Posts Tagged ‘pairwork’

So I’ve just decided to start a series of articles on $4MT dedicated to the classics.  No, not Homer or Aristotle or none of them cats–I’m referring to classic English teaching activities that every teacher has probably used (or could probably use) and which in my own experience I’ve made use of time and time again.

The first one is in this series is that oldie but goodie: “I saw you…”

I first came across this activity in the classic 700 Classroom Activities by David Seymour and Maria Popova (MacMillan English).   Its purpose is mainly to practice using narrative tenses. (more…)


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You may have noticed I’ve changed “themes” on the blog.  I’m not 100% convinced, but it’ll work I think.  Opinions from the peanut gallery?

In the interest of starting off the “new season” of $4MT with something simple, here’s a little something that occurred to me in a pinch in one of my one-to-one classes which after using it a few times seems like a decent way of doing a little tense review.  It’s very similar to another activity which I like to call “Why? Why? Why?” which I posted a while ago.

Give the Ss (on a piece of paper or on the board) some sentence heads using negative verb structures, i.e.:

I don’t

I didn ‘t

I can’t

I’m not

I haven’t

etc., etc.  This can obviously be used for an enormous variety of structures (modal verbs, future forms, conditionals, etc.) Or even for discussing a recent story or text by substituting the name of a character for “I”.

The students all write sentences.  Then in pairs, they take turns reading the sentences to each other, and the other asks “Why not?”  The other student has to explain the reason why.  The other can then ask “Why?” again.  (You may want to demonstrate this with one of your students before you start them asking and answering.)

I’ve found it to be a pretty decent and useful filler type thing.  Maybe you will too.

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