In the Dream Vacation ESL activity, students imagine their perfect trip and describe it to the class.
Students can complete this activity individually, or in small groups of two or three.
- Ask the students to imagine their dream vacation (if working as a group they are travelling together). If you want to practise the second conditional, the trip must include multiple destinations.
- They should consider at least the following aspects of that vacation: destination, duration, transport, accommodation, activities, food and drink, weather, language, personal feelings (feel free to edit this list).
- With lower level students, you may want to write out explicit question prompts on the board using the target language. For example, Where are you going to go? What do you think the weather will be like?
- The students write down their description using the target language (see below).
- The students/groups take turns sharing their dream vacation with the class.
A possible variation if you want to practise making questions in the target grammar is for students to interview each other about their dream vacation. They can then feed back to the class on their partner’s answers.
The Dream Vacation ESL activity can be adapted to a couple of different grammar structures, with slight modifications. It is suitable for high beginner or low to mid-level intermediate students.
For the future with going to, students simply write their description as a plan. However for the future simple, students leave things more open-ended, writing their destination and transport as a plan (going to), then their predictions for the vacation using will. If possible, include a mixture of both; this activity is a good way to highlight the difference in use between going to for plans and will for predictions without clear evidence.
To practise the second conditional, the students describe what they would do in multiple destinations. Highlight the use of this conditional for an unreal situation. For example:
– The next place we would go to is Peru.
– If we went to Peru we would visit Machu Picchu.
– If we visited Machu Picchu we would walk a lot.
– Then we would travel to Brazil… .
More advanced students could introduce possibility into the result clause as well, e.g. If we visited Machu Picchu, we might see a llama.
Because the language structures are fairly repetitive, the Dream Vacation ESL activity is best for students who are fairly new to the target grammar. Alternatively, you could use it as part of a class on travel, and ask students to include relevant vocabulary.
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