I am always looking for more fun, engaging, easy, no-stress activities to use with my beginner-level learners. You can never have too many activities on stand-by for those times that you have to throw a lesson plan together at the last minute, need to fill time in class, or find that what you have planned just isn’t going to work.
Today I want to share 8 activities that are perfect for beginner-level adults. Whether you’re working with true-beginners or more advanced beginners, you’re sure to find an activity that will work for you and your students! These activities require little-to-no prep, are super easy to explain, and can be used time and time again!
Teacher Prep: Prepare a reading text for your students’ level and print out at least one copy per student. Take some time to note what you’d like your students to notice within the text. Think of specific grammar, people, phrases, etc.
Grouping: Pairs and Whole Class
Have students independently read the text on their own. Take some time to answer any questions.
Have students read the text with a partner. Encourage them to ask each other any questions they may have, and, if necessary, ask you, the teacher, questions.
Read the text out loud to your class and answer questions once again.
Using a pen, pencil, or colored pencils, give your students instructions to mark up their paper. Think of things like, “draw a circle around the verbs,” or “underline all of the places that are mentioned.”
Teacher Prep: Print out images or project multiple images onto the board for students to look at and reference.
Grouping: Pairs or 3-4 Students
Show your students an image and ask them what is going on. Continue to ask them questions as a group about what they see in the image, what they think is happening, why they think that may be happening, etc.
Put students into groups and give them an image. The image can be different for each group or it can be the same for every group. Ask students to come up with a short story or explanation for the picture. They can be as creative as they’d like.
Have student groups come up and share their story/explanation for the image with the whole class.
Teacher Prep: Prepare a dialogue for this activity. You can take the dialogue from a textbook, create one on your own, or use dialogues that your students have written. Be sure that the dialogue is grammatically and socially correct.
Put students into a speaking structure, and write the dialogue onto the board. Assign one side of the structure as one character in the dialogue and the other side to the other character. Have students practice the dialogue with their partner, then switch roles.
After students have practiced the full dialogue a few times, erase a word or two from the dialogue. Have students continue practicing the dialogue and switching partners. Be sure to tell them that the important part isn’t that they say the correct word, but that they continue the conversation.
Continue having students switch partners and practice the dialogue, and continue erasing words from the board until you have only a word or two on each line of text. Again, make sure you stress that it doesn’t necessarily have to be correct, but they should focus instead on maintaining the conversation.
Find Someone Who…
Teacher Prep: Create a list of questions to write on the board or put onto a Find Someone Who… worksheet.
Grouping: Whole Class Mingling
Give students a few minutes to answer a set of questions. You could put the questions on the board or onto a worksheet.
After students have written their answers down, ask them to walk around the classroom and ask their peers the questions. If their answers are the same, have your students write down their partner’s name.
Once they have written down a name next to every question, they can take a seat. Continue until all students have completed the activity.
Teacher Prep: Decide on a topic related to your lesson (clothing brands, verbs that start with ‘b,’ etc.)
Grouping: Individual or Pairs
Set a time limit and have your students come up with a list of words for the topic at hand.
Have all students stand up with their list. Call on a student to read an item from their list. Write that word on the board. Any student that has that word written on their list must cross it off.
Once all of the words on a student’s list are crossed off, have that student sit down. Continue until all students are seated.
Teacher Prep: Create a grid with questions or have students create one.
Grouping: Whole Class Mingling
Pass out the grid that you’ve created or have your students draw a simple grid design in their notebooks. On the left-hand side, have your students write down a few questions. You can either write questions on the board for them to copy or have them come up with their own questions.
Once the grids have been created, have your students either work in a speaking structure or simply walk around the classroom to ask their peers the questions. In each box next to the question, your students should write down the other student’s name and answer.
Teaching beginners doesn’t have to be intimidating or stressful! Keep some of these activities on hand to make sure you’re well-prepared to add activities, fill time, or redirect your students’ learning!
If you’re looking for even more emergency activities, be sure to check out our Emergency Activity Cheat Sheet in the Free Resource Library today!
I Want to Hear From You!
What are your go-to beginner-level activities?
Share a few tips and tricks that you keep in mind when teaching beginner-level adults in the comments below!