No Time To Plan: A Quick English Speaking Activity for the Busy TEFL Teacher

By Bridge
August 21, 2012

Lesson planning was never my forte as an English teacher.  I knew that it was critical to my success as a teacher and that I hated feeling unprepared, but I still fought the process.  I know that many teachers do, especially new teachers that haven’t developed a full bag of tricks for the classroom.  For those of you like me, here’s my favorite speaking activity for the classroom that takes zero planning, occupies a good chunk of time, and will undoubtedly be well-received by your students:

Learn how to teach kids English with a “full bag of tricks” for the classroom.

Prep Time: 0 minutes!

Materials Needed: scratch paper (one small piece per student)


  1. Give each student a scratch piece of paper.  Have them write half of a sentence on the paper.  Examples:  “Walking to school today…” or “Guacamole makes me…” or “If I could have any super power…”
  2. Collect all of the sentences and mix them up in a bag or a bowl.
  3. Call one student to the front of the classroom and have them draw a slip of paper (if you have a small class.  This activity could be modified by splitting the class into groups if you have a large class).
  4. Give the student a few seconds to prepare what they will say, then have the student read the sentence aloud, complete the sentence, and continue speaking on this topic for one minute (you can shorten or lengthen this time depending on the level of the class).
  5. Optional step – after the student has finished speaking, ask the other students comprehension questions about what was said.

This post was written by Matthew Clark.

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