Number one for English language teachers

Grammar activities: I have never ...

Level: Pre-intermediate, Intermediate, Upper intermediate, Advanced Type: Extra

An activity to revise the present perfect and to share personal information.

Level: intermediate, upper-intermediate and advanced

This activity can be used as an ice-breaker for a new class or as a warmer for classes which have been together for a while.

  • For lower levels, begin by writing I have never... on the board.
  • Tell the students a fact about yourself that begins with I have never.... Try to choose a sentence that will be false for some of your students, i.e.: with Spanish students I might say, I have never been to a bullfight, as I would guess that some of them have.
  • Then ask each student if they have ever been to a bullfight. If they have, ask them to stand up, so you are left with all the students who have been to a bullfight on their feet while those who have never been remain sitting.
  • Continue with other I have never... examples until the students get the idea. Make it clear that the statement you are saying is true for you.
  • Pick a student to say their own statement beginning with I have never... and continue around the class with students expressing whether or not they have shared the experience by sitting or standing.

Encourage new classes to find out information about each other during the game by using statements such as: I have never been to this academy before or to find out things about you (I have never had a Spanish boyfriend).

If students know each other well, encourage them to tell amusing stories or to trick each other i.e.: I have never been out until seven in the morning.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I believe this activity will be engaging for students as they become more familiar with their peers whether they have had class together for long or not. The kinesthetic element is good to include, but standing and sitting could be monotonous, unless maybe you make a competition to see whose "I have never..." comment makes the fewest people stand up.

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