After a wonderful vacation in West Africa over the summer, it’s time to get back to work here at TESOL Planner. Let’s start with a fun activity for beginners. As native or fluent speakers of English, we use the verb BE all the time, often without even taking note. Beginners, on the other hand, have difficulty with its use and very irregular forms. I designed this activity as a vocabulary development activity that also gives students practice using the BE verb with adjectives. It can easily be adapted to fit your classroom. The basic idea is that students will create sentences about pictures using adjectives. However, instead of filling out a worksheet, this activity uses engaging pictures and requires movement. It also gives students practice using new vocabulary words. I’ve included the pictures and adjectives that I used, but you could also use pictures and adjectives that fit with the specific theme of your lesson. Below are directions.
Be + Adjective Activity Description
- Print the Be + adjective activity pictures, or find your own pictures to fit your lesson plan. Cut them out and then tape them to a larger piece of paper or poster paper.
- Tape the pictures around the classroom.
- Print copies of the adjectives, and cut the words apart. Print enough to give each student 6-10 words, depending on how long you want the activity to last. Again, you could use mine or create your own list.
- Next, ask the students to walk around the room and write sentences about the people and things in the pictures using their adjectives. Tell them that the adjectives could be used for different pictures, so it’s not a test to figure out which one has to go where. Ask them to write their sentences on the poster paper surrounding the picture.
- Examples: The man is Tall. They are happy. The car is big.
- Optionally, after students have written their sentences around the room, you could pair students and ask them to walk around with their partner and read the sentences and look for any mistakes. Alternatively, you could put students into groups and give each group a poster to read together and look for mistakes.
Modification: BE Versus HAVE
Instead of just practicing the BE verb, this would also be a great way to help students practice the difference between BE and HAVE, especially in descriptions. For example, “He is tall” and also “He has long hair.”
- Instead of only printing adjectives, create a list of adjective and nouns/noun phrases that can correspond to the pictures.
- Instead of writing sentences using the BE verb, students will have to look at their list of words and decide which ones need to be used with the verb BE and which ones need to be used with the verb HAVE.
- Example words list: tall, happy, brown hair, blue shirt, a nice smile etc.
- They will then need to do the same as above by writing sentences, but with the added task of using the correct verb.