TEFL.net : ESL Lesson Plans : Classroom Ideas : Games : 15 typical textbook activities you can personalize

Find your dream job 🤣 teaching English!

15 typical textbook activities you can personalize

Below is a list of ideas on how you can bring personalization into classes where you are using typical textbook activities such as gapfills. The tasks mentioned can be done instead of the task given in the book (sometimes the textbook exercise will need rewriting in order to make this possible), as a warmer/ lead-in […]

Below is a list of ideas on how you can bring personalization into classes where you are using typical textbook activities such as gapfills. The tasks mentioned can be done instead of the task given in the book (sometimes the textbook exercise will need rewriting in order to make this possible), as a warmer/ lead-in and/ or as a personalized extension activity.

1. Correct the sentences
Change the sentences to make them true for you/ your partner/ your whole group/ the whole class/ people your age in your country

2. Mark the sentences true or false
Try to make the sentences true for your partner/ Mark the sentences by whether you think they are true or false for your partner/ Make similar true and false sentences about yourself and see if your partner can guess which ones are true

3. Fill the gap with the correct tense
Fill the gap with a tense that you think makes the sentence true for your partner

4. Test each other on the contents of the table
Give your partner an infinitive verb/ adjective etc, and see if they can make a true sentence about you with the correct irregular simple past verb/ comparative form etc.

5. Fill in the gaps with “the” or “a” etc.
Make as many true sentences with “the” (or whatever word you are practicing) about yourself/ your partner as you can in 2 minutes

6. Match the sentence halves
Complete the sentences to make them true for you. Listen to your partner reading out just the part they have written and try to guess which sentence they were completing.

7. Find words in the text that mean the same as the words below
Read or listen to your partner’s personal reactions to words in the text (“I think this is the most useful word in the text because it is connected to my hobby”, “I chose this word just because I like the sound of it”, “This word could be useful, but I think its spelling and pronunciation are so difficult that I will never get the hang of it” etc), and try to find which words they mean.

8. Match the questions and responses
Match the questions to your classmates’ responses/ Decide if each response is true or not for your partner and then ask them the questions to check

9. Find what these numbers in the text refer to
Try to guess what these numbers about your partner refer to/ Try to guess what the equivalent numbers for your partner are (they will tell you “higher” or “lower” until you reach the correct number)

10. Choose the correct answer: A, B, C or D
Three of the answers are about other people in the class and just one answer is from the text. Try to guess which one isn’t about someone in the class, then read/ listen to the text and check. Try to guess who the other three answers are about.

11. Roleplay interviewing the person described in the text
Answer your partner’s question either with the information in the text or with something that is true about you. Can they guess which one each answer is?

12. Put the words/ expressions in the right column/ Put as many words as you can into each column
Do the same thing with more personalized topics like “Uncountable things that I love/ hate” or “Adjectives that I would/ wouldn’t use to describe myself”

13. Match the sentences/ words/ expressions/ grammatical forms to their meanings
Write the meanings of half the things in the textbook exercise with the help of a dictionary, adding something personalized, e.g. “A permanent black spot on your skin. Aiko has one on her top lip” for “mole”. The other team then uses the meaning and personal clues to match the words to the definitions.

14. Write example sentences for each of the grammatical forms/ with each piece of vocabulary
Write sentences using the forms given about your classmates and then read them out so your partner can check if they are true.

15. Guess the story in the text from these words from it
Guess some details about your partner’s life from some one word clues/ short clues they give you.

Written by Alex Case for TEFL.net July 2008
Alex Case is the author of TEFLtastic.

Leave a comment




TEFL.net : ESL Lesson Plans : Classroom Ideas : Games : 15 typical textbook activities you can personalize