Nervous Breakdown

Level Aims Grammar Time Materials
junior high school first year to second year To consolidate the 'ing' form of verbs Present continuous (-ing) 40 mins Two sets of paired picture cards.

This activity is a variant of the 'Concentration' card game where picture cards are placed face down, and players aim to collect pairs by using their memory of the positions of formerly exposed cards.

Make four copies of a set of activity pictures. (There are some, which also accompany the Feelings activity, here. This gives you two pair of each pictured activity, and thus two sets of cards. If you have a class of 40 students, you will need 4 copies of 10 different activities, which is 2 sets of 10 pairs. Divide the class in half, and have them move their desks to opposite sides of the room leaving an aisle down the centre. Distribute each set (at random) to each team (JTE deals to one, ALT the other). Instead of revealing the picture they hold, each student must reply to the question, "Are you ing?", either by answering, "Yes, I am.", or, "No, I'm not. I'm ing". Naturally this reveals the player's activity, but it is up to the opposing team to remember who is doing what. Thus, it's important not to permit the students to keep a written record, the object of the exercise is to consolidate words and phrases in their memories.

To make it a little easier for them (lack of confidence inspires non-participation), write or hang a list of the present continuous (progressive) forms you wish to practice on the board. Or, in a simpler version of this activity (for elementary students), use only nouns. This is a consolidation exercise, which helps students form memories of new words, forms or phrases by encouraging them to compete. Students really like this activity, but may need a little encouragement and help to begin with.

As each pair is discovered, retrieve the cards and score a point for that team. The team with the most points at the end of the game, or when your time has elapsed, are the winners. Reward in the fashion you most prefer.

Teaching Tip

Try and plan your activity explanations (or any others) with the JTE before the lesson. Explain any activities as simply and as quickly as possible. Use gestures and actions to help your explanation, and discourage (politely) long explanations in any language by the JTE. Demonstrations (for S/s and JTE) are always better than verbal explanations. The best way to learn a game is to play it.

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