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The Goodies’ Bag

A cat in a bag.This is a “show and tell” activity for the TEFL teacher who wants to encourage young learners to produce language in a natural way and create a more spontaneous response than the traditional “repeat after me” approach.

How it works

  • Take a large cloth bag (a black bin liner will also do – the important thing is that it is not transparent).
  • Place different items related to the topic of a lesson you want to revise. If you have covered Food for example include plastic (or real) fruit; if your lesson is about Clothes then have socks, T-shirt, hats; if you have done Means of Transport nothing like toy cars will get your young ones going.
  • Get your students to sit around you in a circle and assign them a number or letter, whichever you wish to include in your revision.
  • Walk past each student and ask then to pick from a pack of cards you have previously prepared, each with a number or letter on it. These, of course, will need to match the ones you have distributed. The child whose number or letter is thus selected has a go at the “Goodies’ bag”.
  • Get the randomly selected student to come up to you and with their eyes closed dig in your Goodies’ Bag and take an item from it.
  • Encourage each of the students to guess what might be the item they are holding. Allow them a few seconds to touch it and feel it while it is still in the bag. Then ask the student to show it to the entire class an encourage guesses as to what that might be called in English.

Tips

Make a lot of fuss over it. If it is a sock, pretend it’s smelly and hold your nose. If it is a piece of fruit pretend you want to eat it all by yourself, and so on.

Also when the students put their hand in the bag react as if they were about to touch something horrible or scary. That will get immediately a lot of interest in the activity.

Image ® merlinprincesse

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