In the Accidents Happen ESL activity, students work in groups to describe how different accidents happen, then act them out for the rest of the class.
You may want to pre-teach some verbs for accidents (hit, crash into, bump, roll, fall etc.), along with their past forms.
Divide the class into groups of three. Each student will need a notebook or paper.
- Working in their groups, the three students each say one part of a sentence describing an accident, as follows: Student A: Activity in Past Continuous (e.g. I was skiing…), Student B: Accident in Past Simple (e.g. … when I hit a rock…), Student C: Health Result in Past Simple (e.g. …and broke my ankle.)
- When each sentence is complete, all students in the group write it down. The students then change roles (i.e. student A is now B, B is now C and C is now A), and repeat.
- The groups do this until they have five or ten sentences. They then choose their three favourites (or more if you have a small class) to act out.
- The groups take turns acting their chosen sentences to the class. The three students act one part of the sentence each. As they act, the rest of the class has to say the sentence out loud.
It’s also a good activity to use when learning about extreme or potentially dangerous sports and hobbies.
Or, you could use it to practise combining the past continuous and past simple to describe events. The fact that different students say/act each element will help students with the sentence structure.
Got a picture or video of this activity in action? How about snapping one next time you use it? We'd love to showcase your submissions- find out more here.