Lesson:Sentence creation ELT games

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A sentence creation game involves students in creating or editing sentences or in improvising conversation. It can be a writing activity, speaking activity or both.

Some of the objectives and procedures of the games in this article may overlap with those of other games and warmers included in other articles.

Chinese whispers[edit]

Nationality sensitive alternative names for this game are "Telephone" or "Message".

Objective. Practice listening, speaking, having fun.

Procedure. The teacher or a student thinks of a sentence and whispers it to the person next to him/her and so on round the class. The last person says the sentence aloud which should be the same as the original. It won't be Shakinghead.gif

Fit in the sentence[edit]

Objective. Improvisation.

Procedure. Two students are each given a card with a different sentence written on it. They either begin an improvised conversation—or are placed in a situation by the teacher, e.g. (on a train), (in a shop)—and they have to fit their sentence into the dialogue as naturally as possible.

Obviously the sentences have to be quite unusual, e.g. "All polar bears are left-handed" or "William the Conqueror’s wife was the smallest Queen of England". The rest of the class listen to the conversation and have to guess what each person’s sentence was.

Scrambled sentences[edit]

Objective. Practice word order

Procedure. Write ten scrambled sentences (using affirmative, negative and interrogative variations). Class competes to see who deciphers all of them first. Can also be done as a dictation.

Stem sentences[edit]

Objective. Practice semi-set phrases in English.

Procedure. Students are given the first part of as many or as few sentences as you like and have to complete them in a given amount of time, e.g., two, five, ten minutes. Examples are;

“When I’m older, I’m going to …” “The funniest thing I ever saw was …” etc.


Procedure. The teacher asks students for twelve letters which go up on the B/B in two lines of six, e.g.,

s, p, y, f, o, g

r, t, i, e, n, d

Students are in two groups and send each other telegrams of six words, each word beginning with the letters given in the order that they are written on the B/B.

Vanishing sentence[edit]

Procedure. The teacher writes up a sentence on B/B. Students have to reduce the sentence by removing one word at a time, but the sentence must always remain grammatically correct.

What’s it all about?[edit]

Procedure. Students are given a shortish paragraph, maybe taken from something they’ve already seen, but with all the vowels omitted. They have to recreate the original text.

Where are you?[edit]

Procedure. It may be best to first demonstrate the following with a willing student. Choose two students. Tell one of them where they both are, e.g., the doctor’s waiting room, bus stop etc. The student “in the know” starts an appropriate conversation which the other student has to respond to as well as they can. The rest of the class listen and have to try to guess where they both are.

See also[edit]