Tag Archives: adjectives

Using an Interactive Image to Play a Game to Revise and Consolidate Feeling Adjectives

Autumn is probably my favourite season. Autumn is the season of birthdays in my family. Also, it’s not too hot or too cold. This year, this is especially important for me as I have been assigned a small class facing south and I know, come May,  I’ll be sweating up a storm. So, for the time being, let’s enjoy beautiful autumn.

This year I am teaching 2-hour lessons so, more than ever, I feel the necessity to design activities that might change the pace of the lessons and keep my students from dozing off in my classes. The activity below is aimed at that. Still, I need to be completely honest here. I have not started teaching proper lessons so this activity has not been tested yet.  I’ll let you know how it goes and if I hear any snores or see people yawning, then I would know it has been a complete failure.



  • to revise and consolidate adjectives related to feelings
  • to use these adjectives in a speaking activity.

Tool: Genial.ly. For this activity, we will use the grid below with gifs representing different feelings. This is an interactive image created with an awesome tool called Genial.ly, which I am proud to say is a Spanish start-up used all around the world. Genial.ly lets you create engaging interactive visual content and for this activity, I have used the “Hide” effect so if you mouse over the gif, you’ll be able to see the adjective. Also, the questions for discussion will be displayed when you click on the numbers.

(click on the arrows to enlarge the image)

Version 1


Version 2



For each of the squares in the grid, do part 1 and then part 2.


  • Ask students to work in pairs. Student A will be playing “against” Student B.
  • Ask student As to choose a number from the Feelings Grid below. You can ask all the As to agree on a number, but in some classes, it might prove a difficult task to reach quick consensus, so you might want to just choose a random student A to decide on a number.
  • Once they have chosen a number, both student A and B will write the adjective they think is hidden behind the gif representing the feeling. Allow 30 seconds for this step. Let student A and B compare their answers and then mouse over the gif to display the hidden adjective.
  • If they have guessed the adjective, they score 2 points. If the adjective they have written is a synonym, they score 1 point. Ask students to keep score of the points they get.
  • On the board, you might want to write the target adjective and the synonyms they come up with. Drill pronunciation of the adjective and all its synonyms.

For example, if they choose Gif  9 and the adjective is worried you might want to accept “anxious, troubled or concerned” as synonyms. You can use a synonym dictionary, like this one https://www.thesaurus.com/. There is no shame in this. 😉


  • Click on the number, in this case, number 9 and a question will be displayed. Ask students in pairs to discuss the question. Set about 4 minutes per question. Walk around. Monitor and help. Avoid overcorrecting.

Now, B’s choose a new number from the Feelings Grid.

Note: if you haven’t taught any of the adjectives, you can still use the activity.  Change the rules of the game and instead of scoring two points if they guessed the adjective, you might want to give them the points if they come up with a synonym even though it’s not exactly the one hidden behind the gif.

To be on the safe side, and to avoid wasting time checking the dictionary, you might want to write a list of synonyms before you play the game.

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Fun and Simple: Adjective Order

If you have following me for a while, then you know how much I love stepping aside from the course book and surprising students with activities that might add a spark to my classes.

Things like flip cards or wheels of fortune are constant guests in my classes. But for this activity, I have decided to invite an old friend I haven’t used for some time. Don’t ask me why. I still love him very much. Word clouds have a lot of potential when teaching languages and they are very easy to use. For this activity, I have used wordart.com.

Aim: to practise the order of adjectives before a noun (attributive position) in a writing competition.

Time: 5 minutes

Level: B2 students

Time: 10 minutes

Preparation: Go to wordart.com or any other word cloud generators and just type the words you want to see in the cloud. In my case, I typed five or six nouns and five adjectives relating to opinion, size, age, temperature, shape, colour, material and origin.

How to go about it:

1.  Revise. You might want to revise the order of adjectives before the noun before doing the activity.

Although not all grammarians agree on the order of the adjectives and the rules for adjective order are quite complicated, it is necessary to give them some kind of order they can stick to. I always use this sentence to help them remember.


Important points:

  1. Don’t overuse adjectives. While having two adjectives before a noun sounds natural, more than three would have the opposite effect.
  2. Purpose adjectives go just before the noun: riding boots (boots for riding), sleeping bags (bags for sleeping).
  3. Numbers go before adjectives: three huge houses.

2. Competition

  • Ask students to form pairs and either display the word cloud on the board or photocopy it.
  • Underline the nouns in the word cloud
  • Tell students they have two minutes to come up with the longest description for the any of the nouns in the word cloud.
  • The winners are the students who have managed to write the most adjectives before the noun.


  • The adjectives before the noun must be placed in the correct order. Have the class check it while the students read their sentence.
  • It has to have sense, ie “a narrow boy” would be incorrect.

Have fun!

10 Games and Activities to Practise Personality Adjectives.

Ten entertaining ways to  practise personality adjectives with activities for all ages and levels. In this post, you’ll find listening,writing, speaking activities and games to help students master this vocabulary.

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This is me.  

Ask students to work in pairs and write down as many personality adjectives as they can in two minutes.

On the board write three columns: positive, negative and neutral adjectives and ask students to provide adjectives for the three columns. Have students choose one adjective from each column to describe their personality and in pairs talk about how these adjectives they have chosen are representative of their personality. Ask students to elaborate on their answers and provide examples to support their choice of adjectives.

Prepare cards with a personality trait written on it (talkative, cheerful, arrogant, stubborn, immature, possessive…etc). Give students a card telling them this is their personality. Pair up students and ask them to start a conversation and act the way the card says until their partner guesses what adjective they were given. Ask students for example to talk about buying a present for the teacher or deciding on what do at the weekend.

Reading your signature.

What does your signature say about you? According to handwriting analysts, signatures reveal a lot about your personality.

  1. Ask students to write the sentence Write soon on a piece of paper and then sign under the sentence.
  2. Ask them to work in pairs and look at their partner’s signature and explain what it means. See interpretation here
  3. Ask them to discuss whether they agree with their partner’s interpretation and why or why not.

What’s your job?

Research has shown that different personality traits tend to have distinct preferences in their choice of careers. On the board write the jobs below. Ask students in pairs to choose five and discuss what personality types the jobs would attract and why. Then discuss their choices with another pair:

Tax inspector    Teacher      politician     computer programmer   librarian

Actor    fashion model    psychologist   entrepreneur   judge

Acting out

Prepare cards with personality adjectives. Divide the class into 2 teams. For each team’s turn, set a time (1 minute).

On the board write the sentence: I want to go to the cinema tomorrow.

Team 1 begins and choose a player to sit at the front of the class. The player draws a card and acts out the phrase according to the adjective on the card. When the team guesses correctly, he can draw another card. He continues until the time is up. The timer is set again for the other team, and turns continue until all the slips are gone. Count the slips and give those points to their teams.


On the walls of the class stick the following quotes. Students in threes stand up and discuss what the quote means and whether they agree or disagree with them.

  • Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it. Bruce Lee.
  • It is better to be hated for who you are, than to be loved for someone you are not. André Gide. 
  • If somebody likes me, I want them to like the real me, not what they think I am
  • Beauty attracts the eye but personality captures the heart.
  • Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.
  • It’d never too late for what you might have been. George Elliot.


Guess who. A speaking or writing activity.

Speaking. Before the class, prepare a set of pictures of famous people with very clear personality traits. For this activity the students are sitting in pairs, one student (A) facing the board and the other (B) with his back to the board. Display the photo of a celebrity and ask student A to describe this person in general terms focusing on his personality.

Writing. Before the class, prepare a collage with pictures of famous people with very clear personality traits. Ask students to write a description of one of them focusing on their personality without saying their names. Descriptions are read aloud and students will need to determine the identity of the person being described.

The four big questions.

Tell students you’re going to analyse their personality by asking them four key questions to which they should answer using three adjectives for each question. Adjectives cannot be repeated.
1. Choose a colour, the first colour that comes to mind.
Once you have that colour, list three adjectives that describe it.

2. Choose an animal, the first animal that comes to mind.
Once you have selected an animal, list three adjectives that describe it.

3. Choose a body of water like a river, ocean, sea, or lake. Once you have chosen a body of water, list three adjectives that describe it.

4. Let’s say you are in a white room with no windows no doors, list three emotions that you are feeling.

When you are done answering those questions, highlight the following to get your results: your colour represents what you think of yourself, the animal represents what you think of other people, the body of water represents your love life, and the white room represents what you will feel like when you are about to die.

Birth order

Do you think birth order has any influence on our personality?

Ask students to work in groups of 4. Tell them they are going to see a video where personality is related to birth order. Assign each person in the group the task of writing down information they can gather from the video about either first borns, middle children, last borns or only children.

Whole class discussion. Starting with “first-borns”, write on the board all the information the students learnt from the video. Start a class discussion where first borns in the class will say whether they agree or disagree with the content in the video. Repeat procedure for middle children, last borns and only children.


Tic Tac Toe

Tic Tac Toe. also known as noughts and crosses or Xs and Os is a game for two players, X and O, who take turns marking the spaces in a 3×3 (3×4 in this game) grid. The player who succeeds in placing three of their marks in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row wins the game.

In this game, to place their mark they’ll need to talk for about two minutes about the question in the box.




Some Activities to Talk Nonstop Using Comparatives and Superlatives

It is still raining   .

It is raining again today. Of course it is raining. This is Asturias and we don’t get to be the dear, green place – Asturias “natural paradise”- without more than our  fair share of rain, but  I’m  beginning to get a bit sick with so much rain. I need the sun, or rather my mood needs the warm, delicious rays of the spring sun.

In class today, we need to deal with comparatives and superlatives.
This is the intermediate level so I don’t think, or perphaps it’s hopeful thinking, my students will need me to go over the rules for the formation of the comparative and superlative of adjectives and adverbs. Anyway, this is the easiest part; there are loads of sites on the internet with exercises to practise grammar.

I want this class to be highly communicative. I want my students to leave the class telling each other. OMG ! I’ve lost my voice! I want them to leave my class sounding funny, hoarse even.

With these activities we’ll compare

  • adjectives (taller than) , Grammar here
  • nouns ( more people than,fewer rooms than, less pollution than)  Grammar here
  • adverbs ( more quickly than) Grammar here
  • superlative of the adjectives. Grammar here

So, without further ado, let’s get down to some serious speaking

♥Activity One: The place where you live

I started this post talking about the weather in Asturias. I am pretty sure my students would share my feeling about so much rain. So, after sort of complaining about so many rainy days, I am going to ask them to compare living in Asturias (north of Spain) with living in Andalucia (south of Spain). I’ll lead this activity with students contributing with their ideas and this will help me correct what I hope will be little mistakes.

Activity 2 Look Around You Competition

Students in groups of three or four compare students in the classroom. Set a time limit of about 5 minutes for students to talk  and on your signal each group of students should write as many comparative and superlative sentences as they can about the people in their classroom. At the end of the time period, have one group share their sentences. If another group has the same sentence as the first group, both groups should cross that statement off their list. Continue until all groups have read all of their statements and any duplicates are eliminated. The group with the most statements remaining wins. I owe this activity to Susan Verner.

Activity 3. Using Pictures to Compare


Activity 4. Superlative Superlatives

Get students in pairs or threes and ask them to discus the following questions . Click here to get the pdf

Moving Up from ” I Made Tea” to” I made myself a nice, hot sandwich of low-fat blue cheese because I was starving”


Improving Writing Skills:  how to move up from the Elementary to the Intermediate Level using Adjectives.

If you are a teacher you would agree with me that helping students move from an Elementary Level to an Intermediate one takes time and practice. One does not acquire the level in one day, you need to go step by step and you’ll need to climb all the stairs to be successful, there is no lift here.

When I mark their compositions some students find it difficult to understand why a composition with almost no mistakes deserves a Pass whereas another one with more “red” ink gets a better mark. Although I explain to them that you’re not only marked for grammatical mistakes and they seem to understand I thought it might be a good idea to do an experiment so that they could clearly see my point.

The little experiment was carried out during the last 20 minutes of the lesson after having dedicated most of the lesson to working with adjectives. The aim was letting the student see for themselves the difference, in terms of adequacy, between two or three grammatically correct sentences by voting on the best one. By letting them be the judges of the best sentence, they also become aware of why essays with no mistakes might score significantly higher or lower.

Before starting with the activities dedicated to Adjectives, I told my students that my aim on that day was to improve their writing skills to help them move from an Elementary Level to an Intermediate one. In my opinion, this bit of information before starting is essential to get their full attention!

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Although not all grammarians agree on the order of the adjectives and the rules for adjective order are quite complicated, it is necessary to give them some kind of order they can stick to. I always use this sentence to help them remember

Important points:

1. Don’t overuse adjectives. While having two adjectives before a noun sounds natural, more than three would have the opposite effect.

2. Purpose adjectives go just before the noun: riding boots ( boots for riding), sleeping bags (bags for sleeping).

3. Numbers go before adjectives: three huge houses.


Isn’t it true that  when you cross out things like very furious, students invariably ask … but, “why can’t you say very furious??”

1. I find it important to see the before and the after. So, prior to beginning with step 1, show them an example of what they normally write, well, a bit exaggerated maybe 🙂 .

Last week I went to a  very big beach. It was very hot and I was very angry because I couldn’t find a place to put my towel as it was very crowded. Finally, I saw one of my best friends and I managed to squeeze in next to her. We went for a walk but after half an hour I was very tired and very hungry so I bought a sandwich, but it tasted very bad. Oh My God !!!

1. Brainstorm extreme adjectives like angry-furious, small-tiny, big-enormous, dirty-filthy, happy-delighted, sure-positive…etc.

2. Point out you cannot use very with these adjectives, but “absolutely” or “really” -among others.

3. Practising intonation with extreme adjectives in dialogues is always an enjoyable activity! Even more fun if you give them the card and get them moving around the class and talking to different people. For this activity, I always use this handout from onestopenglish.com

4. That might be a good time to display the text above again so that they improve it using extreme adjectives.


Before the game: Write down on slips of papers, verbs that they have recently studied. For this exercise, I chose verbs with dependent prepositions. Put them in a bag or envelope.

Explain that this writing exercise is going to be a competition, where only sentences without grammatical mistakes are going to be shortlisted. These  sentences will be read  aloud and students will vote for the best one taking into account the length of the sentence, the use of adjectives before the noun and also the use of extreme adjectives

1. Students work in pairs competing for points against the other students in the class.

2. From the bag, ask a student -the innocent hand-to pull out a slip of paper containing a verb in the infinitive form.

3. Students have 2 minutes to write a good sentence containing the verb.

4. Quickly correct mistakes and put a tick to the ones being shortlisted.

5. Sentences are read aloud for students to choose the best one, which is awarded one point. The pair with the highest number of points wins.

At some point during the game, I make a point of telling students once again to reflect on why they feel some sentences are intuitively better.

Hope you find it useful!