Technologically and linguistically adventurous EFL teacher, trainer, writer and manager

The consequences of me

This activity came to me when I was trying to think of something for a stand-alone lesson on a Monday morning before new students joined our B1 Intermediate class. For a sudden idea, it worked surprisingly well, so I thought I would share it with you.

It’s based on the game ‘Consequences’. Each person writes one or two sentences, folds the paper and passes it to the next person. Nobody can see what has been written before.

Each student needs a piece of paper and a pen, and the teacher needs a list of questions. This was my list:

  • What’s your name and where are you from?
  • What do you like doing in your free time?
  • Why are you learning English?
  • What is your family like? (you could also say ‘Describe your family’ if the ‘is…like’ structure is too difficult)
  • When was your last holiday? What did you do?
  • What are you going to do this evening?
  • What are your future plans? Is English important for your future?
  • What is one thing you love and one thing you hate?

Students answered the questions one at a time, folded the paper and passed it on, then answered the next question. In the end, we had over one page of writing for each student, something which they are often reluctant to produce otherwise.

Here are some examples (click to enlarge):

Consequences of me Consequences of me

Consequences of me

Students then worked in small groups to read the texts and correct them. Because each piece of paper had writing from all of them, it didn’t feel like they were being targeted. They could also see that everyone in the class makes mistakes, not just them. I monitored and helped them with any questions, but generally they managed to correct most things without my help.

Once they had all looked at every piece of paper, I highlighted the remaining few problems (there were never more than six on any piece of paper) and they looked at them together. You can see these in pink on the examples above.

The whole activity prompted a lot of discussion about the grammar, spellings and meanings, and students were really motivated.

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Comments on: "The consequences of me" (10)

  1. Hi Sandy, I really like this idea as a way of getting students to write in a way that they won’t feel targeted by the mistakes, and will get to see that everyone makes them.
    I am thinking of trying it with my students, but with very different questions – I can see how you could adapt it for almost anything – even as a follow up to a short video with comprehension/opinion questions – a much more interesting way of doing it than individually. Thanks!

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  2. crystalannie said:

    Thanks for the wonderful idea!! I think I can even do this with my EFL young learners!

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  3. A simple idea that’s brilliant! I hope to borrow this someday. I will be a student at the IH Rome school in june for the CELTA course. I found your blog and excited to get started in June. Now, I’m trying to prepare myself as much as possible for the course. I know it’s intense. Thank you for putting your great ideas on the net for all of us to learn.
    Lisa

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  4. Hi again,
    just to let you know that I used this activity as a basis for a class I taught this morning to a small group of pre-exerience business students. We were about to “do ” the CV, so I used “consequences” to get them thinking about the skills they thought an employer would find useful, any work experience they had had, the sort of job they would like/hate, what they were good at etc (these attributes were the basis of the questions).
    It worked well because in this type of preparation, students are often shy about coming up with talking about themselves, and having them write down key elements with no-one knowing who had written what, was a good way to get them to do it.
    Gillian

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  5. Hi Sandy, it’s Emma at IH San Isidro. Thanks for sharing that class, I’ve been racking my brain to think of some ideas for first classes as our school year starts in a couple of weeks, and I think I may well be borrowing this idea!

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