For many, September will be the start of a new school year. But even if you’re in a year-round program, you might consider the following activity as a warm-up to one of your lessons.
Level: Intermediate to advanced (You can increase or decrease the complexity of the language depending on the students’ level.)
STEP 1: Prepare a list of 8-10 instructions that begin with the phrase: Find someone who… Each statement should relate to summer activities. Suggestions:
- Find someone who went to the beach this summer.
- Find someone who worked a lot this summer.
- Find someone who visited relatives this summer.
- Find someone who ate at an outdoor café this summer.
- Find someone who went swimming at least once this summer.
- Find someone who made a new friend this summer.
- Find someone who saw a good movie this summer.
- Find someone who practiced his/ her English this summer.
STEP 2: Make and distribute copies of the instructions to the students. Model the construction of a yes-no question based on the first instruction. Example: “You need to find someone who went to the beach this summer. What question can you ask? …Did you go to the beach this summer?” Have students work in pairs to form the remaining questions. Correct their work as a class. They will each have their own copy of the class survey for the next step.
VARIATION: You can create the 8-10 questions yourself, but prepare the survey as a word scramble. Students must rewrite the questions with correct word order.
Example: go / you/ this/ beach/ to/ the/ summer/ beach/ did?
> Did you go to the beach this summer?
STEP 3: Have students walk around the room asking one another the questions they just formed. They must find one person who can answer affirmatively to each question. They should try to find a different person for each question.
SUGGESTIONS: You can create questions that foreshadow the lesson topic. Questions can use:
- Regular verbs in the simple past tense
- Irregular verbs in the simple past tense
- Passive verbs
- Causative verbs
- Phrasal verbs
- You can use yes-no questions to model rising intonation if you’re teaching a pronunciation class.
- You can use the questions formed and the information collected to model reported questions and statements: I asked three people if they had gone to the beach, and they all said they hadn’t.
- You can let small discussions result from the findings. For example, who saw a good movie? Can they retell the plot? This could facilitate a lesson on Wh- questions.
Tired of using the same ice breakers? Check back soon for first-week activities with a new group of students!