Games and activities

Get your students’ curiosity going

AIM: Arousing curiosity about the subject

WHAT DOES THE TEACHER DO?

Shows a particular photo. Asks questions such as:

1. "What first comes to your mind when you see this

photo?"

2. "What do you think we are going to talk about today?"

3. "What business area would you say this photo

represents/ refers to / is linked to?"

WHAT DO STUDENTS DO?

Students (Ss) Look at the photo and try to guess the topic associated with it.

Mind Map

RECOMMENDED LEVELS:  B1, B2

AIM: Introducing new vocabulary

TEACHER:

Writes down the photo card’s main topic. He/she says:

"I have a list of words and phrases connected with the subject here. Your task is to guess as many items as possible". All answers are written down in the form of a mind map.

At the end, the teacher sums the activity up by revealing how many items the students were able to guess.

STUDENTS:

Students are to guess as many items as possible. Should they have any difficulties, the teacher may provide them with definitions to lead them in the right direction.

Chain Story

RECOMMENDED LEVELS:  A2 - B2

AIM: A warm-up or practice of selected grammatical aspects

TEACHER:

The teacher says: “We are going to create a story in Past Simple using the photos. Each of you gets one photograph and needs to create one sentence related to the photo in the Past Simple Tense."

The teacher hands out random photo cards to the students and him/herself. He/she shows the students his/her card and starts the story, for example:

"Last week Frank had a difficult board meeting". Next, the teacher nominates one of the students to continue the story.

STUDENTS:

Ss take turns to continue the story using the photo as inspiration.

Asking questions in pairs

RECOMMENDED LEVELS:  B1 - C1

AIM: Warm-up. Increasing STT (student talking time).

TEACHER:

The teacher says:

"You are each going to get a photo card. Please ask each other the questions which are on the other side of the card."

The teacher hands out the cards according to a previously established order or at random. He/she listens in on the students’ progress and corrects mistakes.

STUDENTS:

Ss ask each other questions included on the back of their photo cards.

Guessing word game

RECOMMENDED LEVELS:  B1 - C1

AIM: Guessing the topic based on the given vocabulary without the students’ seeing the card first.

 

TEACHER:

The teacher says: "You are going to get a photo card. Don't show it to anyone. Cover it up. Read the words which are on the other side. The others are to guess the main topic of the card."

The teacher hands out the cards stealthily.

 

STUDENTS:

Every student in turn reads out the words and phrases without showing his/her card to others.

Other Ss try to guess what the main topic of the photo card is.

Guessing word game with 5 cards

RECOMMENDED LEVELS:  B2 - C1

AIM: Guessing which out of 5 photo cards was chosen by the student. Practising useful words and phrases from the cards.

 

TEACHER:

The teacher says:

"Take 5 similar photo cards each. Choose one of them but don't tell anyone which card you have chosen and don't show it to anyone. Write down the words from that card into your notebook."

The teacher says to the remaining group : “Attention everyone! Just listen and look at the cards. At the end you can bet on one picture."

Addressing one selected student: "Now read the words out to the group."

 

STUDENTS:

Ss are to choose 5 similar photo cards. They decide on one and copy the vocabulary from the useful words and phrases section. Ss in turns read out the copied words and the others try to guess his/her card. The person who guessed the most cards is the winner.

Sentences with words and phrases

RECOMMENDED LEVELS:  B1 - C2

AIM: Practicing useful words and phrases from the cards.

 

TEACHER:

The teacher says:

“You are going to select 5 similar photo cards. Choose one of them but don't tell the others which card you have chosen. Select one vocabulary item from the card and create a sentence with it.” The teacher hands out the cards.

 

STUDENTS:

Ss take 5 photo cards, choose one and make a sentence referring to the photo. A word or phrase taken from the back of the card must be included in each sentence. The others try to guess which card the sentence refers to.

Sentence or question referring to a photo

RECOMMENDED LEVELS:  A2 - C2

AIM: Practicing a grammatical aspect in conjunction with a photo.

 

TEACHER:

The teacher presents a given grammatical aspect, puts the cards on the table in front of Ss and asks them to make questions, affirmative or negative sentences in the appropriate tense or mood.

The teacher says:

"Please create a sentence in Present Perfect based on a photo which you choose."

 

STUDENTS:

Ss are to make affirmative / negative sentences or questions (i.e. passives, conditionals and so on) associated with the photo they chose.

Questions using particular words and phrases

RECOMMENDED LEVELS:  A2 - C2

AIM: Practising a grammatical aspect and the business vocabulary included in the photo cards.

 

TEACHER:

Preferably, the teacher chooses the cards matching particular grammatical aspects. For example, if a conditional construction is practised, the teacher chooses which cards best represent this particular aspect. The teacher puts the cards on the table in front of the students and instructs: "Please select any photo card you want and use it to create a question in the 2nd conditional."

 

STUDENTS:

Ask questions in the conditional, using a word or phrase of their choice from the card. For example: "What would you do if you were given a notice?" (a question made with the use of a word from card number 60, Employment)

Headlines and articles

RECOMMENDED LEVELS:  B2 - C2

AIM: Developing students’ writing skills.

 

TEACHER:

The teacher Instructs students to write a headline for an article.

Once the students are done, the teacher asks them to describe what happened. The students are to write a short article for a newspaper or a magazine as homework or in class.

 

STUDENTS:

Ss create headlines for a newspaper or magazine article connected with the presented photo. They create multiple ideas. After the class is finished, the students write short articles (as homework or, alternatively, 10 min before the end of class), as a summary of a discussion on a particular subject.

 

Dialogues based on photos using particular vocabulary

RECOMMENDED LEVELS:  B1 - C1

AIM: Increasing Ss’ confidence when speaking.

 

TEACHER:

Depending on Ss’ level, the teacher asks students to write or to role play (more advanced) dialogues using the useful words and phrases section of the cards.

 

STUDENTS:

Ss are supposed to make dialogues related to the situation shown in the picture. While making dialogues, the students are to use the words and phrases from the cards.

Word quiz (REVISION)

RECOMMENDED LEVELS: B2 - C1

AIM: Developing the ability to define terms; vocabulary revision

 

TEACHER:

The teacher chooses those cards whose vocabulary has already been covered.

He or she says:

"Let's revise the cards we studied a couple of lessons ago".

The teacher hands the photo cards out to the students.

 

STUDENTS:

Ss define words included in the photo cards. The others try to guess the words by their definitions.

PROs and CONs - discussion

RECOMMENDED LEVELS:  B2 - C2

AIM:  Developing students' fluency

TEACHER:

Chooses the cards that contain questions about pros and cons and divides the group into two camps - supporters and opponents of each option. Both camps are to present their arguments. 

Cards containing pros and cons question: 

1. Career ladder

12. Sole owners

22. Teleconferencing

26. Working from Home

29. The Board

31. Quality Control

39. Sales

additionally you may use:

18. Outsourcing - pro or against outsourcing

41. Procrastination - good and bad sides

53. Teamwork - working alone vs. cooperating

68. Mergers - To merge or not to merge

70. Real estate - owning or renting a property

STUDENTS:

TWO SCENARIOS:

1. The Ss come up with 5 arguments to support their opinion and present them.

2. The Ss comment on the opposite camp's arguments giving real-life examples.

Comics ans memes

RECOMMENDED LEVELS:  B1 - B2

AIM:  Practicing the ability to form questions

TEACHER:

Chooses the cards that depict people or scenes with people (most cards contain those). The teacher hands out speech bubble-shaped sheets of paper.

STUDENTS:

Write down questions or sentences on the speech bubbles which, according to them, could be said by the people in the photos.

Idea submitted by:  Katarzyna Karolina Kotara

Gradual Uncovering

RECOMMENDED LEVELS:: A2-C1

 

AIM:  Introducing or revising modal verbs in expressions of supposition

TEACHER: 

TWO SCENARIOS:

1. The teacher pre-teaches some expressions of supposition depending on the level (see below). The teacher prepares another blank piece of paper (may be irregular in shape) with which he or she covers the photo card. Then the teacher gradually uncovers the photo card for the students to guess and use the new language.

2. Similarly, as in the first scenario the teacher specially prepares a piece of cardboard paper and cuts out some holes which only display some of the crucial objects/people on a preselected photo card.

​Expressions depending on the level:

A2:

I think they are buying something …

I guess they are talking about …

I believe they are satisfied …

 

B1:

This may be …

They could be … -ing

This might be a meeting …

 

B2:

I presume this

This seems to be …

I suspect this might be …

C1:

It seems as if they were …

It looks as if this might be..

It seems as though they were …

 

WORKS BEST WITH PHOTO CARDS: e.g.:

5. WORKLIFE BALANCE

9. BUSINESS MEETINGS

14. STARTUPS

16. NEGOTIATIONS

25. CRISIS MANAGEMENT

30. PRESENTATIONS

39. SALES

40. INTERVIEW

53. TEAMWORK

59. PROFESSIONAL EXPATS

and many others.

 

STUDENTS:

They try to gradually guess what the photo actually displays by using the language of supposition.

Describing a process

RECOMMENDED LEVELS:  A2 - B2

AIM:  Description of processes / practice of selected grammatical aspects

TEACHER:

The teacher asks: "What does a typical recruitment process look like?"

The teacher places the Recruitment, Correspondence, Interview Job, Employment and Benefits photo cards before the students. He/she motivates the students to use the vocabulary from the Useful Words and Phrases section of the cards in order to describe the process.

Alternatively, with B1 students and above, the teacher explains the principles of using Passive Voice to discuss processes and asks the students to use it to describe a typical recruitment.

STUDENTS:

Ss list all the stages of recruitment (filling out an application form, receiving a call from the company, correspondence, an interview, etc.) using the photos and eliciting the next person to speak as they go along. If previously introduced, the Ss use Passive Voice.

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