The ability of incorporating adjectives into FCE writing paper enables learners to achieve higher marks for vocabulary usage section of marking criteria, as well as the general effect on the reader. Adjectives are also commonly used in speech. Don´t we have to describe things all the time? How can we as teachers enhance students´ knowledge of adjectives or allow them to make their own choices when it comes to vocabulary in order to make it more memorable and student centered? How can we make them play more of an active role in their learning? Do our lessons cater for different learning styles? Do the schools really have to kill creativity? This lesson idea aims at answering all the above questions.
Aimed at: Young learners/young adults/adults
Aims: To enhance students´ knowledge in the lexical field of adjectives of personality /To encourage group work and autonomous learning/ To encourage creativity in the classroom
Time: +/- 1h 20 minutes
Materials: Bilingual dictionaries/Card/Scissors/Coloured pencils or board markers/CD player for the background music/Appendix 1
- Ask for a volunteer (be patient, someone will be up for it sooner or later, just wait) and ask him or her to sit with his back to the board. Write a name of a famous person on the board so the whole group can see it. Explain that the objective of the game is for the volunteer to guess who the person is. Each person can shout out one adjective they would describe that person with. If it goes for too long, allow for some more detailed clues (facts from the person´s life, etc.)
+/- 5 minutes
- Put the students in groups of 3 or 4 and ask them to reflect on the previous activity. Questions you might ask them to answer are:
- Did you enjoy the game?
- What was the most challenging part of the activity?
- What kind of difficulties did you experience when taking part in the activity?
- Would you like to repeat it in the future? And so on.
Have a whole class feedback session. It is very likely that someone would mention the lack of vocabulary (in this case descriptive adjectives) to fully participate in the game. Ask the group what could have possibly facilitated their participation? Elicit: a bilingual dictionary.
+/- 5 minutes
- Tell the students that today they will be working with bilingual dictionaries and in groups, they will create a poster. Show the picture from Appendix 1 as an example. Having divided the class in groups and distributed all the materials, ask them to give you a few adjective they associate with each part of the human body. If they cannot come up with the word in English encourage dictionary work at this point. Explain that this is not an art competition and it does not have to be perfect. I am pretty sure, however, that there will be quite a few people in the class who would be more than willing to show off a little with their art skills.
+/- 5 minutes
- Give each group a time limit of 45 minutes to finish their posters. Explain that they have to work in groups and look up any vocabulary they might need in a dictionary. Monitor closely to make sure all the conversation is done mainly in English. (They can of course relate to their L1 but only when looking for the vocabulary). Put the CD player on (you know your class and try to choose something they would like: ask!).
+/- 45 minutes
- Have each group present their posters and create a wall display.
Have fun creating!
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