I’ll share a quick drama activity I learned from our drama club while performing at an event at school.
- Put 3 chairs in front of the board.
- Put labels on the chairs as “sad-1”, “happy-2″,”angry-3”
- Write some situations on slips of papers and put them in a box. (You are waiting at the bus stop and the bus is late / You are going to take an important exam /You are travelling to …
- Let students choose a slip of paper
- Give them a few minutes to prepare a very short story based on the situation they have on their papers.
Begin with the volunteers. Explain the rules.
Tell students that you will shout a number from 1 to 3 and she/he will sit on that chair and start telling the story according to the emotion written on the chair. While the student is telling the story change the numbers randomly.
This activity will be suitable for intermediate and above but I think it can also be tried with beginners as a reading aloud activity. The teacher can give a text to practise reading aloud and then asks the students to read the text sadly, angrily, cheerfully, etc
1. Each person is given a sheet of paper with a series of instructions to follow. Each student’s instructions should be different. Tell them to stand up and mingle until you stop them. Then ask them to share their answers. Your instructions can be as “Find someone who …”
- Find out who has been abroad before.
- Who can play any instruments?
- Find what your classmates have for their breakfast.
- Who spent their summer holiday on an island?
2. Give each student a post-it note. Tell them to write their names at the top. Then ask them to write 1 adjective that will describe their physical appearance and 5 adjectives that will describe their character. Collect the post-it notes. Tell students they will guess the person you chose. Ask them to stand up next to their seats. Read one adjective each time and if they think that adjective doesn’t describe them, they have to sit down (whether they have written the adjective or not) Once they sit, they can’t stand up again. Continue calling an adjective, till they guess who the person is.
3. Divide the class into teams. Tell them they will advertise themselves to you. Prepare a bank of advertisements for them to get inspired. This will work well with a group of students who know each other well but the teacher meets them for the first time.
4. Provide A4 size paper, crayons, markers for each student. Ask each student to prepare a poster which contains some symbols or pictures describing who they are, what’s important to them or what they enjoy.
Each poster should be divided into 4 or 6 segments. Each segment can contain a picture of favourite emotion, favourite food, a hobby, a skill, a motto etc. Set time limits. When they finish, tell them to stand up, play some music and tell them to walk around till you stop the music and ask them to find a partner and introduce themselves to each other, then they have to exchange the papers and they will introduce their new friend to the class.
Some other activities from the archives of A Journey in TEFL
Energisers are great activities and can save lives when you feel your students are not in the lesson anymore.
These quick games can be used to bring your students back to classroom. A little bit movement, mingle, laughter will break the ice, will help to get rid of the boredom. Maybe the focus is not directly on the language but still you can adapt these games according your students’ needs and levels.
Touch Something Pink
Tell students to stand up. Explain that you will give instructions and they will touch something in the classroom according to it. It can be an object, a coat, etc
What has changed?
- Pair students
- Partners should observe each other carefully
- Tell them to turn their back to each other and make 3 changes to his/her appearance. For example, they can remove a watch or change the wrist, roll up sleeves, etc.
- When ready, they turn to each other and in turns they try to find the 3 changes.
Find your family
- Prepare cards with categories, fruit names, family names or occupations.
- Give each student a card
- Tell everyone to walk around the class and find their group members
This one will work very well when you plan your groups in a group work. They usually moan when you say work with him or her but when you play a game and put them in a group like that they obey the rules.
A classic but fun!
- Teacher divides the students into an equal number of fruits according to the class size.
- Students sit in a circle.
- Give each student a card with a fruit picture
- One must stand in the centre.
- Teacher shouts a fruit, such as ‘apple’
- All apples must stand up and change places with another.
- The student in the middle tries to sit before all the apples settle to their new seats.
- The new person in the middle shouts another fruit.
Tide’s in / Tide’s out
- Draw a line representing the seashore.
- Ask students to stand behind the line.
- When teacher shouts ‘Tide’s out!’, students jump forward over the line.
- When teacher shouts ‘Tide’s in’, students jump backwards over the line.
- If the teacher shouts ‘tide’s out’ twice in a row, students who move will drop of the game.