How Kind of You! A small group activity to teach common phrases with [adjective + of]

STEP 1 – Select 10 adjectives that describe a person’s character. Include a mix of familiar vocabulary and more advanced words. Suggestions:  kind, sweet, rude, clever, generous, unfeeling, sensible, thoughtful, stupid, silly.

STEP 2 – Have students divide the words into two groups: positive and negative qualities. They can do this task individually and then correct their work as a class. Don’t allow use of dictionaries. Instead, have volunteers give examples of behavior that will help define the words for those who aren’t familiar with a word: “Who knows what it means to be sensible? Can you give me an example of a sensible decision?”

STEP 3 – Teach the common structures:

  • That was nice of you.
  • It was nice of you to do that.
  • How nice of you!

STEP 4 – Using the 10 adjectives, write 10 sentences on the board and number them. Suggestions:

How kind of them!

That was really sweet of her.

How rude of them!

That was clever of you!

It was very generous of him to agree.

How completely unfeeling of her!

That wasn’t very sensible of him.

It was thoughtful of you to offer.

It was stupid of me to even think that.

How silly of me!


Put students in small groups of 3 or 4. Going clockwise, each student will choose one of the 10 sentences. The speaker must describe a scenario to make the group state the selected sentence verbatim as the most appropriate choice. Model:

Student A: This is what you say when you are so tired you leave your house and you don’t realize you have your slippers on instead of your shoes.

Group: “How silly of me!”

Student A: Yes.

The game continues until all 10 choices have been correctly guessed.


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