Sentence Completion is a TEFL activity which can be used to practice different forms of sentences. It works well with different verb forms, conditionals and so on.
Write out a series of sentences which are examples of the kind of sentence/verb structure you want to practice, and put them onto flashcards (so you can use them later with other classes).
For example these are for practicing the past perfect:
I had been walking for 30 minutes before I realized my mistake.
She had gone to 12 different interviews before she was offered a job.
I didn’t go to the cinema with my friends as I had seen the film before.
These, meanwhile, would work for conditionals:
If you don’t have enough money, you should rob a bank.
If you see me, wave!
If you can’t find a taxi, call me and I’ll come and pick you up.
And so on. There should be enough for two for every student in your class.
Running the Activity
To begin, go over the past perfect (or whichever sentence form you are looking at) once more with your class to make sure they are all familiar with it. Then choose a sentence at random from the pile you have prepared and read out HALF the sentence to the class:
…before I realized my mistake.
And with the class invite suggestions as to what the other half of the sentence might be:
I had run out of petrol…
She had got onto the train and had left my life forever…
I had driven ten miles…
Explain that if a student comes up with a sentence half similar to the one on the card then they score a point. They also score a point if they come up with a very inventive sentence half.
Play the game as a class for a little longer so the students get the hang of it. Then, once the class are comfortable with it, divide them into several teams and with you as the “quizmaster” get them to suggest sentence halves for the ones you pick at random, scoring as the activity progresses.
Variations on a Theme
- To get more students participating, you can divide the class into small groups and get at least one answer from each group.
- You can have the class participate even more by writing out the sentences in the first place. In this situation each group will need to ask their sentence half to all the other groups.