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Cocktail Party (Irregular Past Tense)

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I call this activity the "cocktail party" exercise. I've used it for reviewing difficult irregular past tense verbs. Each student is given a small piece of paper with a sentence on it, describing what they did last weekend. "I went to Flor ence and stomped grapes." "I drove to California and got eight speeding tickets." "I flew to the Bahamas and swam with the sharks." etc.

The more outrageous the sentence the better. Once students have read their sentence and the teacher makes sure that th ey understand their sentences, students are instructed to STAND UP (this is important) MOVE AROUND THE CLASSROOM and ask each other "what did you do this weekend?" After everyone has had a chance to mingle, the class sits down again and the teacher asks " What did Juan do this weekend?" and the class reconstructs what everyone did. This exercise can also be a way to review geography, and you can also have students practicing little phrases like "Excuse me" if they bump into people, or opening lines at cock tail parties, like "Say, I haven't seen you in a long time" etc. This exercise works well because students are not nervous because they have a mini-script, and they are actually moving around the classroom and talking at the same time.

Teachers can add in props like empty glasses, or ask students to dress like they were going to a party. Have fun!

Name: Jennifer Webster
Email: websterj@bu.edu
Location: Boston, MA USA

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