Here are five fun activities to try with students who are maybe too old/advanced for flashcard games! If you’d like to check out some flashcard activities for lower levels check out my blog post here: Top 5 Flashcard Games
Pretty much every time I ask ‘What did you do today?’ I get the same answers ‘school, extra classes, homework’. I know I was getting bored of it, so I’m pretty sure my students were too! Now before I ask ‘what did you do today?’, I sometimes ask ‘Who are you today?’ and we continue the next few minutes of conversation as if they were that person. Queenie might have been to school and had lots of homework but Harry Potter drank butterbeer, played with Hagrid’s fantastic beasts and learned how to fly! So far some of my favourite characters they’ve chosen are Stephen Hawking, an emperor’s wife, an astronaut and a storm chaser!
This one had my shyest 11 year old girl rolling on the floor laughing this week! It’s a super simple way to practise adverbs. I have 10 cards with verbs written on them e.g. dance, sing, eat, swim, run etc and 10 cards with adverbs like loudly, quietly, quickly, slowly, carefully, angrily and so on! You don’t need cards though, you could just write two lists on the screen! We take it in turns to choose two at random and act them out for the other to guess. I think dancing angrily was my favourite!
This one is super simple and prep free! You give the student a starting word such as train. The student has to think of a word that starts with the last letter of the previous word. For example:
TraiN – NighT – ToE – EggS – SnakE- EmU… You get the idea.
I usually set a time limit to see how many words we can get in 2 minutes. Then the challenge really begins! We take it in turns to make sentences using as many words from our game as possible. One point for each word used.
“The snake steals the emu’s eggs on the train at night”. 5 points!
This one is a classic. Choose a category – animals, places, jobs, famous people, things, whatever you like really! One person chooses a word but keeps it secret! The other asks yes/no questions to guess the word.I always ask the questions first to model some good ones and write down the question stems to help them remember when it’s their turn. It’s a great time to practise short answers too.
One Word Stories
This is one of my favourites! Sometimes before we start we choose a couple of characters and a setting, other times we just go straight in. It’s pretty simple, we tell a story, however we can each only say one word at a time. This is great to practise sentence structure and extending sentences. My favourite story so far is about a bodybuilding rabbit who went to a supermarket to buy a carrot and got eaten by a tiger. If one word is too tricky for your student you could take it in turns to do sentences!
BONUS: Sharing Recipes
This is a bit of an odd one but it worked so well I’m going to try it with my other students too! We were learning the word ‘simple’ the other day and I asked Becky to share a simple food she can make. She runs into the kitchen, proudly shows me a bowl of egg and tomatoes she’s made and proceeds to give me a detailed ingredient list and recipe. I had the ingredients in the house and said I’d make it for dinner that evening. She was SO happy today when I showed her and told me about more recipes she’d thought of me. Next up: egg soup!
This is a great way to practise imperatives, cooking verbs and giving instructions. Plus I don’t have to think about what to have for dinner :p.
What are your favourite activities to do with higher level students? Do you have any other ideas? Do you do any of these activities? I’d love to hear your ideas!