In the Memory Scene ESL Activity, students try to remember what was happening in a picture they were shown.
Find one or multiple images with different people doing different activities. People labelled with names can help but isn’t necessary. There are a number of options available on Google Images (search ‘present continuous’).
You will need to project images to show them to the students. For a similar activity that doesn’t require a projector, try Crazy Classroom.
In class, divide the students into pairs.
- Project an image on the board. If you have multiple images, use those with less activities to remember first.
- The students have a set time (usually thirty seconds or one minute) to try and remember the scene.
- When the time is up, remove the image from view. With their partner, the students then have to write down as many of the activities as they can, using the target language. For example, A man is/was cleaning the windows.
- When they have finished, they share their ideas with the class, again using the target language.
- Reveal the image again and check their answers. If you want to make it competitive, the students could swap papers and award points for each correct sentence.
The Memory Scene ESL Activity is designed for practising the present continuous or past continuous with beginner or low intermediate level students. You can adapt the activity to the age/level of your students by selecting an image with an appropriate level of detail.
If you can find the right image (e.g. a park scene), you could also use it to practise sports and hobbies vocabulary. Again, simply select an image with vocabulary appropriate to the level of your class.
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