This junior high warm-up gives students some thinking time to compose what they want to say (and write it down) before they do some mingling while using the target phase of the day.

Basic Info

Time: 10+ mins
Level: Junior high and above
Works with: Various grammar
Class size: Medium ~ Large

You will need:

  • nothing

Description

  1. Review the target phrase (eg. from the textbook).
  2. Students write down the phrase they are going to use. (See tips.)
  3. (Optional) Write a dialog example on the blackboard for students to follow.
  4. Students walk around, find a partner, talk through the dialog and say goodbye. Repeat for given time. 

Tips

  • This activity works really well for situations when students need to be original so writing time is more about composing. In certain situations, it can be easier for students to work together and eventually use the same phrase. This is particularly relevant when calling upon life experience - some students just don't have it.
  • For certain dialogs, you may need dialog trees - i.e. how to respond to positive or negative replies, or how the conversation goes if someone says "Me too." That said, keep it simple!

Warnings

  • The biggest issues I've encountered with creating original versions of target dialog is lack of creativity or life experience to draw on. As mentioned above, you can let students work in pairs (each partner writes the same thing) to help with this problem.

Variations

  • I have never... (junior high 3rd grade, Sunshine 3, program 2-2)
    Students were asked to think about something they had done but probably no one else had done, then they asked others "Have you ever ...?" Target phrase was used as a potential answer.
  • I'm going to... (junior high 2nd grade, Sunshine 2, program 2-1)
    Students composed sentences talking about what they would do for the upcoming weekend. Then they were given a dialog where they could use the phrase they had just composed.

Comments

This activity, though it takes some time with the thinking and writing aspects, was commented on favorably by JTE's and students seemed to have a good time doing it, and seemed to participate with a much more communicative sense (rather than speaking by rote).

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