My students learned how to describe animals’ physical characteristics and abilities. The structure learned here was the verbs HAVE and BE. Among other words, they learned MANE, STRIPES, SPOTS, FEATHERS, TAIL, SCALES, FINS, HORNS, FUR, WHISKERS, TRUNK, WINGS,TEETH. Here is a fun task designed to consolidate the structure and vocabulary:
1) Students drew, colored and cut out their favorite animal. (In order to prevent too many students from drawing the same animal, which is likely to happen, you can write the animals’ names on slips and have students draw one. That would also prevent arguments among them.)
2) After they finished their animals, they taped them to brown pieces of paper and taped them to the board.
3) We played a game.
Option 1- Q/A Practice: Students individually go to the board, point at an animal and asks a peer “What DO lions look like?” or “What DOES a lion look like?” or “What does THIS butterfly look like?” Yes/No questions can also be practiced such as “Do lions have a long tail?”
Option 2 – Hot Potato: Students sit in a circle. When the music stops, the student with the ball answers a question based on the cut outs. There can also be two balls, one for the question and one for the answer. (Another option is to simply say a sentence such as “Lions have… or Lions are… or Lions can…”. )
Option 3 – Wacky Race: This activity is suitable for children after they practice describing wild animals (abilities and physical characteristics). Students are given a sheet of paper in blank. Each student draws, colors and cuts out a different animal of their preference. After all students finish cutting out their animals , take them to a large place (in case the classroom is not big enough) and use duct tape to make a start and a finish line on the floor. Students sit behind the start line and wait for the teacher’s command (‘This animal has beautiful feathers’, ‘This animal can run fast’, ‘This animal has a long trunk’, etc…). The students whose animals’ characteristics match the commands blow their animal on the floor so it moves forward (Yes, they can´t use their hands). Tell students that they can only blow the animal once for each command, otherwise they are disqualified. The winner is the student whose animal reaches the finish line first.