The activities suggested below are for elementary students, usually for 1st and 2nd year. If you wish to use the activities with advanced students, you can adjust them. For example, instead of using regular verbs, you can ask students to use irregular verbs or more complex tenses and different vocabulary.
You can also adjust the activities to suit the language you’re teaching. For example, in Irish, the definite article is not as complicated as it is in German.
- Get students to make a list of all the new nouns they’ve learnt in the past weeks. Put them in pairs and ask one of the students to say a noun out loud. The other student has to repeat the noun but with the DEFINITE ARTICLE. If the student is not familiar with the noun, they can add it to their list of nouns.
- The same activity as above, but instead of repeating the word, they have to describe the noun with an ADJECTIVE from the card. This is a great activity to practice person and number agreement in French, Spanish and German.
- Practice INDEFINITE ARTICLES and THERE IS / THERE ARE. Depending on the vocabulary you are studying with your students, you can get them to draw a house, a bedroom, a kitchen, a school and get them to draw items inside it. If it’s a fridge, get them to draw eggs, milk, vegetables, etc. If it´s a city, get them to draw a bank, a park, a cinema, a museum, etc. Put them in pairs and ask them to ask each other questions about what’s in each other’s drawing. They will have to try to find as many items as possible by asking what’s in their fridge, bedroom, etc. This is a great exercise to practice INDEFINITE ARTICLES.
This activity works great for French and Spanish students.
- Get students in groups of three or four. Get them to write down in separate pieces of paper the name of one actor/actress, one music band or singer, a movie or TV show, a piece of fruit or vegetable they like—three or four different pieces of paper per student. Ask them to fold them and put them in a small bag, box, or pencil case. Each student will draw one piece of paper and will make a sentence stating his/her personal preference using the words in the LIKE AND DISLIKE EXPRESSIONS in the card.
- The same activity but with a twist. Each person has to repeat what the previous students have said. So they have to memorise and repeat everyone’s personal preferences.
- The same activity but using verbs. Instead of having students write names of t.v. shows or actors, ask them to write four different pronouns they tend to have difficulty with and four different verbs in the infinitive. They fold them and put them all together in 2 separate boxes, one of them with nouns, and the other one with verbs. Each student has to draw one piece of paper from each box and conjugate the verb. They can have the card in hand for the first few rounds to check the endings. After a while, they have to put the card away and try to conjugate them without checking the endings. You can also encourage them to make longer sentences.
- Put students in pairs and direct them to the tables with QUESTION WORDS, FREQUENCY EXPRESSIONS, and the PRESENT, PAST or FUTURE ENDINGS. One student selects one of the verbs from their card and asks his/her partner a question with it. The other student has to reply with a full sentence. Encourage them to ask more complex questions if they are advanced students; this gives them confidence as they realise that they can produce more than what they think they can.
Remind them about the colour-coded system in their card so they can focus on the colour of the person they are talking about. For basic students, you can ask them to focus on the first two colours (1st and second person)
- Get students in pairs and ask them to pick some verbs from their card. Ask them to write down six different sentences between the two of them. Ask them to write them down correctly and then in a separate piece of paper, ask them to write them again but with one mistake in each sentence, probably a wrong article, or wrong verb ending. Then get them to exchange the incorrect sentences with another pair. Each pair has to identify the mistakes in the sentences. After they’ve finished, get both pairs together and ask them to check the answers they came up with. With their cards in hand, they can check and verify why the sentences were incorrect. This is an excellent activity for those students who are a bit behind but feel shy about asking the teacher.
- Get students to make sentences with the verbs from the card in the tense you are working on. Tell them to write some false and some true sentences about their life. For example, “I have three brothers and one sister”, “my dad is a lawyer”, “I love pizza with brown sauce”. Then, get them in pairs or groups. They have to read their sentences and students have to guess whether their statements are true or false. If they are advanced students, encourage them to keep a conversation going.
- Ask students to bring pictures of their friends or family. Put them in pairs. Get them to share general information about their loved ones, like name, what he or she likes, where he or she lives, their routine, etc. Ask them to have their card in hand for support