Despite exam time and last minute end of year activities there are those who are already planning ahead for the new school year and others thinking of summer camp activities to do with their English language students. Even many of my better students have not all grasped using the 's' in the 3rd person singular despite knowing the rule - as always, it has to be practised so that it becomes natural. The following game does just that:
PART 1: Setting up the game
1. Tell the students to copy the table you will draw on the board onto a piece of paper turned horizontally. (See template to download.)
2. In the first column write the CATEGORY of a TV programme: e.g. CARTOONS
3. In the second column write the NAME of a TV programme: e.g. Tom & Jerry (they can write their own favourite programme here).
4. Ask a student: Do you like .....CARTOONS....?
5. Boy: Yes, I do. / No, I don't. (depending on his preference)
6. Teacher asks another student whilst indicating the first student: Does he like .....CARTOONS....?
7. Student: Yes, he does. / No, he doesn't. (depending on his preference)
8. Now write the next CATEGORY of a TV programme: e.g. DOCUMENTARIES
9. In the second column write the NAME of a TV programme: e.g. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (they can write their own favourite programme here).
10. Ask a student: Do you like .....DOCUMENTARIES....?
11. Girl: Yes, I do. / No, I don't. (depending on her preference)
12. Teacher asks another student whilst indicating the first student: Does she like .....CARTOONS....?
13. Student: Yes, she does. / No, she doesn't. (depending on her preference)
14. This phase of completing the table with all the categories and questions should not be drawn out too long - it's the setting up phase for the actual game.
PART 2: INTERVIEWING A FRIEND - Pairwork
1. Each student should interview the classmate next to him & mark, in a third column called FRIEND, a tick or cross depending on the friend's preferences by asking:
a. Do you like .....CARTOONS....?
b. Classmate: Yes, I do. / No, I don't. (depending on his preference)
PART 3: THE ACTUAL GAME - here comes the fun part!
1. The class is divided into teams A & B.
2. One team member has 30 seconds to speak about his partner by looking at the ticks & crosses in front of him.
3. He says: She likes... / She doesn't like... as quickly as possible & gains one point for each correctly pronounced sentence.
a. The teacher silently counts the points as the student speaks, making sure not to count any such as 'He like...' or 'He don't likes...', which inevitably slip in.
4. The teams take turns until the end of the lesson when the winning team is announced.
5. The aim of this final activity is to give the students intensive practise in pronouncing the third person at speed so as to fix it in their minds, loosen the muscles in their mouths and help it to become second nature.
Hope you have fun with it!
Would you like regular English learning & teaching ideas? Subscribe to my blog so you don't miss a post!
My name is Susan Brodar, born in London into a multilingual family and brought up bilingual English / Italian.