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

Monday, April 02, 2012

Follow The Leader

Level: Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced.

Skills: speaking / miming (at the same time!)

Topic: grammar

Materials: none.

Time: 5 to 15 minutes.

The goal here is to follow the leader using the same sound and action as the leader. Also, to change leaders, so that each person in the group can have a chance to lead (it's good to recap present continuous phrases or sentences!).

Get your whole group standing in a circle, or if the group is large, in two or three separate circles. You should be in the circle , but lead as little as possible, explaining that you will start an action and say a phrase at the same time (e.g. painting a wall). Everyone must follow the action and phrase. The action and phrase must be repeated until someone changes them by doing a new action and phrase (e.g. eating an apple).

It is important to repeat each action and phrase until it is changed. This maintains the rhythm of the game and prevents the students from winding down or stopping to 'think'.

If two people start a new action/phrase simultaneously, they are simply to choose one and follow it, until the whole group is doing the same.

In an elementary group, it is better to let anyone lead who wants to. Eventually, everyone will lead.

Every phrase should be accompanied by a mime action. If someone forgets, you can help.

In Intermediate groups, sentences (e.g. we are getting dressedthey are driving a car) can be employed. Questions and answers with half the circle asking the question to the other half wihile pointing at them: 'What are you doing?' The second half of the circle answers and performs a mime action. With Advanced groups, use the same procedure, but add more complicated grammar structures (e.g. after he had buried the body, he drank a cup of tea; with the circle divided in two, half 1 asks 'if you weren't combing your hair, what could you be doing?' and half 2 answers, miming too: 'we could be drinking a cup of coffee').

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