Pupils like to use material that is up-to-the-minute and relates to news items of the day.
So as they arrive in the classroom, hand each one a different page from a recent magazine or newspaper.
Set a single task that relates to the lesson. If it's an English one about encouraging effective use of commonly associated adjectives and nouns (for example, "good individual" improved to "committed citizen"), the pupils each select a noun that they think will be useful.
Allow five to 10 minutes for the exercise because many pupils will be unable to resist reading the whole article.
Ask them to write their chosen words on the board.
Suitable adjectives for these nouns are added in a class discussion. This list provides a source of material that relates to the pupils' interests and language needs specifically and becomes an excellent spin-off for a variety of exercises:
- Which word means.? What is the opposite of.? Can we say "convenient citizen"? Whywhy not?
- Who can write the longest sentence using words from the list? Write a paragraph about one of the examples on the list. Do not include the word itself.
- What is the adjective, adverb or verb form of each noun? Are all words that end in - ing adjectives?
- Who can find a noun ending in - ity?
Rosemary Westwell is a teacher in Cambridgeshire.