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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Party Time!

We have just finished a unit on birthdays in our course book, where party food had been the main lexical input and I wanted to do something a bit more creative that would relate to the topic. This particular class sometimes have some problems getting on with each other and there are often silly little arguments and tale telling, so I thought it may be useful to do some group work, in the hope that they would bond more if they had to work together to complete a task.

The idea I came up with was to organise a class party. Now, there are twelve students in the class - too many to work in a group, so I decided to make it more competitive (they just love competition) and to divide the class into two. Since there are six boys and six girls, this seemed the most practical way to split them up. I don't normally allow them to work in single sex groups, unless they are groups of three, as I prefer them to change partners every so often. However in this case, I thought there would be fewer differences of opinion and therefore quarrels if they were allowed to work with their friends. It was very likely that the girls would prepare a completely different kind of party to the boys.

Each group had a supervisor who I appointed. The supervisor's job was to make sure everybody in the group knew what they had to do and to make sure they were doing it. The others would each be responsible for a task, being able to help the others if necessary. These are the tasks that they had to complete:

  • Make a guestlist
  • Make invitations
  • Make a list of food and drinks
  • Make a list of games to play
  • Decide what decorations you will need
There will be two different parties that we will hold in December, when we finish our current course book. The children really got into organising their parties and making beautiful invitations. We will be finishing things off this afternoon, and deciding who will bring what, as each child will bring one item of food to the party.


  1. A great way to get the students to use the language in a practical way - much better than the usual 'imaginary party' that I've seen in most course books.

    I've held fancy dress parties in class a few times and the kids really love the organising part - as much as the party itself I'd say!

    Looking forward to hearing how the parties go.

  2. I met a teacher this week who told how she brought in a suitcase to her primary class. The kids were at first bemused, but then were told that the suitcase had travelled all over and had seen so many things. The scheme of work lasted 3 weeks and included all subjects that they researched (e.g. penguins). Everyone who heard this was mightily impressed. It seems very similar to your approach, and which you talked about in another recent post. It's really impressive, because it generates so many real-life activities that the children love.


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