It’s Their Nature: An activity for inversion with negative adverbs

Once you’ve discussed the nature of negative adverbs and exposed students to sentences with inversion in a meaningful context, it’s time for them to generate their own ideas using this grammar structure.

STEP 1 – Prepare a short list of groups based on professions, age, and social status For example: teachers, little children, professional athletes, divorced couples, and movie stars.

STEP 2 – Place students in groups of 3 or 4. Write the first item on the board: teachers.  Ask students to voice ideas about the nature of people in that group: What can you say about teachers in general? Are there common characteristics? Is there any stereotype you know of? Translate some of their ideas into sentences with negative adverbs: Rarely do teachers forget to assign homework. Never will you meet a teacher who hates books. Etc.

STEP 3 – Write the second item on the board along with a sentence opener containing a negative adverb: (Little children) Only little children know how to… Ask students to discuss ideas together in their small groups and complete the sentence together. Sentences will be shared with the class.

STEP 4 – Continue the pattern with two or three more items. Then in the final round have each group work with a different item. Do not provide any specific negative adverb as a prompt. Instead, write a list on the board for them to choose from. Groups must generate at least two sentences with two different negative adverbs. Possible adverbs: only, not only, little, rarely, seldom, neither, nor, hardly, on no condition, under no circumstances, nowhere. Ask the groups to present their sentences to the class. Allow for discussion.


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