LOST AND FOUND: A communicative game to practice expressing possession

This activity puts a spin on a game that may already be familiar to you.

Level: High beginner – low intermediate

Language targeted: possessive adjectives, possessive pronouns, AND/OR possessive nouns

Objective: To identify what belongs to whom in the class

(To illustrate, I’ll target possessive adjectives and possessive nouns. You can modify the language to target what you need to.)

STEP 1 – Have students sit in circles of approximately 6 students. Each student in a circle must show a pen or pencil to the others, identify its color, and then place it in the center of the group. Example – “This is my pen. My pen is blue.”

STEP 2 – After all the writing utensils have been placed in the center, students take turns trying to return a pen or pencil to its owner. If they are correct, the owner will confirm. If they are incorrect, the student incorrectly named the owner will state so. Example – “I think this blue pen is Carla’s. Carla, is this your pen?” Carla: “Yes, it’s my pen.” / “No, it’s not my pen.” If incorrect, the item goes back in the center, and the next student takes a turn.

STEP 3 – After all the students get their writing utensils back, hand out blank slips of paper. Have students write two sentences: one sentence about their own utensil and one sentence about the one they gave back. Example – My pen is black. Carla’s pen is blue.

STEP 4 – Collect all the writings and post them on the wall. Explain the word handwriting. Have students work in pairs near the wall and try to identify their partner’s handwriting. They can ask a limited number of questions (that you can list on the board): 

  • Do you have a pen or a pencil?
  • What color is your pen/ pencil?
  • Is your handwriting big or small?
  • Is your handwriting easy or difficult to read?
  • Is this your handwriting?

(You can add other questions.)

 STEP 5 – As soon as students correctly identify each other’s handwriting, ask them to write their names on the slips of paper.  They can remain near the wall and in pairs comment on others’ handwriting. Example – “This is Carla’s handwriting. Her handwriting is big. Her handwriting is easy to read.” / “Ben and Maria have small handwriting. Their handwriting is difficult to read.”*

 Suggestion: Instead of trying to explain the whole activity at once, model it yourself one step at a time. Sit with one group and let everyone observe you do Step 1. Then everyone completes Step 1. Now model Step 2. Everyone then completes Step 2, etc.

*You may choose to teach the difference between Ben and Maria’s and Ben’s and Maria’s.


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