This is helpful for learners with lower language levels who are struggling with the auxiliary verb system (be, do and have).
I give learners a piece of paper or mini-whiteboard with one word of a short sentence. They have to physically arrange themselves in the correct order to make the sentence.
For example, I give five learners one of these words each:
They can create the sentence:
- My mother is from London.
Then, I ask them to make it a question:
- Is my mother from London?
With this sentence:
- My dog likes running in the park.
I ask learners to make it negative, or a question:
- My dog doesn’t like running in the park.
- Does my dog like running in the park?
Learners can also work in groups or pairs to arrange the paper words on a table.
Build a paragraph
This is a more advanced version of the human sentence.
Give learners a longer text, like a small paragraph, with sentences on different strips of paper.
Give each learner one strip of paper and ask them to put themselves in the correct physical sequence.
Alternatively, give a complete set of strips of paper, jumbled up, to a group of learners to sequence together.
If you use a short text from a listening task, learners can then listen to check their sequences.