15 to 25 min
A team oriented activity focused on speaking and reading.
I was struggling to come up with a fun an creative game in help introduce the concept of, “to +verb.” I went to France to eat escargot. I went to Sydney to see an opera, etcetera. In New Horizon 2 the infinitive is introduced using a character taking a survey. In my research I found lots of Family Feud style games developed for the ESL classroom. Family Feud would be a great way to tie in survey taking with a fun English lesson!
However, I find that Family Feud is a little too complicated to explain for the second year students. I don’t like spending teaching time explaining complicated games. I like spending teaching time…well… teaching. At the very least engaging in an activity. I developed this modified activity to tie in survey taking with the grammar point of Unit 3.
Purpose: To make the students use infinitive verbs in a conversational style.
Secondary Purpose: There is a lot of reading out loud in this activity which makes it great practice for some of the more shy children who don’t want to read in front of the class.
I’ve done this activity with 7 classes and it has worked flawlessly 6 out of the 7 times. I considered this activity to be successful because every student speaks in the class to at least 6 other students. This will probably only work with a relatively large class. Smaller classes will not have enough students to make the survey taking effective. You can also check to make sure that everyone participated because each survey will have the exact same number of respondents. Although I didn’t have any problems with that.
Prep: The preparation is incredibly simple. Create 6 different survey questions and about 4 or 5 answers for each question. Do NOT number the questions. The first time I did this the students instead of responding to the question by reading the answer would simply say, “A,” or “2.” Without the numbers or letters they are forced to read the whole answer to take part in the survey. Print out enough for the entire class of each question and its corresponding answers. A second print out of just 1 question with its answers on it for each of the 6 questions. If you don’t feel like creating your own you can use mine. If you are not in Japan you will need to change some of the answers.
Execution: Make teams in your class. The number of teams should be equal to the number of survey questions. After you have passed out all the survey questions practice reading them with the class. I read, they repeat, then read by themselves. Choose one person from each group and hand them a print out with just one question on it. Now each team should have one student each with a different question from the survey. Have that student ask each person at their group the survey question and tally the answers on their paper.
Download the Powerpoint file here: Survey Says.
Using a clockwise rotation have each student for each team take turns being the survey taker. At each switch the new survey taker goes to a new team to survey all their members. Do this until the entire class is surveyed for each of the questions. You can simplify this by not having the survey takers change but this way everyone gets a chance to read questions and answers. In summary:
- 6 questions. (1 question for each group).
- Each student from each group surveys one other team’s students.
- The survey is completed when each team surveys every other student in the class with their question.
After each group is finished tallying all of their surveys have them move the desks back and report on their findings. I wrote each question on the board and then put A,B,C or D underneath of it and marked the number of people the same way the New Horizon book does. I also read back each answer to the class and had them repeat difficult phrases.
A final thought: I felt this was a really solid introduction to Unit 3 in spite of the fact that it doesn’t really explain the grammar point in any way. I would not expect my students to understand the finer points of: to+verb after this activity. It is very much a speaking and reading exercise, not a grammar exercise. As an ALT I leave the major grammar explanations to the Japanese teacher. The JTE and I used it as an introduction to the language but later demonstrated gerunds and infinitives with more in depth grammar and English dialogue. My point being that if you use this in your class, you have a lot more work to do after this activity to explain a difficult English concept.