1. Emotional Mirror
Use this activity to create a bank of adjectives for students to use in writing. In addition, it would be a good way to teach the nuances of emotions i.e., angry -vs- frustrated; happy -vs- giddy, etc. Students could use a thesaurus to find a number of creative adjectives for specific emotions.
2. Character Walks
Use this activity as a creative way to teach adverbs, characterization, literary archetypes. Students could use a thesaurus to find creative ways to describe a character’s mood, emotions, character traits, etc. Rather than the instructor calling out commands, the students could take turns calling out the commands using the bank of adverbs, adjectives, etc., that they have created in small groups
3. The Story
This activity could be a great way to teach prepositional phrases and independent and subordinate clauses. For example, one person could write a card with a simple sentence (subject/predicate) on it. That student could then link up with another student who has written a prepositional phrase or a clause on his/her card. In turn, they might link up with another student with another clause. This could be a lot of fun and a creative way to teach grammar which is often pretty dull.
4. Traffic Lights
Again, a fun way to teach grammar. In this case, each traffic color might stand for a different grammatical element, for example: green (noun) yellow (verb) red (adjective or adverb). The instructor could call out one of the colors and each student must say a noun, verb or adjective in order to step forward. Each color could also be worth a certain number of steps, etc. A fun way to use TPR in teaching and reinforcing parts of grammar.
5. Up, Down, Freeze
I might use this activity in teaching basic commands to my beginning adult ESL learners. Once they have mastered the basic commands of UP, DOWN, HEADS, SHOULDERS, ONE LEG, I might add on other simple commands such as ELBOW, KNEE, EARS, etc., with corresponding actions to go with them. This could reinforce vocabulary and also introduce the parts of the body.
6. Hi, I’m Bob From Boston (variation)
Using this activity to teach figurative language and poetic devices such as rhyme and alliteration, students might come up with something like this: “Hi, I’m Bob from Boston. I enjoy eating baked beans with bologna and miles and miles of mustard and macaroni! Who are you and what do YOU like to do?”
7. Tongue Twisters
This would be a fun way to teach and reinforce phrases, independent and dependent clauses. Students would have to repeat tongue twisters, plus identify the phrases and clauses contained in them. For example: “She sells sea shells by the seashore.” (By the seashore is a prepositional phrase. She sells sea shells is an independent clause.)
8. Crosswords (New activity)
Each student is given a blank index card. He/she writes a consonant on one side and a vowel on the other. As a whole class, students must form parts of grammar such as a preposition, article, conjunction, adjective or adverb by placing their cards on the floor and then working together to connect them (like a giant crossword). A good grammar review.
9. Preposition partners (New activity)
To remind students about prepositions. I allow them to each choose an object from the room. As I call out the preposition: up, down, about, forward, backward, around, through, etc., they show the action of the preposition using the item they have chosen. They are also allowed to team up with another student and the student’s object. This is a fun and silly, but great 10 minute preposition review.
10. Soulmates (New activity)
Divide the room into two halves. Give half of the students a card with a noun written on one side and a verb on the other side. The other half of the students have cards with an adjective on one side and an adverb on the other. Students are given 30 second intervals to find their soulmates. They quickly share their combinations with each other, then the instructor shouts “Switch!” and they are off and searching for another soulmate, A fun “parts-of-speech” lesson.