Design a New Restaurant: Creative Task #1

Yum! Food!

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: 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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Quirky Story: Sausages for Lunch

Today, I’ve got a super-adorable storyfor you about a couple of lost dogs who really like their Sunday routine. It’s written in the simple present tense, can be used with elementary, and lower intermediate classes, and is appropriate for students of all ages.

I’ve included a handy, printable handout at the bottom of the page so that you  easily share it with your students.

Sausages for Lunch

Liz and Graham Hampson love their dogs Charlie and Theo. They are a happy family. They take walks together every day. The Hampsons make barbecued sausages every Sunday. Then the family eats lunch together. Charlie and Theo love barbecued sausages!

One day the Hampsons take their dogs for a walk in the hills near their home. The dogs run ahead into the forest. It is a foggy day, and soon Liz and Graham cannot see their dogs.
“CHARLIE! THEO!” they call, but the dogs do not come back. They are lost.

The Hampsons are very sad. They call their friends and family for help. More than 120 people come to search for the dogs. They search the forest for four days. Nobody can find the dogs.

Then they have an idea. They bring a barbecue grill to the forest. They cook sausages and wait. Finally, they hear a bark. It is Charlie! Theo is right behind him. They smell the sausages, and they are ready for lunch.

Conversation Questions:

1. Do you have pets? What kinds of pets do you have?
What are their names? What do they look like?

2. Some people say that their pets are their children. Is it possible for pets to be part of a family? Why or why not?

3. Are you a dog person or a cat person? Why?

4. What types of animals are good pets? What types or animals are not good pets?

5. What are some ways to find a lost dog or cat?

Suggested Vocabulary:

  • take walks
  • sausages
  • hills
  • foggy
  • forest
  • lost
  • grill
  • search
  • find
  • wait
  • bark
  • ahead
  • behind

Yay! Handouts!

Click here to download a PDF printable handout of the story that you can share with your students: Sausages for Lunch

This ESL news story was based on a true story. You can read the actual story here, and share it with your more advanced classes: Lost Dogs Return Home for Breakfast

Take a look at this page for ideas on how to use my quirky news stories with your classes: Quirky News Stories

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Questions About: Food

English conversation questions about food for ESL classes
  1. What are some foods that you like to eat? What are some foods that you don’t like? Are you a picky eater?
  2. What are you favorite fruits? What are your favorite vegetables?
  3. Are there any foods from your hometown that you can’t find in this city?
  4. What do you like to eat or drink in the spring and summer?
  5. What do you like to eat or drink in the fall and winter?
  6. Do you eat salad? What do you usually put in your salad? Do you like salad dressing?
  7. What foods and drinks are popular in your country?
  8. What are some typical American foods?
  9. Describe the perfect sandwich.
  10. How do you make pasta? Give step-by-step instructions.
  11. How do you make a salad? Give step-by-step instructions
  12. What do you usually eat for breakfast? Is that a typical breakfast in your country?
  13. How often do you sit down for a meal with your family? Do you enjoy eating with family? Why or why not?
  14. Do you like cooking? Why or why not?
  15. What did you have for dinner last night?
  16. Do you like vegetarian food? How about vegan food? Is it easy or difficult to be a vegetarian in your country?
  17. Do you drink coffee, tea, hot chocolate? Do you make smoothies or other drinks?
  18. Do you use a microwave? Why or why not?
  19. Do you like sweets? What are your favorite snacks and desserts?
  20. Do you eat at fast food restaurants? Why or why not?

Click here for a printable version of these questions that you can print out and carry around in your folder of favorite teaching things: Questions about food

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