Adjectives with a twist…
This activity involves using adjectives to describe animals. There’s a twist, though: you will later reveal that the students are actually describing themselves! Use this warm‑up activity when you’re doing a unit on adjectives or descriptions. It’s also a good way for students to teach each other new vocabulary. You could also use it when you have a class of new students to break the ice. Students always end up laughing, so it’s a great way to start a class.
Get students to think of three animals they like.
Have them write the animal names on a piece of paper. For example, a student might choose tiger, bear, and rabbit.
Have students write three adjectives to describe each animal.
Give some examples:
|tiger||aggressive, strong, fast|
|bear||big, furry, hungry|
|rabbit||shy, cute, cuddly|
After writing some examples on the board, I prefer to let students come up with adjectives on their own so that they don’t all end up with the same ones. If they’re looking a little lost, you could have a brainstorming session as a class before they write their words.
For lower‑level classes, these adjectives can be basic, such as cute, strong, big, little, furry, lovable, etc.
For higher‑level classes, challenge students to find adjectives that their classmates may not know, such as ferocious, majestic, etc. (allow dictionary use if you’d like).
Circulate to make sure students are not writing nouns by mistake (this often happens).
Get faster students to help slower students come up with their last few adjectives.
Have them read out their adjective lists.
Put students in groups of four or five and have them read out their adjectives. But instead of saying the animal names, they must use the phrases “I think I am” + 3 adjectives, “My friends think I am” + 3 adjectives, “I am really” + 3 adjectives. Explain that the adjectives represent how you see yourself, how your friends see you, and how you really are.
Use your example to model this before they begin. For example:
I think I am aggressive, strong, and fast.
My friends think I am big, furry, and hungry.
I am really shy, cute, and cuddly.
See what everyone has come up with! Share a few of the funnier answers with the whole class.