I sometimes have the opportunity to take a class on a field trip to a local park. As a follow-up activity, I like to ask students to get creative and come up with ideas for their own parks. They might, for example, create an aquarium-themed park, a teenager-only park, a trampoline park, or a food park complete with pizza-shaped slides. The more unusual, the better!
What to do:
- Brainstorm a list of park-related vocabulary, and create a class list of new words.
- Divide your class into small groups.
- Introduce the topic. Display the slide above, or create a list of questions of your own that you would like students to respond to. Give them time to discuss.
- (Optional, but recommended) Hand out poster paper, and instruct your groups to draw pictures of their new park.
- Give students time to prepare presentations for their classmates. Tell them that they should be able to describe their picture, and explain why their idea deserves to win the new park competition.
- (Also optional) After all groups have presented, take a class survey: Which group should win the competition, and why?
Did you like this activity?
If you like this type of activity, check out my Creative Tasks section for more like it.
And if you tried this out in your class, I’d love to know how it worked out for you. Please take a moment to tell me about it in the Comment section!
Most ESL textbooks include a chapter on food, and in my experience, that chapter is usually everyone’s favorite. Students of all levels are able to talk about what they like to eat and describe the foods that they miss from back home. I usually use the following create-it task at the end of a food unit to give students a chance to practice new vocabulary or grammar structures.
I’ve used variations of this creative activity with Beginner to Intermediate level students, and they always seem to enjoy it. It can be surprisingly easy to set up, and doesn’t require tons of advance planning. If you have the technology available, you could display the slide above, or create one with your own questions. If you don’t, you can simply write your questions on the board.
What to do:
- Divide your students into small groups and tell them that they are business partners. They have decided to open up a little restaurant. Because they are on a budget, they have to keep the menu small. (I usually limit it to 3-5 items because I find that bigger menus can be overwhelming and take a long time to present.) You might brainstorm some possible restaurant themes as a whole class, and list them on the board.
- In groups, have students respond to the questions on the board and prepare a presentation for the class. You might have them create a physical menu or poster to show the class, although I don’t often do that with my adult students.
- Groups make their presentations, and everyone gets really hungry.
Variations and Follow-Up Lesson Ideas:
If your students created menus, this is the perfect time to do a lesson on how to order food. First, brainstorm useful expressions for ordering at a restaurant, and/or present a simple restaurant dialogue. Them allow them to walk around, “visit” each other’s restaurants, and practice ordering.