Disaster at the Art Gallery

A renowned artist has lent the art gallery 12 of his most famous portraits for a special exhibition. There’s only one problem – the exhibition starts in fifteen minutes and you still haven’t set up!

What’s it all about?

I’m a big fan of gallery readings. Focusing on language from a reading text is one of the most effective ways of highlighting new vocabulary and grammar. However, it is really ineffective if the students aren’t engaged in the text.

This is fine for a lot of topics where it’s easy to engage students, but what about those times when it just isn’t going to work?

For this activity I’ve used the example of ‘the passive voice’ as one of those somewhat dull grammar points that is nevertheless important to highlight. This activity, by making the ‘reading’ part of the lesson more of a game, effectively ‘tricks’ your students into noticing the grammar form without having to engage them immediately in a particular topic.

What’s more, there are two options for language study in the same activity – adjectives with -ed/-ing endings or the passive.

Take your pick and slip this fun activity seamlessly into your syllabus!

What You Need

1x DimmiDeck

1x Set of information cards for your chosen language focus

Adjectives with -ed/-ing Endings

or

Passive and Passive Expressions

.. and some blu tack!

Preparation

Cut up the different Picture Information cards from the PDF.

Optional – Remove one of the information cards. As a follow-up activity the students can identify the missing card (as there will be one picture without one) and write it together in the same style as the other descriptions.

Place the DimmiDeck characters from the PDF on walls around the room as the ‘art gallery’.

Lesson Plan

  1. Divide students into two or three small groups.
  2. Divide the information cards equally between the groups (ideally three or four per group).
  3. Explain that they must read their information cards and place them under the correct picture on the wall using blu tack.
  4. After all the cards have been placed (and assuming every picture has just one information card) students must read through and check the work of the other groups.
  5. Clarify the meaning of any new and emerging language.

Now focus on your chosen language point as you normally would. The students have now read the texts in order to complete the task and so you can now bring their attention to the language point. You can then continue with standard practice activity such as a gap fill followed by a production task.

Notes

There’s a lot of scope with this activity to adapt it for all levels and as an introduction to various vocabulary topics. Why not create your own Information Cards for the deck? Create 8-10 new cards each containing a word from a new vocab set, for example, clothing words, to focus on after the match up.

The examples given here are just that – examples! Create your own cards with your own short texts and give your students an alternative to traditional reading exercises.

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