Tried and tested (and approved!) games and activities to help English learning.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Change Places If...

Level: Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced.

Skills: listening.

Topic: vocabulary.

Materials: none.

Time: 10 to 15 minutes.

This is a great activity to get students moving about and practice some vocabulary or sentence structures. I have used this game not only as a warming-up activity, but also as a memory enhancer for recently presented vocabulary.

Start with students in a closed circle, with the teacher standing in the middle to begin the game. There should always be one less chair than participants. 

Depending on what you want to revise the teacher says, “Change places if … (Example) you’re wearing trainers.” All students who are wearing trainers must stand up, and move to another chair and the teacher should sit on one of the recently vacated seats. The person left without a seat stays in the middle and gives the next command, and so it goes on. 

Adapt for higher levels with commands such as, “Change places if … you went to the cinema last weekend”, or “Change places if you … would like to have less homework.” Young learners can get very excited with this game so make it clear from the beginning that pushing other students out of chairs and similar behaviour is not going to be tolerated! Be careful to incorporate this activity in the class at an appropriate time. It is a definitely a ‘warmer’ as opposed to a ‘cooler’ and may be better at the end of a class.

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