Tasks are great! They don't have to be large, elaborately planned things. Even more powerful, if they are simple and just about the teacher "getting out of the way". It should all be about students having lots of time purposefully using the English language.
So here are 50 very simple tasks you can do with students. Keep it simple, just tell them what you want them to do, give an amount of time for the task and then set them off doing it.
Many more ideas at Teaching Recipes |
50 Tasks for the English Language Classroom
1. Use small strips of paper and tape to label and name all things in the classroom.
2. Each student create an alphabet card. Hang up at the front of the classroom.
3. Make a poster with information about a country. Present it to the class.
4. Bring in to class something you don’t need. Every student gets $100 (fake) to buy items.
Use only English and buy/sell – who makes the most money?
5. Find classmates that are born in the same month as you. Link arms and continue to
find more students born in the same month.
6. Teach a fellow student how to do something. Write out the steps beforehand then
7. Go around the class and say thank you to every classmate. Give a different reason
To each person. “Thank you for …..ing ……….”
8. Make a list of (topic) that start with each letter of the alphabet. Who can get the most?
9. Write 5 general knowledge questions on a piece of paper. Easy to hardest. Play
Jeopardy asking your questions to classmates. Points: 1,2,3,4,5.
10. Write a yes/no question that you are interested in finding out from classmates. Walk
around the class and survey everyone. Report back to the class your findings.
11. Tell a joke in your native language. Then try and tell the same joke in English. Can
12. Spell a word on the back of a friend. Can they guess? Write a number? Can they say
what it is?
13. With a large piece of paper, draw your body outline. Label all your parts and color.
14. Make 12 groups. Each group makes a calendar page with important class dates for
15. Students sit back to back and telephone each other. Pretend you are ordering a pizza
Reporting a missing person / Making a doctor’s appointment.
16. Describe a favorite movie. Give hints. Can others guess which movie it is?
17. Whisper some gossip in a classmates ear. Keep passing on the gossip. After, share
the gossip with the class. Is it the same as the gossip started?
18. Pitch a business. In a group, come up with a busines concept and then sell the idea to
the class. Vote after and best idea wins.
19. Invite a family member or older friend to the class. Or interview with skype.
Prepare questions before they visit.
20. Write a letter in English to the local government about an issue. Describe what you
21. Take a current news story. Answer the 5 Ws about the story and explain each to the
22. Fold paper in half to make a booklet. Describe your typical day / your favorite things
on each page. Let your classmates read your book.
23. One student goes out of the class. The teacher tells a story. When the student comes
back in, the rest of the class retell the story to the student.
24. Have a bragging competition. One student starts, “My ….. is ……er than your ….”
Students reply with – So what / Big Deal, “My ….. is more ….. than yours.”
25. First word war. Say one word and then student must reply within 3 seconds with a
word that is associated. Snow – Cold – Winter – December – Christmas ….
26. Draw a “wingdingdongdilly” , an animal with many different parts. Explain the parts
to the class.
27. Describe how to get from your home to school. Draw a map to help you explain.
28. Write a card to a friend apologizing for something. Give it to them in class.
29. Imagine you have a million dollars. Take turns saying what you’d buy. One person
adds up the cost until you have no money left.
30. Bring dishes and cutlery to class. Students make menus and then order lunch. Some
Students act as waiters / waitresses.
31. Show a short video or read a short story. Stop before the end. Students have to
predict the ending. Were they right?
32. Take a favorite English song. Student must rewrite the chorus with their own words
and then sing it for the class.
33. Brainstorm as many items in the class beginning with the letter ___. Group with
the most items wins.
34. Students reschedule their week of lessons. They report back to the class how they’d
35. Remove many items from students (notebooks, pens, pencil cases etc…). Put in a
bag. Give these to other students. They must walk around asking who owns them.
36. Daily class radio show. Each day to start the class interview one student at the front
of the class with a microphone. The audience can ask questions too!
37. Brainstorm what each student will probably do (job) when they grow up. Share your
38. Put on soft, relaxing music. Get students to imagine a scene. Have them draw their
scene and describe to others what they imagined.
39. Bring in the daily weather map fron the newspaper. Students take turns asking what
the weather is like in …….
40. Use a catalog. Student must by gifts for the rest of the class. They cut out the gifts
and go around the class giving the gifts they bought. After, students share what
41. Blindfold a student. Other students must direct them across the classroom to rescue
the class mascot. If the student touches a desk, they lose.
42. DEAR. Drop Everything And Read. The teacher should also spend time reading.
43. Students make their own wordsearch. Switch and do a classmates and race to see
who can finish first.
44. Ask the teacher a personal question. The teacher can lie. If you guess a lie – the
class wins. If you are wrong, the teacher wins. You only get one try to call the lie.
45. Make 3 wishes on pieces of paper. Put your name on the back. Put them in a bag.
The teacher draw out a wish and reads it. Can you guess who wishes this?
46. Stereotypes. Finish sentences with “All (nationality) ……………” Discuss why
this is true or not.
47. Students are on vacation. Give them a postcard to write to a classmate. After they
finish and post, the teacher delivers it to the students.
48. Students must phone the teacher in the evening and tell the teacher 5 things they did
during the day.
49. Blindfold a student. Hide an object. Unblindfold the student who must guess where
the object is. Students say “hot” or “cold” depending on the guess.
50. Write a letter to God saying all the things you’d like changed. Have a student be a
messenger and tell the student the things you want them to ask God to do.
Stay Tuned: Next up - 50 "tech" tasks for the English Language Classroom
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