Find the Comparative is a good activity for your class to practice making comparative sentences. It’s best used as an activity for pairs or small groups.
Begin by making a series of cards. On each one write a pair of words which are related somehow; they should be two words which can be used in a comparative sentence. For example:
- elephant – mouse
- boy – girl
- Ferrari – bicycle
- Australia – Malta
When you put together the words, make sure you can find at least 2 or 3 comparative sentences yourself. Also, the vocabulary should be familiar to your class, and of the right level.
In class, go over comparatives and make sure you students know how to form them. Then choose a card at random and write up on the board one of the words:
- BIG BEN
Tell the class they’re after another famous national building and encourage them to find suitable comparatives to try and work out what the other word on your card is:
S1: Is it smaller than Big Ben?
S2: Is it bigger than Big Ben?
S3: Is it taller than Big Ben?
S4: Is it the Empire State Building?
S5: Is it older than Big Ben?
S6: Is it the Colosseum?
Depending on the class you may want to give them more or less hints, allow them only one guess or more, etc.
Running the Activity
Divide the class in two teams (more if you have a large class) and tell them that they will be competing against each other to try and guess an item.
Set the rules of the game:
- Each member of the team must take it in turn to ask you a question to try and guess the right item.
- They can only ask questions which contain comparatives.
- Points are deducted if a team member uses a comparative that has already been used. This will ensure everybody listens and pays attention.
- The team that guesses it right with the least number of questions wins.
Make sure everybody is clear on how the game works and then write on the board the theme of your first set of per-prepared cards, say, the Ocean [the opposite item in the set could be a Pond].
Finally let the game begin!
Comparatives in English – their usage and formation.Image © Rennett Stowe