it is / No, it isn't.
  • Disribute the slips randomly, making sure students don't get their own names.
  • Students walk around, talking to each other.
  • After a few minutes, they sit down again and the teacher asks individual students, "Who is he/she?
VARIATION -  instead of writing their names, low intermediate students (and above) can write a piece of personal information (I am an only child; I have 14 dogs; I've never been abroad; etc).



Age level - Any

Proficiency level - Lower intermediate and above

Material - a bowl and candy (M&Ms, or any other)

Objective - This activity can be used as a warm-up in the first day of class or be adapted to any topic being discussed in class. It enhances communication and information sharing.
  • Pass a bowl of candies around and ask students to get as many pieces as they wish, but NOT to eat them just yet.
  • For each piece they have taken, they have to give a piece of information about themselves. In case you want to try the first variation below, these pieces can be either true or false.
VARIATION 1 - The group has to decide whether the information given is true or false.

VARIATION 2 - The activity can be used as a reading follow-up. Students have to remember information, words, or expressions from the text read.