A couple of days ago my mother and I were doing some spring cleaning in the basement when she told me to throw away a bunch of gift bags. I was walking to the bins when I stopped at once. "Why don't take these gift bags into the classroom?", I wondered. I had already heard about vocabulary bag activities in oder to revise words from the website Teaching English British Council so I decided I could try to introduce these Realia objects in my classes.
This is the activity I did with my students.
Aimed at learners who are training for the FCE/FCE for schools
Background: Use of English part 3/ Reading and Use of English part 3 (from 2015)
This task is called word formation and it focuses on candidates' knowledge of how prefixes, suffixes, internal changes and compounds are used in forming words.
Number of students: 4
Number of gift bags: 4
(You can pair or group up students depending on your class)
1) Give each student (pair/group of students) a bag. Each bag corresponds to a grammar category:
2) Put in the centre of the desk mixed-up sets of words which have the same root.
A set of the cards I used in my lesson.
3) According to the number of words, tell students they have ___ minutes to pick up the words which belong to the grammar category they have been assigned and put them into their own bags.
4) When time is up call the students to come to the board with their bag. One category at time.
5) Students call out the words while you copy them to the board so as everyone can take notes.
IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG: If a student has put the word SURELY in the ADJECTIVE's bag, don't write it immediately in the right column but stick it on the board.
6) At the end, when all the chart is filled up go back to the words which haven't been categorized yet and with the whole class classify them. The students will then take the words and put them into the right bag.
My students enjoyed a lot this activity above all when they had to choose which category the words belonged to. This activity also gave them the chance to do some peer-teaching.
You can also use this activity if you want to teach vocabulary according to the grammar categories or with just two bags you can teach opposite words.
Do you have more ideas to use gift bags in exam preparation classes? Please share them with me!