Five no-prep activities for a last minute lesson

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We get it. It’s sunny outside and you want to go to the beach, not sit in doing lesson prep! It’s almost the end of term but if your lesson inspiration is running dry, don’t worry – we’ve put together a list of our favourite no prep activities for class, so you can skive off and your students won’t even notice!

Taboo

Have two students sit with their backs to the board. Write a word or phrase up on the board so the rest of the class can see it – you can make it more or less complicated based on  your students’ level – and then get the other students to give them clues to the word. Good for revising vocabulary that you’ve covered earlier in the term, and you can play this in all types of classes, from kids classes to business classes. You can also send the two students who are guessing out of the room and get students to write phrases up on the board, offering corrections if they make mistakes, before the game of Taboo starts.

Articulate

All you need for this game is some paper. Get your students to write down three words or phrases each. You can adapt this to the level – for kids you could do a food, an animal and a colour, or with more advanced students you could do a verb, a question and a conditional. You can move round the class while they’re writing, monitoring and correcting any spelling mistakes. Put their phrases in a hat and split them into teams. In one minute rounds, a student from each team comes up and tries to explain to their team what the paper says – crucially, without using any of the words on the piece of paper.

Coffeepot

This is a fun guessing game, great for having your students practise question forms! Send a student out of the room and have the other students pick a verb, e.g. jump, run, shout. When the student comes back in, they have to guess the verb by asking a series of questions and replacing the unknown word with coffeepot, eg. Can you coffeepot in school? Can you coffeepot in a restaurant? Can you coffeepot in a meeting? Is coffeepotting healthy? You can adapt it for all ages.

Dragon’s Den

Get your students to prepare pitches. It could be for anything – their homes, their jobs, their last holiday. If you have a class of kids you could get them to pitch their phone. While they’re preparing their pitches, go round monitoring for spelling and grammar. Once they have their pitch prepared, they have to try and sell it to the rest of the class, and the rest of the students can bid up to 1000€. At the end of the class the student who gets the highest bid is the winner.

Question Time

Tell your students to write 3 -5 open ended questions on a piece of paper. As they write, go round and help them with any difficulties that they might have. Then get them to write the names of all their classmates down the left side of a piece of paper, leaving space for notes. Now they can mingle, asking each classmate one of their three prepared questions and taking notes. This part of the activity can be extended until they’ve asked each classmate all of their questions, depending on how much time you have to fill! While they’re talking, monitor and take notes of any good language you hear and unusual or incorrect phrasing. Once the questioning comes to an end, do some feedback with the class, asking them if they found out anything interesting about their fellow students! Then go through your notes from the discussion, sharing examples of good phrases, correcting mistakes and inviting questions.

What’s your go-to for a last minute lesson?

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