Number one for English language teachers

Memory games: The Emperor's cat

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

A quick warmer to practise adjectives.

Procedure

  • Ask the class to dictate the alphabet to you and write it up on the flip-chart or board. 
  • Draw a simple picture of a cat under it. 
  • Write down 'The Emperor's cat is an.... .... cat.' 
  • Tell the class they have to think of an adjective for each letter of the alphabet. 
  • The first student says 'The Emperor's cat is an awful cat'.
  • The second student says 'The Emperor's cat is an awful and beautiful cat.' 
  • The third says 'The Emperor's cat is an awful, beautiful and Chinese cat.'  Or any other adjectives.  But they must all repeat what the other people have said before them.

I did this in a business class the other week and they loved it. They were able to learn new vocabulary from each other and these new words were repeated a few times, thus reinforcing them.  It's very simple but effective. 

The Germans (I live and teach in Germany) have a variation which goes 'I went on holiday and I packed an ..... ' - but obviously this time there are no adjectives but nouns. 

This sort of activity is also useful for the first 10 minutes if you are teaching in companies where students cannot always get away bang on time and drift in.

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