Have you played the In My Suitcase memory game with your students? This is the game where you sit in a circle and the first student says,
“We are going on a trip, and in our suitcase I will bring…”
After the first student names one thing, the next student repeats the sentence, names his/her classmate’s item, and adds an additional item to the suitcase. For example:
“We are going on a trip, and in our suitcase we will bring a map, and a cell phone.”
As the game continues, the packing list gets bigger and harder to remember.
The suitcase game is excellent for practising nouns, but you can play a similar game to practice using the simple present tense to describe daily routines. Write the following starter sentences (time markers) on the board:
At five o’clock…
On the weekends…
In the summer…
On Monday mornings…
In the winter…
Now have students play the same memory game with daily routines. For example, Erica starts and says,
“On Wednesdays, I go to dance practice.”
Lisa is up next. She says,
“On Wednesdays, Erica goes to dance practice, and I visit my grandparents.”
Leo is up next and he must add a daily routine and remember the two previous ones.
“On Wednesdays, Erica goes to dance practice, Lisa goes to her grandparents, and I do karate.”
When the chain breaks (if a student forgets someone’s routine or can’t think of one) you can skip the student, or choose a new starter sentence from the list above.
“After school, Paulo watches TV, Mike eats a bowl of cereal, Yuki feeds her dog, Juan plays on his iPad, and I draw cartoons.”
This game is great for practicing the simple present tense for daily routines. (Click to Tweet!) It’s also useful for remembering names. If two people have the same routine, that’s great. Teach your students to lump the routines together so that they can practise using third person plural.
“After school, Paulo and Maria watch TV, Mike eats a bowl of cereal, and the rest of us play outside.”
Take the game to the next level by inviting your learners to add usually, sometimes, or always to their daily routine examples.
“In the winter, Juan usually wears mittens, Ella usually wears a scarf, and Mrs. Smith usually wears boots.”
Speaking of daily routines, what do you do when students make mistakes during a grammar practice game? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts about error correction. Do you correct the student on the spot? Do you ask other students to help with the correction? Do you ignore the mistake since it’s game time? Are you a recaster? Share your thoughts about error correction in the comments below. You can also share your fun ideas and links for practicing the simple present tense. Here are some useful tips for teaching the four main uses of the simple present tense.
Check out Sprout English’s Word Bank. The Verbs & Prepositions section has a nine-page lesson on Daily Routines. There are also three mazes, a crossword, a jumble, and a word search on daily routines in our Games Room – Paper Games section.
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