12 Adverbs of Manner Games

By Alex Case
Entertaining practice activities for “slowly”, “quickly”, “thoroughly”, etc, including adverbs of manner speaking and writing games

Teaching students to add “slowly”, “carefully”, “cautiously” etc to their sentences is one of the best ways of expanding the level of language that they use and making their production more interesting for the listener. This topic is also essential for them to be able to understand fiction, the best source of English vocabulary. This article gives 12 stimulating games to practise words that explain how things are done.

Adverbs of manner miming games

Adverbs of manner is obviously a great topic to bring some movement into the classroom, as it’s all about how actions are done. Students can:

  • compete to do the best mime for a verb + adverb combination (“think deeply”, etc)
  • brainstorm different actions that they can combine with a single adverb (saying and miming “move carefully”, “open carefully”, etc)
  • brainstorm different ways that they can do a single action (“eat noisily”, “eat greedily”, etc)
  • guess which adverb and verb combination is being mimed

Adverbs of manner guessing games

Students can either guess what is being talked about from clues that have adverbs of manner in them (“It carefully picks bugs from its friends and family” “Is it a monkey?”) or guess the adverb of manner for an action (“How do I drink my tea?” “You drink your tea very slowly” “No, that’s not right. Try again”).

Variations on the former include students describing and trying to guess:

  • animals (“It roars loudly”, “It runs quickly”, “It eats greedily”, etc)
  • people they know (“He laughs annoyingly”, “He punches me softly”, etc)
  • places (“People speak quietly in that place”, “People study hard in that place”, etc)

Adverbs of manner make me say yes

Students try to get positive answers to questions like “Do you put your cup down heavily?” and “Do you take part in meetings enthusiastically?”, maybe using adverbs and/ or verbs that they have been given, or using different words each time. 

Adverbs of manner storytelling activities

Adverbs of manner storytelling card games

Students try to use as many of the adverbs that they are given as they can as they tell a story, putting them in order across the table as they do so. They could then tell the same story to someone else, who can then use the same cards to try to tell the story back and/ or to someone else. To save cutting up, the same can also be done by numbering adverbs on a worksheet as they add them to the story.

For more fun and challenge, you could ask them to choose the adverb which their partner should use in the next line of the story each time.

Adverbs of manner chain stories

Each student starts writing a story on a different piece of paper, ending with a verb in the middle of their second sentence. They then fold the paper so that only the last line can be seen, pass it to the next person and receive one from someone else. The next person continues that sentence with an adverb of manner, finishes that sentence and starts one more that stops at the verb, folds the paper again and passes it on. Continue for around six to ten times, then ask them to unfold the paper that they receive and say how much or how little sense each story makes.

Adverbs of manner video activities

While watching a short video or extract of a video, students ask for the video to be paused whenever they think that they can describe what is happening on screen with a different adverb of manner and verb combination (from a worksheet and/ or with their own ideas).

If it’s a short video, instead of or after this you could also get them to test each other on their memories of how things were done in the video with questions like “How did Mr Bean open his card?” “He opened his card happily”.  

Adverbs of manner advice activities

Adverbs of manner can be used to ask for advice (“I can’t speak English fluently”) and to give advice (“You should organise the new vocabulary systematically”), perhaps using a list of suggested verbs and/ or adverbs. As with these examples, this can be a good excuse for learner training with discussion of good self-study techniques, etc.

Adverbs of manner random pelmanism

This is based on the memory game “pairs”. Students take two cards from the table and say how they are the same in some way in order to be able to keep them. That match could be:

  • an adverb that goes with the verbs on the two cards (“A monkey swings skilfully and a dolphin jumps through hoops skilfully” for “swing” and “jump”)
  • a verb that goes with the adverbs on the two cards (“Some people sleep deeply and some people sleep noisily” for “deeply” and “noisily”)
  • an adverb that goes with both things on the cards (“A surgeon cuts a body accurately and a footballer shoots a ball accurately” for “surgeon” and “footballer”)

Adverbs of manner things in common

Students get a point for each verb + adverb combination that is true for both/ all the people in their group (“We push into rush-hour trains aggressively”), or just half a point if they can use the same adverb but with different verbs for each person (“She cycles rapidly and I prepare breakfast rapidly”).

Adverbs of manner strangers on a train

Students are given different adverbs like “sadly” and “clumsily” and try to use them naturally in conversation as they roleplay meeting someone for the first time in a train, at a trade fair, etc. They then get points if they spotted which adverb their partner had to use and if other people didn’t spot which adverb they snuck into the conversation. If you do it more than once with different adverbs, students should hopefully work out that the best way to win the game is to also use lots of other adverbs of their own choice during the conversation (which luckily also makes for more intensive freer practice of the target language).

Written by Alex Case for Teflnet November 2022
Alex Case is the author of TEFLtastic and the Teaching...: Interactive Classroom Activities series of business and exam skills e-books for teachers
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