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This is to explain how I ended up with the board as it was in the photos you can see in my previous post.

This was an evening class with my Entry 2 (elementary/pre-intermediate) students, who are quite a lively, fun group of people.

The idea in this lesson was to practise describing people’s physical features using the present simple.

Here’s how the lesson went:

  • For a fun, quick start to the lesson, I gave my students each a piece of blank paper. I then asked them to pick someone at their table and draw their face! I was quite lucky, since they all got on with it, and no one reacted like this. (of course, if they had, I wouldn’t have forced them to do this activity – I would have suggested copying a face from a celeb-gossip magazine or something like that)
  • After revealing their pictures to each other and laughing a little, we moved on to the next part of the lesson.
  • I handed each student another piece of blank paper and asked them to draw two ovals like this:

  • Then I asked my students to draw on one of their ovals a man’s face and on the other a woman’s.
  • Then I asked them to work together to name the different parts of the face in English, working from their pictures (if the students were having difficulty, then they could use the picture dictionary section of an Oxford Essential English Dictionary)
  • Once all the students had had a chance to compare and share their ideas on the language, we pooled the vocabulary on the board, ending up with 2 faces and lots of words
  • Then we looked at different ways we could describe the parts of the face (like, a big nose, green eyes, and so on)
  • Next I asked them how we might talk about this in English (as if we’re describing a person to one another) and elicited phrases using the verb ‘have’ (checking that they were saying ‘has’ as this is a big thing they have to make sure they do for the exams)
  • To finish off, almost all of them had brought a photo, of which they then wrote a brief description (I provided those that didn’t have a photo with a printout of some Creative Commons pics I had found on Flickr)

All in all, a successful session!

Have you ever done something similar? And how do you deal with teaching (or checking) vocabulary?