Fun MAKE and DO Controlled-practice Activities

By Alex Case
Collocations with MAKE and DO games + other stimulating practice activities

The verbs in expressions like “make a mistake” and “do your best” can seem random and are often not easily translatable, so collocations with “make” and “do” tends to need plenty of memorising with the kinds of fun controlled practice given in this article. 

Make and do brainstorming races

Students race to write as many suitable collocations as they can to match a category like “‘Do’ with martial arts”, “Do and make expressions related to studying”, and “Do and make actions done in the home”. When time is up, they get one point for each correct thing they wrote that other groups didn’t think of.

Make and do tennis

Students test each other on “do” and “make” as they throw a ball back and forth (or pretend to). This can work with:

  • the server saying an expression and the returner using another with the same verb (“Do homework” “Do your best”, etc)
  • the server saying an expression with do or make missing, and the returner saying the missing word

To expand the range of language used, students should lose that point if they repeat anything said earlier in the game.

Make and do stations/ Make and do simplest responses

Students listen to phrases with “do” and “make” and race to indicate which verb they heard or think is missing. Particularly lively classes can run up and down the room to try to touch walls with those words written on them before anyone else (Stations), but I prefer sit down versions. This could be students pretending to shoot those two walls, racing to raise cards with “make” and “do” written on them, or raising their right or left hand as quickly as they can. These less physical versions can also be done in small groups.

Make and do Pictionary

Create a list of expressions with “make” and “do” which can be drawn like “Do kung fu”, “Do the hoovering”, “Make a sandwich” and “Make no sense”. Students can compete to make the most illustrative pictures for each expression and/ or try to guess what their partner’s pictures represent. They can then be tested in another way such as putting blanked versions of the expressions from the worksheet into two columns.

Make and do mimes

Compile a list of expressions with “make” and “do” that can be mimed like “make up your mind” and “do the dishes”. Students can work together to think of good mimes for them and/ or mime one until their partner guesses what they are miming. They can then be tested on their memory of the collocations.

Make and do drawing and miming game

As there are many suitable expressions which are difficult to draw and/ or difficult to mime, it’s perhaps best to allow students to mime and/ or draw for their partner to guess what they have chosen.

Make and do reversi memory game

Students spread a set of two-sided cards across the table and take turns trying to guess/ remember what is on the other sides of the cards, stopping whenever they make a mistake. For “make” and “do” practice, this game can be played with cards which have synonyms on each side of the cards (“do the washing up” on one side and “wash the dishes” on the other). The winner is the first person to guess the other side of all the cards in one string without a mistake, or the person with the longest string of correct guesses during the game. To add variety and challenge, correctly guessed cards should stay the other way up to be transformed in the opposite direction next time.

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Written by Alex Case for Tefl.NET April 2024
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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