We know how difficult it can be to prepare grammar revision activities without them being boring or repetitive. In this article we have 7 ideas for fun grammar revisions that don’t involve worksheets (well, except for one, but we made it fun!).
A grammar quiz
Take a popular quiz show that your students are familiar with and make it into a grammar quiz. Jeopardy, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, 15 to 1 – they will all work as grammar revision activities. Keep the rules the same and just change the questions. If you don’t have time to prepare the questions yourself, you can always ask your students to do it for you. Check out what else your students can do for you.
Grammar in pictures
Before the lesson prepare a few photos or pictures. Students work in pairs. Give each pair one photo, or display the same photo to all of the groups. On the board write a grammatical structure you want to revise. Students have to describe the photo using the structure from the board. After a minute or so change the structure to another one that you want to revise. Now the students have to describe the photo using that structure. For example, for Past Simple they could talk about what happened before the photo was taken, for modal verbs, they could give advice to people from the photo, for Present Continuous they could talk about what’s happening in the photo, etc.
Check out more ideas on how to use photos in your lessons.
Grammar in discussion
Before the lesson prepare some discussion questions using different grammatical structures you want to revise. For example, Have you ever…? When did you last …? What do you usually do to …? Students work in pairs or small groups. Display or ask the questions and give them some time to discuss them. Remember to correct any grammar errors that come up. If you have students at a lower level, encourage them to answer in full sentences to practise the use of the target grammar.
This activity is perfect to do with a boring grammar worksheet. Students can work individually or in pairs or in small groups, depending on how large your group is. Give each one a worksheet that you want them to do. Ideally, it should have about 10 items on it. If you don’t have a worksheet, you can also write your own exercises.
Tell students that they each have €100 (imaginary of course). You can use other currencies as well (even chocolates!). Tell them to first complete the exercise. When they’ve finished, they can start the gamble. They have to put some of their money on each item on the worksheet, depending on how certain they are that it’s correct. They can put €5, €10 or €20 on each item. They have to gamble all of their money (imaginary, or chocolates!), and they have to put some money on each of the items.
For each correct item on the worksheet, the amount that they wagered will double and for each incorrect answer, the amount that they wagered will be subtracted.
When you’ve finished going through the correct answers, everyone counts their money and the person, pair or group with the most money left wins.
On small cards write different grammatical structures you want to revise, for example, Past Simple, modal verbs, 2nd conditional, etc. Students work in pairs. Give each pair one card with a grammatical structure. On the board write a topic, something general, for example travelling, home, weekend, etc. Set a timer for 2 minutes. Each pair has two minutes to talk about the topic from the board. But their extra task is to use the grammatical structures from the card they got. So for example, they will have to talk about travelling using modal verbs. They could say:
A: What should you always take with you when travelling?
B: I think you should always bring a camera. You can’t bring many things when you’re travelling by plane.
You can run this activity in two ways:
- Students use the structure as many times as they can and they’re also allowed to use other grammar.
- Students are only allowed to use sentences with that structure – this one will work better with more confident groups.
When the time has finished, the cards with grammatical structures rotate – each pair passes their card to the next pair. So now, each pair has a new structure to use. Also, you can change the topic on the board.
You can run this activity for as many rounds as you want.
Students work in pairs or small groups. They will write a test for another group or pair. Set them some objectives, for example:
- include at least one gap-filling exercise
- include at least one multiple-choice exercise
- make one open-ended task
Don’t forget to give them a list of structures to include in the tests.
Next, they swap the tests with another group, who now have to complete them. When they’ve finished, the tests go back to the groups who made them for corrections. If you have more than two groups, they can give the tests for correction to a different group.
This is something that your students can do at home on a regular basis. It is perfect for practising different grammatical structures daily. Each day get your students to answer these questions in one full sentence:
In the morning:
What are my plans today? (going to, Present Continuous for arrangements)
What would I like to achieve/do today? (would like to)
During the day:
How am I feeling right now? (Present Continuous)
What has happened so far that I’m grateful for? (Present Perfect)
In the evening:
What did I achieve today? (Past Simple)
What didn’t happen and why didn’t it happen? (Past Simple)
How could I have made today better? (modal verbs in the past)
You can change the questions as you like or you can even ask your students to come up with some other ones.
What about errors?
Should you correct any errors that come up? Not necessarily. If your focus is grammar then you should correct any errors in the grammatical structure that you’re revising. Don’t correct errors that are at a higher level than that of your students. It’s also not a good idea to break the conversation flow by making corrections. What you can do instead is just monitor your students’ answers and take notes of any errors that come up and then discuss them after the activity has finished.
We hope these ideas will help you run better grammar revision activities. And if you’re looking for ready-to-use resources for practising grammar in conversation, check out our Grammar Revision Cards.