A is for Apple

Using the word apple and the sets of words below
Can you make sentences?

1) For B1 level

1, If
2, yet
3, not as
4, since
5, quickly
6, might
7, than
8, most
9, should

example: 2, I haven't eaten the apple yet

2) With some of the most frequently used three-word chunks in written English:

1, one of the
2, out of the
3, it was a
4, there was a
5, the end of
6, a lot of
7, there was no
8, as well as
9, end of the

example: 6, There are a lot of apples on the tree this year

B is for Baloney

1) Can you spot the nonsense in each sentence?

1, Always wash a banana before you eat it.
2, They watched the show on the radio.
3, It’s starting to rain. Let’s take a towel along.
4, I used a dictionary to check the meaning of the traffic signs.
5, Spain is further away from France than from Germany.
6, She’s very fit. She never does any sport.
7, We’re both thirsty. Let’s stop playing for a moment and eat some biscuits.
8, She eats a lot of ice cream, even in winter. She just loves hot stuff.
9, It was so cold that people were not allowed to water their gardens or wash their cars.

For this idea and more check out Herbert Puchta.

2) There are two words misplaced in each sentence. Find them and correct the sentence. 

1, I later thinking of going to the park was.
2, Is England English in spoken
3, They said us would help they with the work.
4, was the party, everyone after tired
5, this time we week next will be in Madrid
6, I have my friend cut by a hair
7, We’ll have a swim it long as as doesn’t rain
8, She got into of her car and went out the house
9, Would you like a coffee sugar in your little?

Inspiration from A Journey in TEFL

3) Can you find the errors in each sentence?

1, I didn’t have any homeworks so I watched Netflix
2, My dad works like a lawyer 6 days a week
3, Since 3 days I have been trying to call you!
4, We are 6 in the group on Facebook
5, I might come to the party, it depends of my parents letting me
6, I did a mistake so I started again
7, After running to the bus stop we lost the bus
8, I’m agree with you about the best option
9, What means unhealthy?

C is for Connections

1) Compare and contrast the two words

1, a cat and a dog
2, Spain and Japan
3, Twitter and Instagram
4, The mountains and the beach
5, Watching sport live and watching it on TV
6, Football and basketball
7, The city and the countryside
8, You and your best friend
9, Netflix and the cinema 

and then say which you prefer.

 Compare and contrast the two words but using the word in (brackets)

1, February, July (however)
2, cat, dog (while)
3, Cádiz, San Fernando (both, but) Two cities 
4, carrot, strawberry (the main difference)
5, France, Argentina (neither)
6, nose, feet (whereas)
7, knife, sword (on one hand)
8, coffee, lemonade (however)
9, teacher, student (unlike)

and then say which you prefer.

3) Which word in each number is different from the others and why?

Can you explain using the word in (brackets)?

1, February April, Monday (however)
2, cat, dog, turtle (but)
3, dolphin, shark, elephant (on the other hand)
4, aubergine, carrot, strawberry (neither)
5, Spain, Italy, Argentina (although)
6, ear, nose, feet (the difference)
7, knife, fork, teaspoon (both)
8, coffee, hot chocolate, lemonade (whereas)
9, doctor, teacher, student (unlike)

4) Make a list of ten words connected to _____.
That start with these letters:


or Make a list of ten words not connected to _____. With those letters.

D is for Disappear

Read the text. 

One grey and rainy morning in The Big Apple (New York) in the cold and snowy month of January, Fran, a chatty but grumpy taxi driver, ate a very large and tasty breakfast as usual and then drove her passengers around and around the wonderful city that never sleeps.

1, Each time you have read it eliminate five words. Then read again remembering the words you eliminated. Keep going until there is no text to see but it is all in your head. Recreate the text on paper.


2, Look at the text.

Eliminate words in the text so that the text still makes sense. You can eliminate one, two or a maximum of three words in a row on one turn. You receive one point for each word eliminated.

For example in the sentence: 
One grey and rainy morning you could eliminate 'grey and' for two points or 'grey and rainy' for three.

You may end up with just one word left.

E is for Eight Way Thinking

What words 
What people
What feelings
What nature
What actions
What sounds
What numbers
What sights

do you associate with _____ ?

(try a common noun / abstract noun / unit topics / reading and listening themes)


What sounds do you associate with playgrounds?
What people do you associate with happiness?
What feelings do you associate with holidays?
What words do you associate with chicken?
What sights do you associate with Australia

F is for Fact (or not)

Are the following sentences a fact, an opinion or false?

1, The cat is an animal.
2, Cats see in black and white.
3, Chocolate can be toxic to cats.
4, Everybody likes cats.
5, Cats are in the same family as Lions and tigers.
6, Cats are nocturnal.
7, Cats have more teeth than dogs.
8, Seeing a black cat on a Saturday brings good luck.
9, Cats always land on their feet.
10, When people see a cat, they want to touch it.

Can you write one fact, one opinion and something false about your favourite animal? Or about the town where you live?

Decide if these sentences are always, sometimes or never TRUE.

Explain your answers. 

1, I get up early on Saturdays
2, I do my English homework when we have it
3, If you add two odd numbers you get an odd number
4, The Antarctic Circle is located south of the equator
5, Cádiz province is a very hot place
6, The Olympic games take place every 4 years
7, It’s a good idea to use free software
8, Triangles have a line of symmetry
9, Water is a liquid

1, Sometimes True: I sometimes get up early on Saturdays because I have a basketball match. If I don't have a match I stay in bed.


Invent some random (made up) facts about the town where you live.
Did you know that _____?

G is for Guess

1) Guess the Year

What year were these companies founded?

Tik Tok

Discuss in a small group, making a note of your guesses.

Spolier: Answers: Tik Tok 2016, Google 1998, Snapchat 2011, Instagram 2010, Youtube 2005, Netflix 1997

(These dates might be open to debate)

2) Guess the Word (A game where you make guesses and are told if the word is alphabetically before or after your guess).

H is for Homo (graph and phone)


Homophones are pairs of words that sound the same, but have different meanings and spellings.

example: for and four

Here is a list of homophones. Can you think of a word you can pair it with?

1, some
2, sale
3, meat
4, here
5, die
6, break
7, flour
8, right
9, weather

Now you have the pairs. Choose one number and make a sentence using both

example: I waited for four days for four people to hand in four assignments for goodness sake.


A Homograph is a word that although related in spelling is unrelated in its meaning. Can you think of two meanings for these?

1, bark
2, tie
3, wave
4, rose
5, crane
6, right
7, fall
8, dough
9, feet

Here are two definitions. What is the homograph?

1, genre of music / a stone
2, to bend at the waist / the front of a boat
3, stress or emphasis / a manner of speaking or pronunciation
4, to pair similar items / a small stick for making a fire
5, happy or satisfied / all that is contained inside something
6, correct / direction opposite of left
7, hot, arid region / to leave
8, a tree's outer layer / the sound a dog makes
9, Part of body / to return

Here is a great Homograph application made by Byrdseed

I is for Interesting

Interesting Questions
With these questions you might like to change the words in bold

How many golf balls would fit into this room?
How many pencils could you fit across this table?
What three things would you do to improve this classroom?
Can you think of ten words between HEAD and HOPE in the dictionary?
Can you estimate how many windows there are in your house / school / town?
Can you name an alternative use for a table?
If I gave you €5M euros. What would you do with it?
What would you do if you didn't have to study / work?
Pick an APP on your phone. What are its pros / cons?
What is your favourite Google product?
Tell me 3 things you know about trees.
If you were a tree what type would you be?
If a tree could talk what would it say?
If we didn't have trees what would happen?
Give me some instructions for how to survive a heatwave

J is for Joke (or riddle)

1, Which month has 28 days?
2, Which letter of the alphabet has the most water in it?
3, What has a face and two hands but no arms or legs?
4, What has to be broken before you can use it?
5, Why is number 6 afraid?
6, A cowboy rode into town on Friday, stayed three days, and left on Friday. How is this possible?
7, Do you know where horses go when they are ill?
8, Which room has no doors or windows?
9, Jamie's mother had three children. The first child was called April. The second child was called May. What was the name of the third child?

10, Before Mount Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain?
11, Which is correct: The yolk of the egg is white or The yolk of the egg are white?
12, Why won’t the elephant use the computer?
13, What did the maths book tell the pencil?
14, Where do cows go on dates?
15, What always falls and never gets hurt?
16, What room is a dead person most afraid of?
17, What is orange and sounds like parrot?
18, What did one eye say to the other eye?

L is for Limit

1) Can you answer these questions in exactly 7 words?

1, How are you today?
2, What did you have for lunch?
3, What's the weather like today?
4, What do you remember from school today?
5, What did you do last night?
6, Do you like broccoli?
7, What would you do if you won 50 euros?
8, What plans do you have for this weekend?
9, What are you good at? 

2) Can you use one of the following words and make a sentence that is exactly 7 words long?

example: I have not eaten anything since lunch

1, eaten
2, if
3, wasn't
4, any
5, since
6, yet
7, who (not a question)
8, would
9, won't

3) Two word HORROR stories

angry mother
my brother
crying baby
no battery
no wifi
having homework
Sunday night
hungry sharks
bad marks
losing money
surprise exam

What can you come up with?

M is for Me (and my family)


What are you good at? (a sport, hobby or subject at school etc.)

Answer these questions

1, What advice would you give a beginner?
2, What do you enjoy about it?
3, When was the last time you did it?
4, Whose feedback do you need?
5, Who/What stops you from doing it?

Present your ideas.


Write down the name of three members of your family. (brother, cousin, grandmother etc.)

With somebody else, look at your lists and ask each other the following questions:

1, Who's _____?
2, How old are they?
3, What do they look like?
4, What do they do?
5, What do they like doing in their free time?
6, Do you get on with them?
7, How do you stay in touch with them?
8, Do they have any bad habits?
9, What plans do they have?

N is for News

News of the World

Here are some headlines:
Can you complete them with your own ideas?

1, Big risk for young people who are _____.
2, Scientists say _____ cream doesn't work.
3, Schools says plastic _____ should be banned.
4, Kids losing language skills due to _____.
5, The happiest country in the world is _____.
6, ____ are helping to save the world's oceans.
7, ____ triggers (starts) global recession.
8, EU says the minimum age to use WhatsApp is _____.
9, ______ swims under water for a record of 32 minutes.

Spoiler. Here are the original words removed:

1, obese  2, sun, 3, straws 4, emoji 5, Finland  6, sharks 7, pandemic 8, 16 9, penguin

O is for Opposite

1) What is the opposite of these words?

1, read
2, cheese
3, clean
4, easy
5, beach
6, sunrise
7, tidy
8, zebra
9, noise

Next, choose one pair of words and explain why one word is better than the other. For example in number 4 is easy better than difficult or the other way round? Explain your reasons.

Quote from @purlandtraining'The aim is to foster discussion among language students. Not all antonym pairs have to be binary e.g. yes/no, black/white. What is the opposite of 'beach' for you? For me it would be 'office'

The Opposites Game (YouTube Video - a sentence and its opposite)

P is for Picture

1) Talking About Pictures
I often show photos from the BBC news in pictures website in class.

Choose one and answer some of the questions:

1, What do you see and think?
2, Speculate and wonder.
3, Give an opinion. Criticise it.
4, Ask 'What would happen if...?'
5, Why is ___ actually...? (example: Why is the man actually protesting?)
6, How could I do this? (be part of or do what is in the picture)
7, Find a similarity with the picture and your life.
8, What might have happened before the picture was taken?
9, What might happen next if the picture became a video?

2) What's the Question? (using pictures)
Using a photo (no photo included in this post) create some answers related to the photo:

1, France
2, Late afternoon
3, A house
4, Yes, on the right hand side
5, No
6, A young family
7, They are playing tennis
8, It might have been 1910
9, It could be Spring

Now decide what the questions could be for these answers by looking at the photo:
example 1, Where was the photo taken?

3) What is going on in this picture?
A good website for speculating and guessing

Q is for Question

1) What is the Question?

Here are some answers to some questions. What are the questions?

1, I keep in touch with my friends using WhatsApp.
2, My French teacher is fun and explains things very well
3, I like action or fantasy books
4, I’m going to stay at home
5, Yes, I make my bed and help in the kitchen.
6, I’d like to study medicine or maybe be a lawyer
7, Once or twice a month
8, Yes I have. I went in 2018.
9, Not much. I did some homework and then watched Netflix with my cat

2) Questions to ask people

Taken (and slightly adapted) from The Colbert Questionert on YouTube.

Apples or oranges?
What is the best sandwich?
What is the most used app on your phone?
What is your favourite / least favourite smell?
Window or Aisle?
Have you ever asked someone for (their autograph / a selfie)?
What is you favourite movie (at the moment)?
What number am I thinking of?
What's one thing you own that you really should throw out?
Exercise: worth it?
You get one song to listen to for the rest of your life: what is it?
What is the scariest animal?
Describe the rest of your (week / life) in 5 words.

3) Question stems for thinking:

Explain why...
Explain how...
What is the main idea of...?
How would you use … to …?
What is a new example of …?
What do you think would happen if ...?
What is the difference between ... and …?
How are ... and ... similar?
What conclusions can you draw from …?
How does .. affect...?
What are the strengths & weaknesses of …?
What is the best ... and why?
How is .. related to …?

4) Normal Questions. Crazy Answers
First, complete these questions with your own ideas.

How far...
How often...
How much...

example: How far is it from here to Madrid?

Now answer the questions but using any of the following 10 random words in the answer.

head, giraffe, hat, handbag, daisy, sun, balloon, comic, holiday, handkerchief

It is 10,000 Giraffes to Madrid

5) Question Charts
An excellent tools to help both teachers and students to generate a wide range of questions. From the OnTheSamePage Blog

6) 5 answers to the same question

1) I'll stay at home and do something
2) Get wet
3) This weekend? I'll probably go to the cinema
4) It won't, will it?
5) Nothing. You?

What's the question?

R is for Random

Here are 9 random words 

1, breakfast
2, pencil
3, carrot
4, cousin
5, book
6, cereal
7, salt
8, kangaroo
9, comb

Some ideas on how to use them:

Three things you know about one of the words.
Kangaroos are found in Australia, they hop and are also eaten by humans.

Can you find two words that have something in common?
Both a book and cereal have to be opened first

Choose 3 words and make one of them - the odd one out. Explain why?
cereal, carrot, comb - comb is the only one I would not eat.

Which word would be most useful to you today?
a pencil so I can do some drawing.

Use a word or two to make a prediction about the future.
I think my cousin will write a book.

When was the last time you used or experienced one of these words?
I threw salt on my dinner last night.

Use two words to come up with a new concept
penomb - a pencil that is also a comb (any ideas are good ideas).

What is the most valuable word by random adjective?
(heavy) I think it could be the kangaroo but there are some factors that depends on.

Which people / actions / feelings do you associate with one of the words
With cereal I associate my brother who used to read the cereal box as he ate.

Can you see how one word might influence another?
A book might influence my cousin to travel somewhere.

Think of a problem (e.g. someone has fallen in a river)
How could any of the words help?
Throw enough salt in and he would start floating.

Use one of the words to complete: Life is like ____
Life is like a book, it has a start and an end.

Complete with one of the words: I don't like _____ because...
I don't like breakfast because school follows it

Which word has the most syllables?

S is for Say (the same thing)

The Say The Same Thing game is best played one-to-one.
Here is a Youtube video that best explains how to play it.

T is for Three (in a line)

I like to play 3 in a line with a bigger grid (4x4) and also it's not the first team to get 3 in a line but how many lines of 3 you end up with. As a twist try playing it as the first team to get 3 in a line loses. Here are two screenshots how I play it:

U is for Unconnected

1) Word Disassociation
With a group each person must say a word disconnected from the last. Anyone can challenge someones word if they can find a connection.

2) Word Disassociation for new ideas. For example new toys as shown in this TED talk video

V is for Verse

1) Their Words My Verse

I enjoy creating verse out of my students' sentences in class - in the form of lists, free verse, anecdotes or rhymes.

One of the first ones I did was inspired by Michael Rosen and was simply for all the students to complete Don't... with things their parents say. If you want to read it click here.

It has been a good way of really personalising the language for them. Click Here for a couple of ideas that I have done in class that you might enjoy doing called Dreams and Incomplete.

Other examples of what I have done can be found on my Instagram page.

2) Slamina
Can you define these words and use them in a sentence? Secondly, each of the words rhymes with an animal. Can you work out which animal?

1, fat
2, coat
3, carrot
4, word
5, house
6, break
7, scare
8, park
9, course

Now can you make a two line poem (a couplet) using the word and the animal it rhymes with?

an example: In my house / there is a mouse

These ones are a bit harder:

1, legal
2, iron
3, socks
4, deep
5, towel
6, relevant
7, chunky
8, trail
9, plough

3) Rhyme Time
Look at the sentences and complete the missing word. The missing word should rhyme with the last word of the sentence before.

I was walking down the street
when I saw my mate had new shoes on his feet

1, When I arrived home at half past ten
my sister was chatting to her best _____ 

2, On Tuesday morning I burnt my leg
while I was cooking a fried _____

3, When I first met you
I was suffering from _____

4, When I woke up this morning at half past eight
My mum was shouting YOU ARE  _____!

5, one boring morning we were driving to school
when my mum said 'oh dear we have run out of  _____'

6, They arrived at the party at half past four
but the party wasn't happening any_____

Now, Can you make some sentences of your own?
(using the same structure as above)

7, ________________ book
________________ cook

8, ________________ sing
________________ king

9, ________________ train
________________ rain

W is for Why?

1) Inference 
Look at the following sentences.
Think of a reason as to why they are happening / happened.


1, The boat drifted on the lake.
2, John ran into the street without looking.
3, Everyone stopped when the referee blew the whistle.
4, She blew out the candles.
5, Emily sat in her bedroom and began to cry.
6, The man has dirty knees.
7, Edward had a much bigger breakfast than usual.
8, Natasha is eating at her favourite restaurant.
9, The bookshop doors were open at midnight.


1, They were told to get off of the bus.
2, It was not safe to play on the street.
3, I had to measure the length of my couch.
4, We have our meal after they have had theirs.
5, When he got home, he went straight to bed.
6, He didn’t go to many football matches after that.
7, I must go to the post office every week.
8, He isn’t very happy - in fact he is miserable.
9, She's sitting in an armchair in the Queen's lounge.

2) The Five Whys
This is a useful technique to get to the root of the problem for example why someone doesn't do their homework. Here it is explained on wikipedia

X is for eXercises (in style)

My dad overcooks and burns the sausages at lunchtime every Saturday.

Rewrite the sentence above in different forms using the prompts below

1. Next Saturday
2. Start the sentence with the word IF 
3. Use 'must' in the sentence
4. Make a prediction starting with 'I think'
5. Put the sentence into reported speech
6. Rewrite the sentence without using the letter A 
7, Write the opposite of the sentence (nouns and verbs only)
8, Start with 'In this picture...'
9, Rewrite in the passive

example: Last Saturday
Next Saturday my dad is going to overcook and burn the sausages at lunchtime.

a bit harder...

1. Use the past perfect
2. Use the word 'both' or 'neither' in the sentence
3. Rewrite the sentence using 'it can't have been'
4. Turn the sentence into the second conditional
5. Start with 'I hope'
6. Rewrite the sentence without using the letter E
7, Write the opposite of the sentence (taking into account all words)
8, Compare the past and now with 'used to' or 'would'
9, Write the sentence from the point of view of the sausages

Y is for Yes (and no)

You can't say yes and you can't say no. It's the yes and no game. Once you get past the laughing you can encourage the players to try and vary their answers instead of I don't know or maybe. For example Do you like Pizza? I do. Would you like to answer this question? I would.

Z is for Zoology

Here are some animals / mammals / insects:

1, blue whale
2, tiger
3, bee
4, butterfly
5, elephant
6, bat
7, shark
8, bear
9, mosquito

1, Which ones have things in common?
2, Which is the (___est / most ___)
3, Invent a fact about one of them: Did you know that ___.
4, If the ___ could speak, what would it say?
5, What advice would the ___ give to its children?
6, Can you create a new animal from two of the animals? (example: Elebat)