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I’m going to give you a sneaky peak into my planning. This is my notebook where I’m writing my notes for lessons at the moment:

What do you notice about my text? Any grammatical errors? No. Any spelling mistakes? Ningún. Any words used incorrectly? Nope. Lack of flair, a bit of repetition? Yes! There are too many nices!! This is something I’ve come across year after year – students sticking to the same, safe adjectives.

Here’s the procedure:

  • Prepare a short text like mine above (or a pdf version here: Mike’s weekend, if you don’t want to copy by hand)
  • Dictate (or do a dictogloss activity) with your students
  • When they have written up the final version and compared (and you have shown them the original), ask them if there is anything wrong with it. Ask about grammar, spelling, words. Hopefully, they will spot the overuse of nice
  • Elicit some alternatives for one of the nouns you have put as nice, and do this with the whole class
  • Then group students (I did groups of 3) or pair them up
  • Provide dictionaries and ask your students to replace all the nices with more interesting or appropriate adjectives

A nice simple activity with a good focus, I think.