Synposes of Our Short Plays for the Classroom

Are you thinking about trying a play in your English language classroom? Not sure which one to choose? Here are the synopses of our short plays for the classroom. You can also download this list of short plays here.

Just Desserts (Drama)

The setting is a restaurant kitchen in a seaside hotel. Layla, a young immigrant, is in trouble with her boss. The head chef scolds her for not following his instructions for cutting strawberries. He also seems bothered by the fact that her saffron cake with pistachio cream is becoming increasingly popular. When the chef steals her recipe to enter a local bakeoff, Layla finds the courage to stand up to him and turn the tables.

Introducing Rob (Comedy)

The setting is a family gathering on a snowy day in New England. It centers around two sisters who live completely different lives. Cassie has stayed close to their parents and their world. She has a traditional family with a husband and children. Lola has left the small town. She works for a robotics company in Boston. When Lola brings a man home to meet their parents, Cassie shows up to investigate. It turns out Rob is not who he seems to be. When Cassie realizes Lola is dating a robot, their two perspectives on life and love clash.

Colorado Ghost Story (Mystery/Comedy)

A foreign exchange student, Ingrid, is living on a goat farm in Colorado. When the play opens, her friend Tina is visiting. When the two girls are told they need to stay inside at night, they decide to investigate. Is it the ghost of a previous owner? A white smudge in the darkness suggests so, but the ghost turns out to be a snowy owl. The real trouble begins when a mountain lion shows up. They survive the encounter, but Ingrid has to make an important choice: face the dangers of life in the wild or return to the safety of the big city.

Rising Water (Drama)

A Gulf Coast city is about to experience an intense tropical storm. The play starts with Ajax an adventurous teenager who boards a downtown bus with his bookish classmate Magnus. As the flood waters rise and the streets close down, Magnus chooses to stay safe in the library. Ajax, on the other hand, disobeys his parents and goes out into the storm to rescue people. Who is right? Is Ajax recklessly endangering himself and others, or is he a hero of the storm?

Strange Medicine (Drama)

A mysterious woman, Sarafina, moves into a guesthouse owned by a nurse and her teenage son. Sarafina stays up all night and gets mysterious packages. She claims to be a medical researcher, but Ramsay, the teenager, isn’t so sure. When a stranger starts taking pictures of Ramsay, confronting his mom at her work, and finally attacks Sarafina. Things come to a head. What is Sarafina researching? Is it controversial? And why does she have to do it in secret?

Only the Best Intentions (Romance)

2018 Runner-up for English-Language Award from the English-Speaking Union

The setting is a family home in middle America. Gigi announces she is breaking up with her fiancée Oscar. The reason? Oscar plays computer games too much. As a high-profile gamer, he has a chance to join a professional league. This puzzles Gigi and her family, though they are proud of Gigi’s sister’s success on the soccer field. The contrast in their feelings about esports and traditional athletics opens a conversation about how families treat young computer gamers and their passion for their sport.

Her Own Worst Enemy (Comedy)

A family is preparing to send their daughter off to college, but no one can agree on what she should study. Aida has had some success in high school theater. In fact, she’s been invited to audition at a famous performing arts school. It would be a dream come true for some teenagers, but not for Aida. She wants to be a scientist. Her choice of a stem career would be a dream come true for many parents, but not for Aida’s mother and father. They push for her to be an actress. By flipping traditional expectations, the play lightly explores different perspectives on how a young person chooses a career.

Find all our drama resources on our Plays for Students Page, including free resources on doing plays in class, doing reader’s theater, improv and theater games, and even short activities for practicing grammar, pronunciation, and non-verbal communication.

Alphabet Publishing’s Most Popular Posts of 2021

It’s that time of year again: Time to share my most popular posts of 2021 so if you missed it, you’ll see it now! It seems like there’s a big focus on community and social-emotional learning (including teacher self-care)! I’m not sure in a year of COVID resurgences and political and social turmoil, that any of that is particularly surprising! I’m also kind of happy to see my quirky posts on a cool tech trick and on Minecraft, my hobby, are trending!

So without further ado: popular posts, bestsellers, and a series making a comeback in 2021!

Most Popular Posts

  • How to Merge Data from Excel to PowerPoint: This process allows you to create flashcards or any kind of structured data in Excel (or Word) and turn each set of info into a separate slide in PowerPoint. It’s an amazing way to create Student Profiles, Flashcards, Quote of the Day Sets, Prompt of the Week Sets and more!
  • Easy Minecraft Kitchen Furniture: I like Minecraft. I try to play Minecraft in my free time, but free time is limited. So I thought maybe sharing Minecraft ideas here would motivate me. And lo and behold, a Minecraft post is #2 for the year!
  • An Interactive Way to Review the Syllabus: A great framework for reviewing a big important document such as a syllabus in a way that’s a bit more interactive!
  • Short Plays for English Learners: These plays by Alice Savage continue to please. Each one is high-interest, features an array of colloquial language, and provides wonderful practice for prosody and pragmatics!
  • Warmers for Online Classes: This post may prove to be popular next year too (Thanks, omicron!). Ways to warm up online and make the distance learning classroom a little less remote (Yes, I did just think of that). And the good news is these all work in face-to-face classrooms too!
  • Classroom Community Builders: My book on useful language practice activities that also build classroom community. Go beyond breaking the ice and create a strong classroom community.

I also like to look at which books are selling well in 2021! It’s been an interesting and challenging year for everyone. So you never quite know what teachers are looking for, but we have a few books that stood out as bestsellers, and some books that are suddenly popular again!

Rising Stars

The Silly Shakespeare for Students Series is our rising star, or most improved series of books, particularly A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I love these plays and I’m so happy to see teachers starting to use them!

Best-Sellers in 2021

Drama, self-care, and creative writing. Sounds about right for 2021, doesn’t it? We love all our books and we’re grateful to all our customers, but we’re glad you’re enjoying these books as much as we are! Check out our whole catalog for even more creative and innovative teacher-resource books and supplementary student books!

Those Students: Deictic Expressions and Real-World Communication Skills

I’ve been doing a lot of presentations on pragmatics recently and thinking about how to teach students real-world communication skills in English. The problem is that in the classroom we often communicate at a very literal and direct level. Outside the classroom, we don’t! We leave things unsaid, assume knowledge on the part of the listener, even exaggerate or outright lie! We also use idiomatic language, fixed expressions, and deictic expressions, language that take their meaning from context.

And maybe the hardest group of deictic expression is “insider expressions” when we talk to people. These are expressions that people in a particular group will understand, even though outsiders might not. You probably have slang that only your family uses, inside jokes that refer to events only your friends experience, even technical terms that are used only at your company. These kinds of expressions are helpful to communicate more quickly. They also bond the group together because if you understand them, you’re part of the group! And of course often these expressions are jokes or refer to funny incidents. In college, we used to say “Do you like stuff?” when someone said something awkward, referring to a time a guy actually asked that question to a girl he liked!

But often in our teaching materials, dialogues are written to be very clear. When speakers discuss a topic, they introduce it fully and give all needed information. So students may be unprepared for a dialogue like this:

Two teachers having a conversation about their new class lists. One says the other will have a hard time because he has a student named Adam, who is one of THOSE students!
Have you every had one of those students?

We don’t know what “those students” means exactly. But we can tell a few things from the dialogue:

  • “Those students” are bad students-note the negative reaction of the second teacher, “Oh no!”
  • “Those students” probably aren’t too bad. The first teacher is laughing suggesting amusement, not concern.
  • The laughter also tells us that the teachers probably get along well. In these situations, that kind of amusement is often a bit teasing, and you don’t tease casual acquaintances.
  • We also know most teachers have behaviors they don’t appreciate, but it will vary from teacher to teacher and school to school! They might be students who are always late or who dominate the class discussion or who never do their homework.
  • And of course, we know that teachers often complain about students as a way of letting off steam so the use of a term “those students” may be more about bonding and laughing than about actually disparaging students!

So there’s a lot going on here beyond the words on the page. I’m sure if we heard this conversation, there’d be a lot going on with intonation, body language, and facial expressions too. And in fact, we could change one word and turn “those students” from bad to good. If the second teacher said, “Oh yeah!”, we’d know they were talking about a student who is hard-working or insightful or a quick learner or is kind and helpful! The dialogue that follows would probably be all about praising Adam and sharing all the great things he does in class!

Deictic Expressions Activities

So how do we help students learn how to deal with deictic expressions, particularly insider expressions? By exposing them to input that is not always direct and literal. Here’s one way:

  1. Take a script of a play, movie, or TV show and find a scene with a few of these expressions.
  2. Have students underline them and figure out as much as they can about the meaning.
  3. Watch the scene, if possible, and have them use body language and intonation cues to supplement their understanding.
  4. Then give them the full context and have them discuss how their understand was correct or incorrect.

Because the meaning of deictic expressions by definition relies on context, students can’t just memorize them. However, they can build their analytical skills and learn to read the context, and use other clues to make a good assumption. And that’s what we’re doing in real-world communication half the time any way!

You can also check out all our drama resources and activities for ELT, including theater games, a guide to reader’s theater, short plays, and books of drama activities! Get dramatic in the classroom in a good way!

Teaching Pragmatics with Memes

A flight attendant is asking a passenger "Coffee or tea?" and holding out a thermos. The passenger answers, "Tea" and the flight attendant replies, "Wrong. It's tea". It's a really funny joke!
from PunHubOnline

I recently discovered these wonderful communication-fail memes from PunHubOnline! Beyond being peak comedy for language lovers, these memes highlight a really important point: communication happens far beyond grammar and vocabulary. Pragmatics, the hidden rules that determine how we communicate with each other, is a huge factor in determining how we communicate. These memes are funny because they break those rules of pragmatics. So there’s nothing more natural than teaching pragmatics with memes.

What is Pragmatics and Why Should We Teach It?

Pragmatics is how we take into account a context and situation when communicating. Put simply, we speak very differently to our parents than we do to our friends, or when we are fighting with someone vs. when we are having a good time. I’ve written more about pragmatics and why it’s important here.

Looking at the meme above, the flight attendant is asking “Would you like coffee or tea?” Now she’s dropped the first part of the question. This might be rude in other contexts, but we know that flight attendants are busy so they can shorten the question, and we’re busy too!

And there a variety of clues that make the meaning of the utterance clear:

  1. Flight attendants often offer people food and drink.
  2. The flight attendant is holding out a Thermos.
  3. People hold things out and show them to you when offering things.
  4. They also adopt a questioning tone and may raise their eyebrows, smile, or in other ways look friendly and opening.
  5. Many people enjoy a coffee or tea after a meal.

There is no reason why a flight attendant would quiz you on the contents of a container! And yet in some contexts, the question “Coffee or tea?” might mean “Guess which one this is.” Maybe it’s a classroom and the teacher is playing a guessing game to review vocabulary, or maybe your friend has discovered a kind of tea that tastes just like coffee and he’s betting you can’t tell the difference.

The point is: the sentence isn’t wrong. The grammar and vocabulary are correct. But the context IS wrong and that’s where the communication fail happened!

Deictic Expressions

A man in a hotel lobby asks a hotel receptionist, "What room am I in?" She answers, "It's called the lobby, sir."

Here’s another example meme, one of my favorites. A man tells the hotel receptionist, “I’ve forgotten what room I’m in.”

The receptionist answers, “It’s called the Lobby!” The joke here is based on the misunderstanding of the designation, “room I’m in”. In a hotel “the room you are in” refers to your hotel room, the place you are sleeping. If we meant the room we are currently in, we’d say “this room”.

Also, there are very few reasons WHY we’d ask what the lobby was called. It doesn’t really matter if we call it a hotel lobby or reception or that big room near the door!

On the other hand, it’s plausible a guest might forget their room number and need to be reminded. So again, context is important and so is purpose. In the real world, we ask questions for a reason!

Another interesting thing is that the man’s statement is really a question. He’s not informing the woman he forgot his room number just for fun. He wants her to tell him the number.

We ask indirect questions all the time. We also ask rhetorical questions that are really statements! Rhetorical devices and their impact are a huge part of communication, but rarely explicitly taught!

Ideas for Teaching Pragmatics with Memes

There are a lot of things you can do with these memes in the classroom. I’ve attached a few above from but the PunHub Instagram account is the best place to get them-do check them for classroom appropriateness and language level though. You can share them with students and ask them to analyze them with the following questions:

  1. What is the context and what expectations do people have in these contexts?
  2. What hidden assumptions is the first speaker making?
  3. How does the second speaker break that assumption?
  4. Is the second speaker making any assumptions?
  5. What might a real conversation look like?
  6. What rules of social communication can we derive from the misunderstanding?

Students can also write their own memes. This might appear difficult but they probably have a miscommunication story of their own to share. I remember being asked how I’d rate a film once. For some reason, I though the person meant content ratings, so I said, “PG-13”! There may be a colloquialism in English that has just never made sense to them, an expression that has always stuck out for them because the literal meaning is so far off the intended meaning, or even something a foreigner in their own country said wrongly once!

Other Pragmatics Lesson Ideas

You can also help raise students’ awareness of pragmatics through short microsketches. Any dialogue that has a clear purpose can work. We have a lesson plan up on Teachers Pay Teachers, The Favor Microsketch: Learning Pragmatics Through Drama , that helps students learn about the language of asking for a favor, for example.

Feel free to browse all our Drama Resources on Teachers Pay Teachers for more help teaching spoken communication and pragmatics. We also have more drama resources and materials here.

Do you have other suggestions for teaching pragmatics with memes or other teaching ideas?

What does “I was, like…” mean?

The first 10 seconds on this clip (0:32-0:40) show the power of like and body language to communicate!

In the spring, I had the great pleasure of seeing a bit of David Crystal talk at the 2020 Digital Hay Festival. (By the way, if anyone is looking to for a great Christmas present, his latest book looks amazing!) and I was rather pleased to hear him, as a well-known and respected linguist, defend teenspeak/Valley Girl with words such as “like”.

In fact, he did a wonderful example of “I was, like,” and do a shocked face. It reminded me of the first 5 seconds of this clip reminded me of the first 10 seconds of this clip from Over the Hedge. This is meant to be a parody of a teenage girl circa 2005, but it actually makes perfect sense to me, and apparently Professor Crystal agrees!

So, what does “I was, like…” mean?

We know that when we are listening to someone, really listening, we are paying attention to their words, but we’re paying attention to so much more. We’re listening to their tone to determine how they feel about what they are saying! We’re watching their body language for the same reason. Speakers also use their tone and gestures to keep the audience engaged and sometimes we reference a movie or TV show by imitating a character. Or we even adopt the pose as we speak of a well-known stereotype in our culture: the scolding parent, the arrogant puffed up boss, a crazy person, someone who is exhausted!

In fact, it can be difficult or time-consuming to describe everything we think and feel and say in a situation. So sometimes, the body language or facial expression or pose is the best way to communicate effectively. And sometimes it’s the only way!

The word SAID doesn’t fully encapsulate this idea. So, we have this wonderful word LIKE which does. “I was, like” really means

Don’t believe me. Think about these popular gifs below. Think of how easy it is to understand what these people are thinking or feeling. And think about how popular it is to use a gif or meme like this to express an idea. Actually, these kinds of memes are just high-tech ways to say, “I was all, like…”

Using Like in Lessons

Some will say we shouldn’t be teaching like and other forms of informal speech in class. However, students certainly should be able to understand what LIKE means when they hear it. And letting students play with this expression can help them learn to use gesture and facial expression more effectively. And you can use engaging content like GIFS and memes!

Here’s a few things activity ideas for teaching what like means. Try them out, you know. It could be like, AMAZING!!!!!

  • Students come up with scenarios that might generate strong emotional reactions. It might be a whole situation or even just something someone could say to them. Students take turns saying “I was, like…” and then giving an expression. Other students guess the meaning and discuss how they might react in the same situation.
  • Have students pick a gif that uses a facial expression. They can imitate it in front of the class, introducing it with “I was, like…” The class has to guess the meaning. Extend by discussing the situation in which someone would make that expression
    Note that the expressions and gestures gifs are often exaggerated so you may want to follow-up by demonstrating a more common form.
  • Show the clip of Heather from above. Have students see if they can have a whole conversation in gesture, using expressions such as “I was, like…” or “You’re totally being…”
  • Have students find a video where a character uses “like”. Have them share it and talk about what the character means.

Share your ideas for activities below

And if you’re looking for more drama-based lessons and activities that use body language, tone, and gesture, check out our resources for drama activities.

Embodied Mind: The Dancer and Dance and Grammar

“How can we know the dancer from the dance?” Yeats famously wrote. And in the dance of human communication, the body plays a role. Language is more than word choice or grammar, and even more than prosody. Gesture, body language, facial expression are all tools of meaning-making. This is why study of the embodied mind, how the mind and body are not separate, has been informative for linguistics and education. Alice and Colin, authors of the forthcoming 60 Kinesthetic Grammar Activities, have written about ways to use the body in teaching grammar:

Embodied Mind in the Grammar Classroom: Research and Activities

….Is a kinesthetic approach to grammar pedagogically sound, and could we do more of it?

After doing a bit of research, we discovered that the answer is yes and yes. A quick review of neurolinguistics research confirms what many educators and philosophers have guessed, that the body plays a role, not only in communication but also memory, recall, and even cognitive processing.

One way this happens is through emotions, which are reflected in physical postures and expressions. Another is gesturing, which “offloads” some of work by allowing the body to help with the thinking. (An easy example is counting on our fingers.) Studies cited by multiple authors show that students who use gestures remember more than students who don’t.

Still another is through mirror neurons. Otherwise known as empathy neurons, they allow our brain to experience other people’s intentions and feelings even if we have a different point of view. We gather this information through the eyes and ears so that we might perceive feelings such as enthusiasm or disapproval. More importantly, mirror neurons are also powerful in retention and recall. One study found that simply watching someone perform an action aids in storage and retrieval.

These findings explain why drama and improvisation are such powerful tools in learning, and why including non-verbal signaling is important in conversation practice. There are goals, tactics and expectations that people have when interacting with others that go far beyond the literal meaning of words. In fact, our non-verbal communication is often more trustworthy! People are uncomfortable when they don’t perceive the intention behind the words so language learners who speak in a monotone are at a disadvantage in social situations. This is reflected in a quote by a student who participated in a process drama activity led by Miriam Stewart:

I am not me in English…In Portuguese I am funny, I am smart, in English I am disconnected. Body is one thing, brain is another. I translate the words but they are just words, no feelings. No me. Today is the first time I feel like me in English.

Check out the original post on English Endeavors to read more and get some ideas for activities to teach grammar dynamically!


Looking for more?

Browse all our free resources for doing drama in the classroom at Plays and Drama Resources for Students. 

Set Your Roleplay to Music

Looking for a way to make your roleplays more engaging and also help students explore communication tools more effectively? Try music.

We all know the power of music to set a mood. Television shows and movies exploit this all the time. You probably know the famous theme from the film Jaws: Duh-duh…duh-duh…duh-duh,duh-duh,duh-duh-duh! It builds suspense even when nothing particularly frightening is happening on screen. The music alone tells you something bad is about to happen and evokes a mood that makes the appearance of a deadly shark even more terrifying!

Soundtrack to Life

Close Up of Woman Drinking from Red Polka Dot Tea Mug and Looking at Camera
Photo by @ ibreakstock/Depositphotos

Or think of a man and woman drinking tea or coffee at a café. The man fumbles around awkwardly, makes some dumb jokes about his clumsiness, and ends up making a huge mess. She stares at him inscrutably. But the swelling piano and violin music sets a romantic mood. You are sure her look is affectionate! Her next words will be consoling or maybe an unexpected compliment.

Now imagine the soundtrack was Yakety Sax, made famous by Benny Hill. Suddenly this is a slapstick comedy scene. The man drops his wallet, picks it up only to trip over his own feet! Her stare shows how pathetic he is. She will probably sigh next. Or whack him over the head and storm out.

Maybe the music is ominous: slow long cello notes. Perhaps the woman is a serial killer and she’s decided this loser is too sad to live. She will invite him to come home with her. He will be surprised, but accept before she changes her mind!

So music has a lot of power. It can set a mood. It can evoke a context (in a movie, this would be the genre but in real-life the genre might better be seen as the context ). It can also indicate the characters’ intentions. And all these elements have an effect on the language we use. Our body language, tone, choice of topic, and even the words and grammar we choose to express ourselves with, are determined in part by our intentions, mood, and the context. A family attending a birthday party today will speak and act very differently during a family emergency.

You can exploit this in the classroom through a very simple activity:

Activity: Set your roleplay to music

Find a short, simple roleplay. Your textbook probably has a few. Look for the sample dialogues about buying a ticket, checking into a hotel, or buying something at a store. Alternatively, it could be a common place situation, like two people arguing over who does a chore or friends making plans.


Get Students Writing and Talking!

As more and more teachers are turning to online teaching and distance learning for the forseeable future, and students may be considering self-study options, I’d like to introduce our free prompt generating tool, English Prompts, with three different kinds of prompts: creative writing, speaking, and role-plays.

The first, Stories Without End, generates a random short story prompt that ends on a cliff-hanger. The genres vary from horror to comedy to sci-fi to realistic fiction, so there’s a broad range of topics. Don’t like the story? Click “New Story”! Here are some ideas to use it with students:

  • Have students work as a group to brainstorm story ending ideas, then write a joint story.
  • As a class, come up with a list of 5-10 questions they think the story ending should address. Then students can individually pick 2-3 questions to guide their story ending.
  • Students can also generate and answer questions as a group.
  • Have students each write an ending, then share them anonymously. Students read the other endings and vote on the best one.
  • Have students write another paragraph and then swap papers. They then write another paragraph that follows from what the previous student wrote. The second student can end the story or students can swap again and keep adding paragraphs till they reach a logical conclusion.
  • Got lower level students? They can read or tell their story idea rather than writing it. You can even have them draw a picture or storyboard their idea, then label or write an outline, and then tell it.

Next, What Would You Do? prompts are a collection of hypothetical situations that students answer by telling what they would do in those situations. Some are realistic, some are ridiculous, and some are somewhere in-between. Get a new random situation by clicking “There are a lot of ways to use this flexible resource:

  • Think of contextual questions that might change students’ answers. Would you return a stolen wallet full of cash? What if you were homeless and needed the money? What if you saw the person who dropped it?
  • Or have students think of contexts where they would do different actions.
  • Have a debate where students argue the pluses and minuses of different situations.
  • Have students use them as story prompts to write a short story highlighting the situation and their chosen response.
  • Ask students to predict what their classmates would do in different situations, then do a survey.
  • Have students interview friends or family members or put a poll online and then tally up the results and report on what they learned.
  • Get students to come up with their own WWYD?s.
  • Watch the show What Would You Do? on ABC (episodes can be found on Youtube) and get them to predict what people would do or discuss how people did react and why.

Looking to do some acting? Start a Scene is an improv or role-play prompt generator. Click “New Line” and get a first line of a dramatic scene. Students can use that to improvise or write a conversation or situation. To make it even more useful, you can also click on the “New Emotion” button and get an emotion to say the line with. This helps draw students’ attention to the way that we use our voices and bodies to show feeling or attitude. It also helps students think about pragmatics. We speak differently to angry people than happy people. If someone says something ironically, we react in a whole other way!Use these prompts to:

  • Generate an improv or role-play, written or spoken.
  • Ask students to practice saying a line with an emotion while others guess and/or discuss how well the actor did.
  • Try the same line with different emotions and talk about how the meaning changes with the attitude.
  • Describe the situation. Who is speaking? To whom? Where are they? What do they want?
  • Assign inappropriate emotions to lines. Have someone say, “I love you” as if they have the giggles, for example!

Hope you enjoy this tool and we’re always open to hearing what kinds of new features you’d like to see! You can also

browse all our free resources for doing drama in the classroom at Plays and Drama Resources for Students. 

Kinesthetic Grammar Activities: Getting Grammar on the Move!

We’re thrilled to be publishing a book on Kinesthetic Grammar Activities from Alice Savage and Colin Ward. Kinesthetic grammar is a great way to practice language dynamically. The benefits are many:

  • Vary the pace of the classroom
  • Help teach nonverbal language and gesture in communication
  • Activate embodied mind and improve the memorability of target grammar
  • Build classroom community!

I’ve included an excerpt from Alice and Colin’s wonderful blog post. I highly recommend checking out the full post, which includes some example activities. Then come back here and check out the book, 60 Kinesthetic Activities!

We often talk about “grammar on the move.”  The reality is that grammar instruction itself can also be moving.   When students are asked to get out of their seats or point to something or walk around the room, they are engaged.  There is laughter and fun.  It feels like a game.   Sometimes chaos ensues, which can be great, and learning always takes place.

Kinesthetic Grammar is the idea that language can be practiced and better remembered when tied to physical movement.  A movement of the hand might indicate a change in tense. A stomping of the foot could imply a “run-on.”  The physical activity serves as a cognitive hook, something to help students remember what it is they’re learning.  Sometimes the movement even mimics the meaning of the grammar.

Below are a few examples of ways to use kinesthetic techniques to teach grammar, all of which can be modified to fit your own needs. Think about how they could be for your own instruction, and let your imagination run wild!

Read more about Kinesthetic Grammar and check out some free activities on Alice and Colin’s blog post: Kinesthetic Grammar Activities. and check out all our drama activities and resources.

Storytelling for EFL Students

Storytelling is an important skill for EFL students to learn. In fact, being able to tell a story is a helpful human skill as we are constantly constructing narratives to explain what we are doing, to persuade others, to ask for help, to offer advice.

Many EFL students have trouble improvising fluently though. It’s hard to tell a story, remember the right words, get your grammar correct, and speak comprehensibly all in a foreign language. So students need a lot of practice telling a story and doing so fluently, without much hesitation.

So we’re giving away one of Cristian’s favorite lesson plans, one that improves fluency by taking some of the control away from the storyteller.

Improv Storytelling is a highly original activity for EFL students, one that also works with ESL/ESOL classes as well.It helps students practice telling an original story on the spot, without fear of making a mistake. There are some creative ways to come up with new ideas buried in this activity, so it also makes a nice warm-up to having students write. Or you may want to refer to it yourself when you have writer’s block.

Click the link below to check out the lesson. And if you do use it in class, please consider leaving a comment here and letting us know how it went.

And take a peek at the book with 24 other fantastic activities, Instant ESL Lesson Plans.
Cover of Instant EFL Lesson Plans book by Cristian Spiteri