Note: this is a short collection of games to give an example of the kind of thing that you could use during free practice sessions and warmers. T should add their own games and ask SS to suggest their favourites too.
How can we improvise?
- Say yes! Be open – accept – do not block. Take another person’s idea and modify/develop it; don’t reject it
- Practise often; the more you practise something the easier it becomes and the better you become
The Boring Guest:
SS work in pairs. One describes a boring activity for as long as they can while the other tries to make them laugh. When they laugh, they have lost. Then SS change roles.
Variation: One describes a boring activity in minute detail, e.g. doing the washing up, and the other has to act it out.
SS sit in a circle. One SS says a word and the next continues the sentence with another word. The sentence continues to be built as SS give one word each. When it comes to a natural end, a SS can say “Full stop!” The next sentence is built in the same way, and so on. Variation: SS build a story by suggesting one sentence at a time, until the story concludes. To make it more difficult, SS could agree to include various words and phrases that T elicits before the activity begins, e.g. a place name, a person’s name, an object, a time of day, etc.
Positive or Negative:
SS work in pairs. One SS is always positive and makes suggestions (e.g. where to go, what to do, what to wear, who to invite… etc.), while the other is always negative and rejects each one, giving different reasons. Variation: one SS tries to sell things to the other SS, who always rejects the sales pitch, giving different reasons.
Mime the Description:
One SS describes a film, book, story, place, person, picture etc. and the other SS – or group of SS – have to mime whatever they say. Variation: whoever is miming has to do it blindfolded!
Draw the Description:
One SS describes a film, book, story, place, person, picture etc. and the other SS – or group of SS – have to draw whatever they say on the board or in their notebooks. Variation: whoever is drawing has to do it blindfolded!
Yes or No Replies:
SS work in pairs. One interviews the other. Whatever the first SS says, the other must reply ‘Yes’. Variation: the other must reply ‘No.’ This can be very funny, with the SS who is interviewing asking increasingly outlandish questions, while the other has to reply “Yes” or “No”.
What am I?
One SS pretends to be an item, object, place, colour, etc. (linked to a topic) and the others ask yes/no questions to find out what they are. The SS can only answer yes or no. When somebody guesses correctly, a different SS tries.
What’s my Problem?
One SS has a problem and the others ask yes/no questions to find out what it is. The SS can only answer yes or no. When somebody guesses correctly, a different SS tries. ‘Problem’ could be ‘job’, ‘hobby’, ‘mood’, ‘nationality’, etc.
Random Sentence Starters
SS work in pairs. They choose a few random sentence starters from p.124 each (e.g. 6-8), then work together to create a dialogue by putting one of their sentence starters at the beginning of each of their sentences.